Differences can seem frightening. Some societies are convinced that the "different others" are dangerous and threatening. The "others" exist to disrupt or destroy your identity and, eventually, existence.
The narrative is... us versus them. And it is a powerful narrative.
Yet when you look closely, people come in all shapes. Each person has varied experiences and backgrounds. And thus, people think, feel, act, decide or behave differently from their peers. Even biological twins don't always agree with each other.
Then this begs the question... Are differences as threatening as it seems?
There is too much focus on differences that we have lost our sense of humanity. We have just as many similarities as we have differences.
We need to fix this.
One way to do this is by practising empathy. The "Just Like Me" exercise by Pema Chodron is truly inspiring and a reminder of the humanity in others.
To practice "Just Like Me", select someone in the crowd and observe them without judgement. Then, identify the similarities between you and the other. Reinforce this by saying,
Just like me, he/she/they... <insert observed similiarity>.
The world is vast and rich enough to make space for everyone to co-exist. Let's start with recognising differences, practising empathy and creating safe spaces.
Check out the articles and culturally cool stuff for this week. Of course, you can find the inspiring interview of Pema Chodron with Oprah too!
Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. We attain unity only through variety. Differences must be integrated, not annihilated, not absorbed. ~ Mary Parker Follett, American social worker, management consultant and philosopher
Much love and light,
19 Oct 2021
Colourful Or Colour Blindness? The Best Approach To Racial Issues
Are discussions on racial differences helpful? Wouldn't the emphasis on unity be better? The answer may surprise you!
28 Sep 2021
What's The Big Deal With Social Diversity?
People are different in many ways. Why is there a big fuss about it?
Culturally Cool Stuff
If you've got a site or link about culture, society, psychology, or anything culturally cool, please reply!
- Pema Chödrön: Welcoming the Unwelcome, podcast (40 min), Oprah Winfrey, Super Soul Sunday.
- Human, The Movie, movie(s), Yann Arthus-Bertrand
- The Gender Spectrum Collection, images, Vice
You can check out previously shared culturally cool stuff on our Pinterest if you've missed it.
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