Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's the Same Difference

    I went to bed thinking last night about a movie that I had watched as well as book that I have been reading. Anytime I do either of those things I look for characters that I can identify with. It's just kind of a habit of mine that draws me deeper into a story. In the book East of Eden John Steinback slowly and carefully describes his characters in great detail. I was so impressed with my ability to relate to so many of the characters. He really captured a gamut of emotions in such vivid detail. The themes of love, disappointment, fear, hatred and  jealousy were described in absolute detail. It's taking me time to go through the story because I keep going in my mind to actual events that I have experienced. I read about these emotions and I think..."hey that reminds me of the time when _____" .
     I drifted into dreamland thinking about how people are really more similar than different. I find this fact to be an equal combination of comforting and disappointing. It's great to feel as if you're special. Mothers devote their time telling their children just that. "You're not like the other kids there's something different about you,"  they say. As time goes on many of us come to the realization that most people aren't nearly as impressed with us as mom is. At the same time it's nice to know that you can find someone that understands how you feel and what you've been through. I remember as a child learning a scripture that said, 'There is nothing new under the sun.' As it was explained to me you or your circumstance is not nearly as novel as you would think. I think this is actually a helpful and hopeful revelation in the time of distress, and a reminder to stay humble in times of success.
     We seem to live in a day in time when every little difference is pointed out, magnified, and blown out of proportion. Too often our differences are used to cause derision and strife. Ignorance breeds fear. You have Christians vs. Muslims; Blacks vs. Whites; men vs. women; wealthy vs. poor; Democrats vs. Republicans etc...I contend that diversity can be celebrated.  Look for things that you can learn from others of a different persuasion.
     How often do you take someone else's word at face value about a group of people? Why is the basis of someone else's worth contingent upon whether or not they are exactly like us? If I take a good hard look at myself I realize how little I know and how flawed I am. That being said, should I be the standard by which all others should be measured? My goodness I hope not! Why must animosity be coupled with negative criticism when pointing out contrasts in others? When you look past most of these dissimilarities you will find that there are many more similarities that can be used to bring us together than differences that force us apart.

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