Tell me you don’t notice color (skin or hair or eyes), size, gender, etc. and I’ll say you’re being disingenuous. Tell me men and women are alike, I’ll say stop being ridiculous. (And heavens, why would we want them to be?) We do notice those things and that’s fine. Differences exist, they do matter, and that’s generally good. How boring it would be if we were all the same!

Where we really need to be is the point at which those obvious differences are only some of many characteristics of that person and they don’t, as Martin Luther King said, define the content of their character. If someone asked me how they would identify a friend of a difference race, why would I not mention color as one of the characteristics? Why wouldn’t I be called white? I am (and trying to stay relatively that way in Arizona to avoid possible skin cancer!!)

Let’s stop asking for the impossible and the ridiculous and start thinking about the inward person. We won’t move past all the nonsense going on now (and no, I’m not saying everything is nonsense, so just relax) unless we spend time with people who are different in situations where we can both/all meet as just people and not members of “groups” or “parties”, but people who may have more in common than we thought and talk civilly with each other. Then perhaps we can regain some measure of sanity. It’s easy to scream, blame, call names, and cause destruction. The hard part is actually talking to and listening to people who are different. The hard part is trying to actually do things that will deal with the issues and start helping to solve the problems while realizing it won’t happen overnight.

But it will only happen if we acknowledge that differences are fine and that people are generally just people, people to be treated with civility. Let’s be radical and give it a try.

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”
― Bill Clinton

“The downfall of the attempts of governments and leaders to unite mankind is found in this- in the wrong message that we should see everyone as the same. This is the root of the failure of harmony. Because the truth is, we should not all see everyone as the same! We are not the same! We are made of different colours and we have different cultures. We are all different! But the key to this door is to look at these differences, respect these differences, learn from and about these differences, and grow in and with these differences. We are all different. We are not the same. But that’s beautiful. And that’s okay.In the quest for unity and peace, we cannot blind ourselves and expect to be all the same. Because in this, we all have an underlying belief that everyone should be the same as us at some point. We are not on a journey to become the same or to be the same. But we are on a journey to see that in all of our differences, that is what makes us beautiful as a human race, and if we are ever to grow, we ought to learn and always learn some more.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Considering differences broadens your knowledge and increases your value.”
― Jeffrey G. Duarte

Vive la différence

  1. Yes! This! I wrote a whole rant agreeing with you, but deleted it. Let me just say that, yes, we are all different just like our fingerprints. I love that! I love our differences in color, creativity, brainpower, sizes, and shapes. I am constantly exploring different cultures fashions and food, and trying them and adopting those I like and love just as they have adopted and taken from our culture what they love and like and what will help advance their lives or give joy or happiness to them and their families.

    I LOVE Thai hats, Chinese dresses, and Saris. I own them all and wear them. I eat foods from all kinds of countries across the globe. I speak a little French, and Spanish because these cultures appeal to me and I’ve been exposed to them. Both have enriched my life so much more than I can share with mere words. Yet, today, because I am a Caucasian person some who happen to be a different skin tone than I would stone me to death for wearing a Chinese dress in public or for eating food that wasn’t invented here in the USA without a conscientious thought about all they’ve gained from the inventions and culture they’ve taken from us. It makes me so sad and mad I confess. I am getting really mad about it and I do not think I am alone feeling this. I’ll be canceled for speaking my truth…but I’ll die on this hill. Cancel me! Go ahead no one will care.

    • jarilissima says:

      There is no option to like your comment, so I’ll just say bravo! I love your comment 🙂 I am only sad that you can’t be 100% you in public because it’s a bit dangerous now, tbh. I wish more people would “appropriate” (I dislike that word so much) my Spanish culture because I do miss seeing it. Haha Take care 🙂

    • Preachin’ to the choir, sister, which is why I wrote the post. The current movement has swung so far the other way that people/companies/groups are being pilloried for the most ridiculous things. People are trying to rewrite history. The people tearing down statues of people because they weren’t perfect are far from perfect themselves. There are racists of every race, not just white and surprise–no perfect people! Let him who is without sin throw the first stone (or tear down the first statue.)

