The Difference 

Look, I’m me and you are you. 

And I love thunderstorms, and flowers, and vegetables, and cider, and incense, and black clothing. 

And you? You may like sunny weather, and grass, and fruit, and beer, and candles, and bright floral prints. 

And that’s totally and absolutely okay. Because this is a gentle reminder that diversity is not only okay but necessary. 

We need different things, different opinions, different beliefs, different people. We need difference. We need it to challenge the status quo. 

What we don’t need is hate. What we don’t need is ignorance. 

What we need is different things, but we need acceptance too. 

So if there is someone different than you in your workplace, your school, or even in your family, get to know their differences before you make a final conclusion. Before you treat them the same as others you’ve met. I promise that you’ll enjoy that your world has gotten bigger because you learned something new. 

And us different people? We’ll appreciate it too. Because even though we’re different than you, we’re still human. We still love and wish and hope and dream that someone will see us for what we are: different. 

Explain Yourself

No one likes to be misunderstood. Even though every teen movie would have you believe that.

You know, it’s cool to be misunderstood in films. You’re moody and frustrated, but at least you have moody and frustrated friends. And you can always get a makeover and be everyone’s dream date to the prom in the end. You’re an outsider, but you’re fixable (after they’ve moved through enough of your plot.)

In the real world? Unexplained is the enemy of progress. We have to understand everything to do anything. And anything we don’t understand is met with fear. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unless we forget the very simple fact that everyone just loves an explanation. Everyone is always excited to understand. The human soul is a question that begs to be answered.

I mean, even as adults, we’re all little students in class again, raising our hand, hoping to be the one to put the puzzle pieces together. And how did the bullies in your class try to manipulate you? They created inside jokes that you “wouldn’t”understand. The only line drawn between children and adults were things that you understood and things that you wouldn’t until you were older.

It’s simple: everyone just wants to understand, no matter the cost. The only trick is making sure that you help someone to do just that. Because so often we don’t. We gloss over things and assume, assume, assume that someone knows what we’re talking about. Why of course you’ve kept up with every television show ever, so you know what I’m talking about. And math comes naturally to me, so you must know pi to the 150th number, and what do you mean you don’t know how to navigate a city you’ve never been to before? 

So, please take a moment to make sure the person you’re talking to understands. Instead of watching question marks pop over their head, try illuminating their light bulb.