No Two of Us Alike
I have always been amazed at the differences between children–especially those from the same family. After all, each of them had approximately the same opportunities, the same moral teachings, and all were treated more or less equally. I have three grandchildren who are all about the same age but couldn’t be more different. Each is blessed with loving and caring parents who do their best to teach the differences between right and wrong. Still, all of the grands are very different. As we all know, children aren’t widgets that we can stamp out of a factory to make them look and act alike. There’s a good lesson in all of this if you are willing to pay attention.
No Two Things are Ever The Same–Ever
In the realm of mystical teachings, we learn that no two things in the universe are exactly the same even though all of them come from the same universal “All there is” consciousness. Though we find similarities between humans, no two souls are exactly the same. This is something worthy of remembering in this day where conformity is expected of all.
Further, the Great Creator appears to have made us all so that IT could have a better view if ITself from different vantage points. It is like when we are shown a photo album of us when we were in our childhood, early adulthood, and other various stages of life. When we reflect on those pictures, we realize that we were very different beings than what we are today.
We live in contradictory times. On the one hand, we encourage people to celebrate their differences. We love our autonomy and want the opportunity to do things our way. On the other hand, we find that people are quick to blame, shame, judge, and criticize almost everybody and everything when they discover their differences. Political parties require lockstep uniformity and punish those who don’t do as they are told. Schools are increasingly intolerant of dissident viewpoints on history, science, diversity, and so forth.
Religions can be the most intolerant of all. This is especially sad when one considers that people are drawn to religions in their hour of need only to discover that most will have nothing to do with them if they won’t believe and practices their teachings.
Let’s Be Practical
The only truth I know is that every person I have ever met is different than me–some in minor ways and some in almost every way I can think of. Practically speaking, I can rage against the tides as I encounter these differences, or I can learn to accept and appreciate them. It’s my choice. Further, I can learn to embrace people for who they are and how they assemble this crazy thing we call life.
These days, I’m more comfortable being in my own skin. I don’t need others to validate what I think and do–though it is nice when it happens. I have discovered that since we are all made differently, conformity is a counterproductive commodity that needs to go. Still, that doesn’t keep many well meaning people from trying to force their beliefs on us.
Intolerance Doesn’t Work.
Even though I’m in a different place nowadays, I understand the desire for conformity. After all, I spent too many years trying to conform people to my ways of thinking and doing things instead of celebrating what makes each of us who we are. I know what it is like to try and get others to accept my religion, my philosophies of life, my understandings of politics, and my beliefs about what is good, bad, right, and wrong. Looking back, I suppose I have more respect for those who resisted these attempts than those who accepted without question or perhaps tried to appease me. We need to be who we are. We need to give others the right to be who they are.
Remain Open to Life
In the end, openness is one’s willingness to hold to their beliefs while allowing everyone else the freedom to do the same. When I find others around me demanding uniformity of thought, I just leave them be. I know who I am and what I think. I’m comfortable with that–and I’m not looking for anyone’s approval. At the same time, I’m doing my best to remain open to new ideas and possibilities. These days, I am open to a new world where we celebrate all of us–different though we may be. Further, I’m continuing to explore and celebrate my differences too. After all, there is no one just like me–never was and never will be.