Same, But Different
There are so many things we have in common, so many things we all share, so many experiences we all go through and feelings we all feel. I was raised on the repeated phrase, “We’re all more alike than different.”
On the flip side, though, it doesn’t take but 2 minutes of people watching to also notice how different we all really are.
A pixie-cut woman walks by wearing a knee-length sundress covered in neon pink flowers with black boots laced up her bare ankles.
And then there’s a bald man in khakis and a polo walking his tiny white, poodle-looking dog as he yaps into his cell phone.
A lanky dark-skinned kid holding a grocery bag and blue Gatorade presses the cross-walk button and walks across the intersection before the “walk” sign even appears.
At work, we are moving furniture and trying to explain things spatially to each other underneath the burden of thick, splintery wood and the heavy New Orleans heat.
“Where is this going? Should we flip it on its side?”
We flip it, but it’s not the side I thought it was getting flipped on.
“I thought you meant the other side! I’m sorry!” I say as the piece slips between my hands.
Even simple things are left open to hundreds of different interpretations.
The sundress woman, the bald man and the teenage boy— they are all so different, but so real and present in their own ways… so here. So alive.
Yes, we are all very much alike, but we’re also all very different, and we preach how beautiful individuality is and how refreshing uniqueness is, but we’re all also so busy trying to make everyone else more like us.
“Speak my language,” we say.
“Dress like me,” we think.
“Vote like me. Worship like me. Believe what I believe. Agree with me.”
This just in: it’s not all about you.
There are billions of other people on this planet, and we might dress differently, worship different Gods and speak different languages, but we all know sadness. We’ve all felt loss. We all fear failure and try to comfort ourselves with varying forms of false fulfillment.
What does your world look like when you step back from the center of it?
How does life feel when you quit trying to make everyone be like you, and you start just letting people be like them?
P.S.- I'm back on the blogcast this week! BUT-- we've got a brand new type of episode that you definitely don't want to miss. Hint: it is not about today's blog ;) Check it out here!