The classic point of view is that, at our core, we are all the same. We hurt, feel, and love just like everyone else. We identify with groups, brands, businesses, and sports teams to show that we are one and the same as others.
Yet daily, people surprise us. They didn’t respond the way you thought they would. Something they said did not make sense. They handled a situation differently than you would have. After reading our confidentiality policy they spoke to others in detail about things that were not to be shared.
The confusing part of being human is just that. While we think we are the same, we are different at the same time. We bond with others through things we have in common and build walls between us when we are sensitive to the ways we are different.
Most times, I find that the differences between us and others bother us and we become insensitive and unwilling to build bridges to overcome them. A very close friend of mine, who is a priest, has shared with me that “to truly love, you must love until insanity.”
Sadly, we give up long before the insanity of trying over and over to build bridges between us when someone constantly disappoints us. Candidly, it is easier to walk away and move on.
The internet has made us more sensitive to the fact that we are different. That we like different things and care about different causes. Where it’s ok to go down a path less traveled and to celebrate the ways we are different.
The confusing part of being human is contained within the challenge of searching for the common in those around us while accepting and enjoying the differences that each of us brings to the tapestry we call life.
It’s hard to accept and enjoy the differences in others. Being able to surround ourselves with those who are not like us can be so beneficial to us in learning more, being more creative, and helping us center our perspectives. It’s much easier to only be around people that are like us.
The challenge and confusion of being human is first understanding that we are both common and different throughout our day. Just like everyone else. And then figuring out our next steps once we more clearly embrace the differences we see in those around us.