How are we defined as human beings? How do we look at each other? How do we gauge each other when it comes to how we determine our own worth in the eyes of so many? Our differences become the first thing we notice most times, be it our skin color, our facial features, our bodies, or just the way we talk. No matter the similarities we might share, our differences are what define us in the eyes of those we don’t know.
There are two things that tend to happen when a person meets someone different from them.
Care to hazard a guess at what they might be? One is pride, as in being proud to be different and knowing that one is unique in some way. The other is that a person will feel threatened, inadequate, and somehow intimidated by anyone different. The unfortunate part is that being afraid can lead to anger, to misunderstandings, and eventually to hatred. That’s a mighty leap of course from one emotion to the next, but it’s not a difficult trip for some people to make.
Differences between individuals are taken in many different ways depending upon what they are, though diversity in humanity is a reason why our species remains a continual interest to so many of us. Imagine if there was one race, one color, and one language throughout the entire world. Some folks have no trouble imagining this and yet they can’t seem to realize how boring and ultimately nihilistic this fantasy is.
If there was no diversity in humanity then little of what we are, what we do, and what we believe in would matter. The social order would be the only order, and therefore little more than a continual carbon copy that repeated itself over and over, perpetuating a system that was born to scorn, belittle, and possibly fear change of any type.
Diversity is what humanity thrives on.
Diversity helps humanity to grow as we accept and learn about new cultures, integrating them into the tapestry that is a shared existence. While some might call this appropriation the respect given to various cultures by observing them, learning from them, and then letting them continue as they will is a practice that allows many upon many people to gain a better understanding of the world around them and those in it while learning to accept the fact that diversity is after all the one unifying factor that allows us to be human and to revel in our differences rather than be defined by them in any negative light.
To thine own self be true, after all.
You are unique, yet you are a part of something. You are an individual, yet you are a part of something that is often seen as greater than the sum of its parts. Each and every human being in this world is different, no matter that we belong to the same race, the same ethnicity, or the same social group. We are different in many wonderful ways, and it is wise to celebrate this rather than rail against it.
If we can’t come to an agreement about our differences then our similarities will cease to matter.