“It would be much easier if everyone was just like me!” I wonder if you’ve ever thought that? If you have then, chances are, it was in a moment of frustration where someone just didn’t get what you were trying to do or when you realised that not everyone sees the world the way you do.
I guess there are two broad responses to difference. Either we celebrate that we’re not all the same or we don’t! Sometimes it’s hard to see from the perspective of someone else. Sometimes, we occupy entrenched positions where it’s ‘our way or the highway!’ What does it really look like to celebrate and embrace the differences we find in each other’s way of being, doing and thinking? It’s easy to be suspicious of those we don’t ‘get’ and to make up a story in our heads as to what they are like. Sometimes, our suspicion of them because of the differences we perceive turns into fear. That fear can then manifest as, at best offering the ‘cold shoulder’ or, possibly at worst, overt discrimination.
There is great value in every human being simply because we are made in the image of the One who crafted us. Regardless of how that is ‘packaged’, there is great value. Someone once said that it takes no skill to pick faults with another because we are different but it takes great skill to call out the gold, even in the differences which rub us up the wrong way.
Where, this week, can you celebrate difference and call out the gold in someone who is not like you and who you struggle to ‘get’?