Dietitian’s say “variety is the spice of life” which is very true and, I guess, could be applicable to some things in life. Like human beings, our uniqueness and our individuality. How boring life would be if we were all the same!
Differences, human variability, uniqueness and singularity are beautiful things and we need them! This is one of the things I’ve come to learn, along with the knowledge that it’s important to be open-minded, to not judge and to accept and respect differences. (This is also why I love “Harmony Day“.)
But understanding this didn’t come from something that randomly popped up in my mind. I learnt this from my elders, from my family, from my friends, from you guys at 1000 Awesome Things and 1000 Awesome Friends and from personal life-experiences. So it’s been incredibly inspiring and beautiful to see an increase in people appreciating and accepting the uniqueness of others.
Not to mention those advocating for equality, for the world to accept people’s differences and to remove judgement of people’s differences. These advocates are positively changing the way others think about people – especially the youth of today who are beginning to recognise why those in history fought for acceptance. They fought for our right to live equally and our right to experience everything Mother Earth gives us. We are all human and we are all human beings just wanting to “be”.
Sadly, there are some major battles still happening today, but we’re getting there. Slowly, but surely.
However, what’s amazing is that to just accept someone, to treat someone equally, to continue this notion of embracing, accepting, respecting and celebrating human differences for the better doesn’t need to be done in a very big way. To fight for it, you don’t actually have to physically fight as your inner-strength, words, heart, soul and intelligence will be your advantage and defence in overcoming this particular kind of negativity, ignorance and poor judgement. (In fact, I think “fight” is the wrong word altogether.)
The moment you show acceptance towards someone is the moment a sense of belonging, happiness and positivity occurs inside a person – and you will evidently see that when it happens. Kind of like when you ask to sit with peers at school on a lunch break and the group says yes! It feels good and this goodness can spread! We can even create a domino effect that spreads through to other people who witness the good things happening too.
I’ve witnessed people change another person’s perspective and that other person was just a passer-by. Like the time a man was sitting down near the bus stop and he was eager to get home to his family. Unfortunately he lost his wallet and he needed a few coins, but no one would give him the time of day. It made him angry and he yelled “I have a house you know!” at someone who insulted him, which made people scared and it was evident the negativity had spread. He was rejected again and again with looks and words telling him he didn’t belong in this world. It didn’t help that he sat with his friends, all homeless with racial backgrounds that the majority of society looks down upon. Nor did it help that his clothes were worn and his face was sunken in with the worries of the world – and this shouldn’t make people turn away. But I guess acceptance and equality is a hard thing to grasp for some… Don’t get me wrong – it’s important to be wary and make good judgements, but it’s also important to recognise a person in genuine need…
Thankfully a fellow did stop and asked if they could help, gave the guy $5, they shook hands and the kind fellow went on his way. This single act of kindness turned heads, I saw people, both those who had witnessed what was happening and who just arrived at the spot – smile.. at the man AND at each other! Not just that, I saw someone walk across the street and sit beside this guy and they had a chat about life and struggles and so on. A perfect example of how the small things that seem insignificant can make a larger, positive impact.
Think about the wise words of Grandmother Willow and the ripple effect Grandmother Willow shows us in Pocahontas (remember that?)…
Grandmother Willow: Now then, there’s something I want to show you. Look.
[dips her vine in the water in which glowing ripples begin to form]
Pocahontas: The ripples.
John Smith: What about them?
Grandmother Willow: So small at first, then look how they grow. But someone has to start them. Source IMDB
Folks, we have the ability to create a sense of belonging for those that wish to spread this positivity, that acknowledge the significance of accepting others and that embrace differences and individuality.
We have the ability to bring togetherness and equality into our communities and society.
We have the ability to bring out the best in people and ourselves through accepting and respecting each other and our differences.
We are all unique and we are all beautiful.
This beauty and this ability to create something good in others is contained in each and every one of us. This, my friends, truly is the essence of…