We Are More Alike Than We Are Different
By Inez Lanns
As people, in general, we often find reasons to divide and separate ourselves from one another. We like to point out each others’ differences and focus on what divides us. We remain divided by race and ethnicity. We even go further with that and will separate based on the color of our skin – for instance, there are several shades of Latin-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and we will even separate even more within those groups. We divide amongst each other when it comes to social economic status or classism. People are divided by their religion, separated from one another through denomination, beliefs or practices.
But in reality we have more in common than we do not. Although we were individually created and possess unique qualities, we carry common characteristics and share many common goals. Although we have different color skins, we all bleed the same color blood. We have the same internal organs – 1 heart, 2 lungs, etc. For the most part, we desire for our children to be well educated, to be their best and succeed in life – whether that is educated on the streets or in the suburbs we want our children to know what they need to make it. We want to be safe and protected – we want to survive and want our offspring to survive. Whether we take action or not, we desire a lot of the same things. Although we take diverse paths, we are striving for many of the same end outcomes.
We are passionate about different things, but we all desire to have a thriving community to live and recreate in. One person’s passion may be feeding & clothing the homeless and another person’s may be youth & education. One person may be enthralled about making sure music & creative arts stay alive in our community while another is adament about stopping gang violence. Whether it is making sure people receive fair wages, fighting for health care of all, or any of the issues that plague our society, the end results of each of those things contribute to our community being a better place for everyone to live in.
Although the specificity of our goals may not be exactly the same, many times each of us can reach our final destinations a little faster if we work together, as opposed to against each other. If we can find out what we have in common and use that commonality as a connector, we will be able to work collectively and better relate to one another. Even if everyone doesn’t choose to work together, a better understanding of one another can be obtained and hopefully a sense of respect for our individual differences.
Have you ever thought to enact that which can unify instead of separate us from each other? Things that I love that cross all color lines and boundaries: Music is a universal language. Smiles go beyond color barriers. Hugs, handshakes & head nods acknowledge all people. Laughter brings joy. We don’t have to be from the same place or be heading in the same direction to share these things. Remember if we try we can always find common ground and can build from there.
Inez Lanns was born and raised in Ventura County. She currently writes a blog on her web site: www.inezknows.com.