I was reminded recently just how different people are from one another. Usually we are reminded of this when our perspective of others indicates that their grass is greener than ours. Of course we can also be reminded of this when folks do things differently than we do or live a life we would live differently.
It's because of these differences that we tend to bicker as the human race. Religion, sex, status, and equality always seem to be at the forefront of people's differences.
Would it be too simple just to agree that we are all different from one another and those differences are what will make us strong? I mean how hard is it for a gay man and a lesbian woman to get along and even enjoy each others company? Can't blacks and whites look past skin and embrace culture? Can young and old learn from one another? Of course!
I realized something about myself that I didn't like. I have only one lesbian friend and don't have a damn clue about the lesbian community within my own community. Thank God for The L Stop, an online presence for the lesbian community of Chicago; with a website launching soon.
Not only did the ladies of The L Stop greet me warmly, they taught me a lot about the do's and don'ts in the lesbian community. Yes, there are some differences, but there are also a number of similarities. The important thing is that we learn about the other! My conversations with Lisa & Vivian were so educational and I think I've made some new friends. Shouldn't it be that easy?
I think it's easy to assume a lot about people we don't know or understand. We see only the surface of a person or people group and presume that we know all we need to know to make a judgment.
When we Judge we put up the walls that we imagine are already there. This won't get us to the point of understanding someone or something; it will prevent us from it. Think of how many missed opportunities we have had simply because we judged someone. We made up our minds about something only to find out later that it wasn't the case or even worse, never to have found out at all.
I have a friend of mine who is completely opposite to one of his roommates. Everything this roommate is he is not. Or is he? With all the differences between them, surly there is something they can both relate on; a small morsel of unity, perhaps? Isn't it worth the effort? I've found the greatest relationships in life often take the greatest efforts.
Recently I was reminded that some people have a perception of me that isn't exactly true. Perhaps their assumption was based on photos or even interacting with me personally; I'm not sure. What I do know is that they don't know me. Perhaps if they opened their minds to get to know me a bit they would finds someone as equally open to get to know them. Now, that's just an example from my life, but I bet you could say the same about yours. And what about us taking the highroad and reaching out to people we don't understand? I bet we would learn from their differences and possibly even make a friend.
The best reward of that effort is a great friend! Look at any of my closest friends and you will see SO many differences. I know old, young, tall, short, straight, gay, women and men. Each one adds so much to my life and I hope I add to theirs. It would be no fun if we were all the same. With as much as I relate to my Bestfriend, there are so many ways that we differ from one another. We tend to celebrate that.
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