Scallywag

Let us now set forth one of the fundamental truths about marriage: the wife is in charge.

~ Bill Cosby ~

You Are What You Are

December 2nd, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 53 secs

Be thankful you're different.

Be thankful you’re different.

Perhaps what is most surprising about people is just how different they are. Extroverts, for instance, feel alive in the company of a crowd. They love it.  But put an introvert into a big gathering and that same source of pleasure overwhelms them.

You might like cheese whereas your friend might go green at the thought of it. Same goes with tomatoes, fish, oranges, and so on because taste is famously individual.

Which proves we have one more thing in common. We are all different.

Though I try, I cannot really presume to know what suits you, nor you me. We have tastes, dictated by genetics, experience, and personal preference.  Put together,  they reaffirm our individuality and remind us that humanity is about diversity.

When someone wisely quipped that variety is the spice of life, they were right. It does add fizz and pizzazz to our daily dealings and that’s got to be a good thing.

Yet, remarkably, our institutions, and some narrow-minded types fight tooth and claw to deny variety. By insisting that everything must be the same for everyone, they make life more than boring. It becomes inhumane.

Imposing conventions on one culture from another can be deeply disconcerting and as for forcing people to eat food that they find offensive… Being the product of lazy minds, uniformity robs us of our individuality, and that diminishes all of us.

So, when people live their own culture, speak their own tongue, and enjoy their own way of being, while others live out another, that’s a good thing. Diversity deserves appreciation.

Yet today, when things are frequently reduced down to cost effectiveness, diversity is nonsense. Particularly as it’s far cheaper to squeeze people into a one size fits all mold and expect them to do as they are told.

Is that living well? Should we expect others to become just like us for their own good? Or, is there room for variety and discovery in celebrating our differences.

Never be ashamed to be who you are. That is be a given that you and I can live by. Yet, right on the heels of that creed ought to be a generous respect for the dignity of difference. We live better lives when we respect others and value the variety they add to our lives.

You could call it acceptance, but to me, respect is a step up from that. Enjoy your individuality and make the most of who you are. But always do the same for everyone else.

For the pleasure of  appreciating difference feeds back into our own sense of self, reminding us that one of the greatest liberties of humanity is diversity.

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