We’re hearing a lot of news about inequality of all kinds, but the most hurtful in my opinion is when someone questions YOU at first sight. Lack of time has turned us into appearance surfers. We judge on the outer look while rarely delving below the surface, unless we see a benefit to do so. And yet, so many of us don’t seem to think that there is anything wrong with how we live. Seriously?!!!!
Take a look at this and figure out how you’d use this little chart, which shows a small spectrum of people out there in our world:
What do you think your answer would be? It probably depends on your life experiences, as well as what’s most important when you make judgment calls during a first meeting. But the one thing that we can all say is that we’re taught to question anything that is different from the norms we’ve been taught throughout our lives. Did you figure out how you’d mark up the matrix?
We’ll all have different answers because we’re all different. And I think that your answer will say quite a bit about you. If you’re like me, and you never fit in with anything, then you’ll be used to seeing a check mark next to you. You’ve probably filled out “Other” in all of those annoying questionnaires that have turned so many into questions. If you’ve ever had to answer the question, “What are you?”, then you’ve probably gotten creative with your responses. I know that I have!
This isn’t a question about race, gender, or any other category unless you want it to be. It’s not about labels, because they are so unimaginative. I refuse to be reduced to one word or sentence so that someone else can avoid an iota of inconvenience. Life is all about inconvenience because that is how we grow and learn. You seriously need to look below the surface in order to find the truth of what you’re looking at. Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t surf through life without plunging into the deep end.
Why do we continue to work with the lowest common denominator without realizing that the equation for a good life requires all of its components? Life’s complexity shows that every existence counts, though we may not always see its importance until it’s been removed. We’re the sum of not only our own experiences, but also our teachings. It would be impossible to discount any of it, because they form the foundation of who we are. But who we are won’t dictate who we become. That is up to what we’re willing to learn, accept, and build upon. How limited do you want your dreams to be?
So, here’s my answer: All of those who have a mouth and use it. It’s not always going to be a good conversation, but at least it is starting a conversation. If you disagree with someone, then you’ll be able to ask them questions and try to see things from a perspective different from yours. And hopefully they’ll also be open to see things from your point of view and respect the difference. All of those painful topics like inequality won’t get solved until we start to have honest conversations. Until the ugly is confronted, we’ll never be able to create beauty that we can all appreciate. Difference is what makes life more interesting…especially when it leads to creative solutions that will replace the norm with something much better for us all. Our fragile little planet requires that we take this much more seriously than we currently do.