  2. ledrakenoir says:

    I don’t like any kind of groups where the “ticket” is that we must be copies of each other (nor do I want others to be a copy of me). Always show the respect of others (to the extent that they do the it the other way) – treat others as you yourself would be treated. Regardless of size, religion, color, gender, and politics – we are all different (thankfully) but we are all equal. Truth always depend on where we stand, if we move a bit – our truth will change too. 🙂

  3. peggyjoan42 says:

    You expressed your feelings perfectly and I totally agree with you. We are all different and that is what makes this world interesting. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic the upheaval of hatred and violent is not necessary (it is never necessary). I was taught by my mother that people of every race were equal and I have had many African American friends, Indian friends, Oriental friends in my lifetime. I am white, but I do not feel I am superior to anyone in this world. I strive fore peace and harmony and everyone should. Your photos were perfect – God’s little creatures get along and so can mankind.

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Differences are more than fine, they make us stronger. I do notice and I try my best to look beyond the obvious with everyone.

  5. lolaWi says:

    all points true and valid! what a great post, Janet! thank you!!!

  6. jarilissima says:

    I’m Spanish and I dislike SO MUCH people telling me what I should be offended about, or what political party I “should” be. I don’t know if that’s common among anyone but minorities- the telling us what to think and do, or else we’re not “really” that race. Icky.

    I also had a very weird experience while working part-time, a white girl kept treating me like a manager when she found out I was a minority. It was… offensive. And anytime anything from my place of birth came on the news, she’d run to me to tell me. Like when you see a dog on TV and you tell your dog, “Look! Look! One of you!” She fancied herself woke, but she made me very uncomfortable…

    I really liked this post, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Same problems for blacks/African-Americans who are conservative. They’re put down, mocked, and called names by the liberals who are constantly talking about the right to do and be whatever you want. Assuming because you’re black (or Hispanic or whatever race or color) that you should be of a political party or group or anything else is overt racism.

      Your experience with the white girl is certainly weird and uncomfortable. Obviously she wasn’t comfortable with the differences. “Woke” is one of those words that makes me want to tear out my hair. 🙂

      Thanks very much for adding some excellent comments.


  7. Great post, and photos, Janet. Drake said what I was going to say. 🙂

  8. Thank you for this sensible and astute piece.
    More alike than different.
    It would be so nice if people stopped over generalizing and thinking all in one group are always this way or that. Rigid, preconceived ideas – whether well meaning or not – are ruining everything.
    Lighten up people. Learn to smile and not look to be offended at every little thing. The world is a beautiful place and so is variety – of ideas, cultures, traditions, and food…especially food HAHA
    Outstanding post

    • Thanks very much. (Yes, especially food.) The very low threshold of offense and lack of any sort of civility and listening are causing so many problems, even more than usual. People will do things in groups that they wouldn’t do by themselves and that makes an even more dangerous situation. Add to that the victim card which gets used much more than actually true and, well, here we are.

  9. restlessjo says:

    I feel very distant from this sort of strife but you present the case well, Janet. I’ve never really wanted to be the same as everybody else. But to be accepted for who I am is a wonderful thing. 🙂 🙂 Have a wonderful break from it all! God bless!

  10. Amen! I’m going to pick just one thing out here so I don’t put you to sleep, but the tearing down of the statues and wanting to rewrite history is as absurd as defunding police departments. Learning from history and retraining where needed can make us better. Tearing it down and ignoring it doesn’t do anything positive. Learning and listening is good, shouting and tearing down not so much. Thank you for writing this post because many of us have thought the same things.

    • Did you see that minority leaders in New York City are now asking to have the community police back because crime has skyrocketed so much.? What did they think was going happen? As far as history goes, there are no perfect people. Some people have done good things for the wrong reason and some good people have ended up doing things that didn’t work out so well. Not a single one of these people who is doing the rewriting and tearing down is a perfect person either. I find it incredible that despite whatever failings they had, the founding fathers did such an amazing job putting together the basis of this country. Whether or not we’ve lived up to what that blueprint says, doesn’t mean it wasn’t done correctly.