Thinking Differently
December 21, 2021
Alexandra Wade

‘Birds of a feather, flock together’. We tend to find ourselves surrounded by like-minded people. Usually, we intentionally seek this out. It’s completely normal, and it makes sense. It’s much easier to make conversation with people that have common interests; we have more things to talk about. It’s easier to connect with people who enjoy doing similar things to us, it provides us a way to bond with one another. And sometimes, it’s simply down to people who have the same sense of humor as us. After all, laughter is the best medicine, and nothing brings people together more than laughing over the same silly things.

 

How we treat people who are similar to us is one thing, the question arises with how we treat people who are different from us. I don’t mean just in appearances or cultural differences, but when we come across people with a different opinion or ideology. Often when this happens, we immediately judge every other element of that person’s life based on our one disagreement with them. The minute something doesn’t fit our expectations, we have a tendency to disregard someone because they think differently.

 

Group of friends having fun

Getty Images/DigitalVision/Flashpop

 

I remember once reading an amazing (paraphrased) quote “we all so readily accept that we look different, that our faces are different from one another, each one unique. So why is it so hard for us to accept that behind those faces, our thoughts and opinions are unique?” This really stuck with me. With so much science telling us how unique we all are, with our DNA and fingerprints to prove it. Yet what we cannot see, what goes on inside, it’s more difficult for us to accept.

 

A Group Of Friends Embrace, Excited To See Each Other At Barbecue Meetup

Getty Images/DigitalVision/Hinterhaus Productions

 

Since then I have really tried to accept other people’s differences, even when sometimes I wholeheartedly disagree with the way they do things. I remind myself, this person looks completely different to me, and I accept that without trying to change them. So too, I am trying to accept that they can think differently to me, without trying to change them into my way of thinking. Just like it would be absurd to try and make them look like me.

 

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