Back in the day When I was a kid my parents were working and the family time would always be around the food table. It would be the time We share what happened with us through the day. Tell some jokes and brag about acing exams or getting a compliment from a teacher.
My parents workplaces were far and they would come late, our lunch time was different from everyone else in the neighborhood.
Whenever one of my siblings or I ask for something and my father said no, his answer to our why would be ” because we are different!”
Growing up with hearing “I am different” always, drove me to seek a better understanding of the meaning of “being different”
I kept thinking of whether I am different or other people are different. I preoccupied about how do we label other people as “different! and when I asked about the criteria for “labeling”, the answers were like “why do you even think of that?”
In school we learnt that we are “all” the same!
But my family tells me I am not!
“We all speak the same language, we all have the same color, we all have the same beliefs! we are the same and we love each other for it” people would tell me
having different perspectives and thoughts as a kid got me in some troubles resulted in me selectively socialize and talk with others. I didn’t want to be criticized all the time after all. I never got away with my thoughts even though I never sought an agreement. I was merely expressing my ideas. My very different ideas! And I was always criminalized for them.
When I saw people getting all defensive and angry. I would smile and stop talking. Sometimes I laughed at how intolerant people could be toward different opinions. About how much beauty they are unable to see by looking at the details in the big picture.
I kept reaching out for the people who are labeled as different. I was curious to know their stories, their thoughts their struggles against “the same!”
I thought that all the “different” people are the same! But they were not at all. even the “same” people weren’t all the same. After years of thinking about it. I found that “the same” is but a myth created by the inability and unwillingness of learning to be tolerant.
And if we are all different, doesn’t that make us all the same (in being different)?
It was until last December, when I emailed my love and wishes to my Jewish friend on Hanukah, my Muslims friend on the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) birth day and finally to my Christian friends on Christmas, when I realized how much I embrace and appreciate who are “generally different”.
Did I messed up with your mind? Good, you I’ll learn to be more patient and tolerant while you untangle your ideas.
The same letter doesn’t make up a word. Also the same people doesn’t make a beautiful world.
It’s not about being different nor the same as much as it is about embracing ourselves and being at peace with oneself. If we are comfortable enough in our skins, we would not mind differences and we will stand together as an orchestra to play together the same song.
Peace will be achieved through tolerance, learning to be different and embracing differences. Making room for others allowing them to be different, allowing them to practice their beliefs and be themselves.
It’s pretty simple. Tolerance will lead us to embrace diversity and to live in harmony which will result into peace and peace will result in more tolerance. It’s a circle, a kaleidoscope circle.