How boring it would be if everybody in the world were the same.
Yet, how difficult it is for people to respect and appreciate those differences. Instead, we become impatient with others’ differences, letting them know how wrong they are for not acting or being the way we think they should be.
“Why can’t you be more like …..”
“How many times do I need to tell you to ……”
“You better change the way you …….”
Yup, it’s tough for us to accept differences in people. Amazingly, we actually do better with plants and pets.
We purchase several plants from a nursery and are grateful for the advice we receive about how to make each plant thrive. “Roses require an abundance of sun while begonias need only low light.”
We accept that our pets are not made from the same mold. We don’t expect a German Shepherd to be like a Maltese nor do we expect a cat to act like a dog. We expect them to be who they are, not whom we wish them to be.
Everyone shines in the right environment. And everyone pales in the wrong one. So, ask yourself what makes this person you love flourish? Is their environment allowing them to shine? Or, do they have to wear a carefully constructed mask to pretend they’re someone they’re not?
Sometimes,small changes are enough to help people move from failing to flourishing.
It could be someone who appreciates you and accepts you, flaws and all. (What a gift if it’s a fellow human being! Too often, however, it’s only our pets who accept us as we are, not as they wish us to be.)
It could be a room of your own. (A studio could be your sanctuary, where you sparkle and shine).
It could be a community of people with whom you are able to be you, without apology. (I’m gay, proud of it and comfortable with those who accept me the way I am!)
It could be a social environment where people show their respect for your differences by saying things like, “I don’t always agree with you but I’m always interested in knowing what you think.”
Oh yes, wouldn’t it be lovely if we could be intrigued by others’ differences instead of trying to work so hard to make them over in our own image!
“Like the herd animals we are, we sniff warily at the strange one among us.”
— Loren Eisely