It’s been about a week since my last post and my hiatus has brought with it numerous new topics for me to discuss and an endless supply of thoughts to go with them. Here’s the latest chunk of my thought process and please comment if you have something to contribute. I welcome any discussion on the matter. As always, enjoy!
The world we live in is constantly changing from one moment to the next each and every day of our waking lives; the only consistency that we can count on is the lack of consistency. Each day we are learning more about how people and things work from the macro level to the micro. We’re gaining insight into things that up until now have been mysterious and finding progress where we least expect it. Even with the setbacks we face and the new challenges that arise with each discovery, we cannot deny the overwhelming evidence that the world we know is in a perpetual state of physical and mental evolution.
With that being said, I find myself wondering why at this stage in the game, we are still at a point where many of us find great difficulty in accepting the differences of those around us. Although I cannot deny that we have made tremendous strides toward equality and acceptance, I am still disappointed with many of the less than desirable words and actions of those around me on a daily basis.
I feel as if each day I am met with dozens of people who have negative things to say about others from differences in religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to individual style and overall physical appearance. We’re constantly bombarded with the notion that in many ways having individual differences or quirks is a bad thing; that our views on various topics or the ways we choose to present ourselves lack value when in reality these very things that set us apart are what add value to our lives.
At a young age most of us are taught that being different is not something to strive for; it is something that we must avoid in order to fit in and make friends. We’re told that our quirks or oddities are to be kept under wraps in order to make it in a world where they may not be accepted. So many of us take our various thoughts or idiosyncrasies and tuck them away; we hide parts of ourselves that could be damaging to our overall self-image. Over time the things that make us unique or special are the things that end up bringing us shame. We begin to see our differences not for the value that they may provide, but rather for the divisions that we believe they create.
When I stop to think about the overall negative impact this may have on the intellectual, social, and cultural progress that we could be making as a species, I find myself irritated with the apparent notion of it all. On a day to day basis we are learning so much about ourselves and others that it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the knowledge we gain from people of other orientations, cultures, or lifestyles provide insight into human nature as a whole. Each and every one of us has something to bring to the table be it talents, histories, or points of view. We all have parts of ourselves that add something to the lives of others; things that contribute to the world in even the smallest of ways.
To treat these differences as if they divide us is (as I have said before) to place unnecessary limitations on the upward mobility of progress; to place limitations on what can be learned and how it can be implemented to better the lives of all people instead of one particular group. By valuing differences and what each of us can contribute to the world because of these differences we can attain a new level of understanding with regards to ourselves and those around us. By embracing the strange parts of ourselves and sharing them with the world at large we can begin to see the world in a whole new light: as a place without walls; a place without limitations on thought or imagination. We can begin to see it as a place of opportunity. Only when we begin to find value in the things that make us who we are can we finally reach a point where we not only love ourselves for what we are, but what we could be if only we are willing. The potential is there and it always has been. We just have to be ready and willing to find value in ourselves and others.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry
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