Difference

It’s interesting to me how hard it is for people to deal with difference. Even in a broad, multicultural and diverse society like Canada, we still seem to struggle with basic differences. There’s the age-old battle between men and women, certainly. But even more subtle differences like, introvert vs. extrovert; left-handed vs. right-handed; morning person vs. night person. It seems we can’t be content to let people be different.

As a person who is pretty differently-wired (I fall into the minority introverted, left-handed, morning person, homosexual camps), I find it pretty exhausting. I find I have to defend myself from extroverts who seem to think being quiet is a personality flaw, or from night people who think that being a morning person is just another word for being boring.  I wonder why, with so many fundamental differences wired into us, human societies have such a hard time — after all these thousands of years — dealing with them and appreciating them. It’s only been fifty years since left-handed people stopped being ‘corrected’ in schools!

What is the root of this? Why is ‘different’ so often interpreted as ‘wrong’? Why do we feel the need to create others in our own image and likeness? Is it fear? Is it insecurity? Is it just an inability to look beyond ourselves?

I guess for me — and perhaps it’s easier for me to think this way because I am the minority in so many ways (aside from being a white male, of course) — these differences strengthen us as a society. The constant battles seem silly and counterproductive.

Anyway, no point to hammer home. Just some thoughts.

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