Sunday, 18 May 2008

Embrace The Difference

Is it something we learn as we get older? Should we teach our children from a very young age to accept other people may not always be the same as you or behave in a way that you would? I'm not talking about racism. I'm not talking about difference in race, creed or religion. Human behaviour. Good ole human behaviour.

Let's be honest, none of us our perfect. Not even close. We all make mistakes. We oftentimes like to think of ourselves as better than the person next door. What about families? Nature v. nuture. Being brought up in the same household doesn't guarantee that we will all get on. Or that we are like our siblings. Its just the way it is.

So what do we do if we are faced with people in our lives that sometimes, unintentionally, hurt us? Say insensitive things? Do insensitive things? Do things we don't agree with? How are we supposed to deal with that? I think this is seen at work more often than not in marriage. When two families are almost forced together due to two people falling in love.

I've watched it from afar and close at home. It's difficult. In the end, I honestly feel that when you don't understand the behaviour of another person, or group of people, you have to just accept them for who they are. You can't expect them to change just because you don't agree with how they behave or lead their lives. And that's difficult if you're the one that gets hurt because someone has done or said something that hurts you or those you love deeply.

Many times I've wanted to say something in that situation. To stand up and say "hey!" but I don't. Partly because of my personality - I hate, hate confrontation but also, I think, because of a wisdom inside that tells me, it won't make any difference in the long term. It just won't. I wish it would. But it wont.

So you have to embrace the difference. Accept that those people are who they are just as you are who you are. Ugh! Does that even make sense? Not good grammar or english really. Step in that person's shoes for a moment. Not in anger or frustration but in grace and mercy. See what it's like from the other side. Perhaps they think you behave in a way that's odd. Perhaps they don't agree with the way you live your life. They may not think they way you do things is right either? It works both ways.

For peace, harmony and real love, embrace the difference. Especially if its a family situation. Close family. Extended family. Dysfunctional family. It doesn't matter. We're all different. Neither is better than the other. Sometimes, it's just different.

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