I have to admit I almost laughed when I read today’s prompt. I’ve never been normal, never thought I was normal, and never wanted to be normal. I’ve always reveled in being different from the people around me. I like standing out from the crowd, I like being unique. However, as I grew up and saw how easily most people assimilated into society I sometimes wished that I wasn’t so different and that I could blend in more. It took awhile to relearn that though my beautiful was different it was still beautiful.
I am different in so many ways: I was homeschooled and loved it; I am taller than most everyone around me(I finally met a woman who makes me feel short this year, it’s strange for me to now be the short one in my social group); I like classical music and folk music but not much of anything current. I’m a Christian who believes in personal relationships with God, but I’m all about the love and not the judgement. I’m a citified country girl who can’t get enough of both locations. Growing up we were raised to be too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals and that’s pretty close to how I am today.
And yet, does any of this on it’s own make me different? Lots of people were homeschooled, there are many people taller than me, I’m not the only musician with strange tastes, etc. Or is it all of it together that makes me different? Is it just from my viewpoint that I’m different? I think that if we look for differences, then that is what we’ll find. The things that set us apart and make us stand out. There’s nothing wrong with being different and being proud of standing apart.
Until we let those differences divide us. I believe that embracing and accepting our own differences helps us to accept the differences of others. In that case, relishing our differences is good. But if we hold tightly to our differences and begrudge others their’s, that is where we have problems. We have to allow each person to be their own kind of different to color the world in more vivid shades.
Never mistake acceptance of other’s differences for tolerating them. We accept those we love and tolerate those we hate. We don’t have to approve of or like other’s differences to accept them and love them for their differences.
Our differences, be they in looks, religious beliefs, political stances, tastes in fashion, music, and food, they all make us uniquely who we are. They make us all beautiful. That is certainly worth celebrating.