Sunday, August 4, 2013

Likeness is normal

Last week I wrote a blog post called Difference is normal. I wrote it because it seems to me that we are all different from each other in so many ways, and even though being different is normal, we hold each other at arms length because of perceived differences. I was thinking that if we could accept that difference is normal, that maybe we could get on with accepting each other, just as we are, and celebrate those differences as being something that strengthen us as a community. I was thinking that it would be great if realising we all have our differences meant we could accept that difference is normal and maybe have more empathy for other peoples differences. 

I've been doing some more thinking. And it seems to me that we are all alike in one way or another. And I was thinking that it is just as important to realise we are all similar as it is to realise we are all different. 

I was thinking about it after I wrote last weeks post. Then I read a post called Not Different by Brenda from Mama Be Good. After pointing out that her Autistic son needs the same things as any other child-  "..... to play, to have fun, and to feel good about himself.... connection, guidance, and people who get him..." Brenda closes her article by saying "Autism does not equal Different". She is right.

In our difference, there is always similarity. 

You might think this is a contradiction in terms. Let's think about it together.

We may all jump differently, but we are all still jumping.
Photo credit Mell Mallin Photography

I have blue eyes, you have brown eyes. We both have eyes.

I have short hair, you have long hair. We both have hair.

I like chocolate, you like ice-cream. We both like sweet food.

I am interested in psychology, you are interested in mathematics. We both have interests.

I live in Australia, you live in England. We both belong somewhere.

I get worked up about rights for disabled people, you get worked up about dangerous workplace conditions. We are both concerned about justice.

My Son and Daughter are Autistic. My Husband and Daughter are Bipolar. I am neither. We are all people just trying to get along in this world and do our best with what we have, challenges and all. 

Let's recognise our differences. Let's accept them as being normal. Then let's look for our likenesses. They are there. Let's find them and talk about them. Let's focus on ways we can relate to each other instead of looking for excuses to drive wedges between us. 

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