Why We Need To Focus On Our Similarities Rather Than Differences

by Briana Bell

New York is a microcosm of a diverse and harmonious community. There are millions of people who reign from different countries, speak different languages and have different skin tones. This is what life is supposed to be — living harmoniously with everyone.

Such a simplistic concept is so beautiful and multifaceted, but too complex for some to comprehend.

We find it easier to outcast and ostracize groups of people before we decide to love them for who they are and for their differences. We are all the same; we are human; we have skin, lungs, feet, hands and teeth. So, what makes us so different?

We have far more similarities than differences, and all too often, we focus more on the things that are different. If we come with the mindset of love and objectivity, we will finally begin to see people for who they truly are and not their labels, exterior appearances or first impressions.

We try to analyze people before they even open their mouths to speak. Does this seem like an accurate way to unveil a person's true essence and personality? We do not give ourselves enough credit as humans.

We are multifaceted beings who don't belong to a single category. We are so diverse and under constant change with the ebb and flow of life that it is nearly impossible to be one concrete thing, cast in one category indefinitely. So, why do we do this?

It's our way to make sense of someone who is different and place him or her into a category. It's our way to make sense of something about which we have absolutely no clue. The accuracy of our initial thoughts is most likely not always correct.

Just by looking at a person, how can we see into his or her mind and his or her innermost thoughts to see his or her true essence, passions, flaws or apprehensions? We can't, which is why we settle by judging the person's exterior appearances.

Unfortunately, this is inevitable, but the first step to eliminate this problem is to recognize that we all do this. Then, when we look at a person who is different, we will recognize that we label people from our first look.

Then, we must disregard those initial thoughts and form our own by initiating conversation with the person to see who he or she truly is — apart from the exterior.

We are all human; we all need to eat food and drink water. We need to use the bathroom, and we need air to breathe.

We have all the same organs and emotions, so what exactly makes us so different that certain groups of people are disenfranchised, dehumanized and degraded based on the fact that they hold small differences from another population? Is this the right thing to do?

Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who's confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now. ― Joss Whedon

We need to accept everyone for their differences because, in the big picture, these differences are small particles in a massive landscape. Anatomically, we are perfect matches of the same species that have all of the same emotions and the ability to feel pain and joy.

To remedy the negativity, let us focus more on our similarities than differences so we can live more harmoniously on this planet. People are different, which isn't good or bad, despite the fact that many people believe it to be.

It is simply just “different.” So, hold off those biases and negative thoughts that are probably not even your own, and once again, think for yourself. See a person for who he or she is, regardless of the exterior because assumptions may, more often than not, lead to disappointment and falsified information.

Get to know people without labels or stereotypes because those things only trap people and place them in categories. Imagine if someone labeled you as one thing and never tried to talk to you to see who you really are as a person. It hurts, and it seriously sucks. It robs you of the chance to voice your thoughts and feelings.

People are so much alike that it stuns me. Numerous people share the thoughts I think and the feelings I feel. My wants, desires and passions resonate with others, as their thoughts and passions do with me.

We all want love and happiness; it's what connects us all because virtually every human being desires this on some level.

When we see others as being similar to us, they offer more human value than if we see them as inherently different. This could eliminate the past, present and potential dehumanizing of people based on their diminutive differences.

My final thoughts are that we are more alike than you probably realize. We are all connected, and we can all live in harmony with one another because we are all the same, regardless of tiny differences we possess.

We are human; the person next to you is human, too. See it as such, and we will all live in a better world.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It