A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of my daughters about a women’s activity I was helping to plan. She mentioned she had talked to a woman she knew about the activity who had mentioned she felt she was “too different from all of the other women to attend.” I felt sad after hearing that, and it got me to thinking.
Why is it we feel differences beget division?
Maybe it is the way the human brain works? In order to make sense of things we put people into groups for easy sorting in a kind of “me vs. them” mentality.
She is married. I am not.
She has children. I do not.
She is athletic. I am not.
She votes Republican. I do not.
She is white. I am not.
Unfortunately, when we oversimplify people like this there is quite a bit about a person that can be missed.
On first perusal some may only see a white woman when they look at me. But I’m not, and that quick visual sorting will miss the fact I am also Hispanic and only one generation removed from my mother’s immigration from Mexico.
Yet in the world today this first sorting might be enough for quite a few of us to see insurmountable differences for us of ever being able to find any similarities which could unite us.
Because although we may have group sorting similarities; for example, we belong to the same church or we have red hair, or the same skin color- those similarities don’t even remotely mean we are the same.
We are all different.
In that truth is the ultimate factor to unite us.
So how about next time when that self doubt starts to creep in and you begin to worry your differences will isolate you from a particular group, instead take a leap of faith and cross that invisible line that you/we/society created to separate us and see if we can find similarities or even differences that could unite us?
You aren’t really all that different. You are you. And you are worthy of love, but so am I, and so is she.
So I say, go forth and love, and see what a difference that can make.
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