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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Embracing Our Differences

One of the beauties of the human condition is though we are all different, we have so much in common. This is easily seen in our basic desires for acceptance, love, happiness, and relationships.

Though true, it has become increasingly difficult to today as we are constantly reminded, we are different while at the same time, we are told we should be unhappy with anyone who sees or treats us as if we are different.

This oxymoronic mindset is causing anger and confusion for many, which makes it almost impossible to own what we have in common.

“Embracing our differences” on the other hand provides us the opportunity to see someone how they truly are and love and appreciate them because of those differences, not despite them.

The beauty of a world filled with people of all shapes, colors and sizes is not an accident. It is intentional. Yet, somewhere along the way we have forgotten this.

Many have also forgotten what it feels like to be seen and treated as being different. Perhaps if we remembered how that feels, we would be less likely to focus on those differences and embrace them instead.

If we did, I believe our world would be better for it.

I know people who have been struggling with being seen as different all their lives. When given the opportunity, I have tried to remind them that being different is what makes them unique and that is a beautiful thing.

I submit, it is those who appear to be just like everyone else who have a real problem.

Their problem is their willingness to move in lockstep with the group. It is a problem because this mindset does not provide a place for “embracing our differences”. Yet, it is group think that seems to be determining who is different and who is not, and which differences are acceptable, and which are not.

It is fascinating to consider how someone who seeks to stand up for the disenfranchised and downtrodden can be a part of the problem, but they can because knowing someone is on the outside looking in is fine, but it is not enough.

I will close by saying, life is made up of an amazing kaleidoscope of individuals living together in this world we are blessed to be a part of. I just wonder what our world would be like if we saw our differences as a part of that beauty.

Is it possible? I suppose time will tell.

One thing I do know, if we never take the time to see someone’s differences as something special and worthwhile, we will never see what makes someone special not only to us, but in the eyes of God.

What is that you might ask? It is their differences and the only way we will ever know that is not to fear them but to embrace them with all our heart!

Philippians 2:1-2, "Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any (a)affection and compassion make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose."

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