9/20/21: Our Differences Are What Makes Us ALL the Same

You’d wish that they’d teach a course on this in school…but I digress: we are the SAME in that we ALL are different. Sounds paradoxical but it’s true.

We all have differences that make us unique…it’s just that some of those differences are more visible than others. And so when we’re younger & in school, where there’s a culture of wanting to “fit in,” we think that our differences make us weird, or “less than,” so we hide them best we can.

But what makes us different, makes us special. Variety is the spice of life, literally. That’s not just a cliche.

Some real world examples: one of my friends I sadly lost early on, was a kid I got to work with, when I volunteered for the Hospital for Special Surgery. Our volunteer group worked w kids who were born with musculoskeletal deformities.

Scott (or “Bubba”)…was born with no arms, under developed legs, & learned to drive himself around in his electric wheelchair, using his foot/toes on the controller. We once went to a basketball court together & he showed me how he could kick the ball up to his knee…lean it between his knee & chin, drop it back down to his foot, kick it back up, & score a basket.

Bubba had a “difference” that you couldn’t help but see…I think because it was so visible that it couldn’t be ignored, by the time I met him at 16, he OWNED his difference. He didn’t think of it as weird or worthless. He knew he had a gift he could share w the world: a gift of overcoming.

And yet for some of us, our differences aren’t nearly as noticeable or pronounced. Maybe it’s a quirk in the way our brains think. Maybe we’re overly analytical, & in school that made us uncomfortable bc we wanted to ask so many questions in certain classes, but feared what other students might think, raising our hand so often.

But now, as adults, we can use those overly-analytical brains to detect problems before they arise…or to notice trends & make tweaks for success before others might.

No two humans are the same, & yet those differences are what make us ALL the same. Look out for each other’s differences & applaud them. Sense yours & embrace them. They are what make you special & a gift to this world.

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