Cel­e­brat­ing dif­fer­ences

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - GwenRan­dall-Young

Built into our cul­ture is a nat­u­ral ten­dency to com­pare our­selves with oth­ers.

From the time a child starts first grade, he or she be­comes aware of sub­tle, or not-so-sub­tle eval­u­a­tions and place­ments. Whether the teacher is show­ing an ex­am­ple of “good work,” or the peck­ing or­der is be­ing es­tab­lished on the play­ground, each child has a sense of where he or she stands in re­la­tion to oth­ers.

As we grow up in a so­ci­ety that fosters con­sumerism, the goal of ad­ver­tis­ing is to make us feel like we need more - that what we have, or where we are in life, is not good enough.

Fur­ther, with me­dia fo­cus on un­re­al­is­tic stan­dards of style and beauty, it is easy to feel on the “out­side.” This is the com­plete op­po­site of how it should be.

Ev­ery in­di­vid­ual is unique, and in that unique­ness is some­thing rare and spe­cial. Other than snowflakes, I can­not think of as­pects of na­ture that are truly one-of-a-kind. Some­thing won­der­ful hap­pens when we cel­e­brate what is “dif­fer­ent” about each of us. It is the dif­fer­ences that de­fine us, and dif­fer­en­ti­ate us from all oth­ers.

Think of the peo­ple in your life, and what you like about them. My guess is you will find it is some­thing that is dif­fer­ent from any­one else. Think of what is dif­fer­ent about you. Con­sider cel­e­brat­ing that as­pect of your be­ing or even find­ing more ways to ex­press it. If the cre­ator in­tended us to be the same, there would have been no need for so many dif­fer­ent molds.

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