Thank You for the Commonalities that Make Us Different from One Another

We all have an I and every I has a view.

My friends and loved ones come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, ages, orientations, and socioeconomic circumstances. Some, I have known and loved for decades.

When we first meet new people, we often look for the commonalities between us. We are delighted with those conversations that include “You? Me too!” or “Oh my God, I do the same thing when that happens!” or “I have the very same reaction to Armadillos!” or “My mother is a Gemini too!” or “Yeah, I don’t like zucchini or squid either.” or “No, really? I used to be in a cult too!”

After the initial conversation that binds us to one another with our commonalities and the perfect mirror of our own beings, we begin to explore the real reasons we are interested in the new potential friend.

We look into the differences between us.

We start noticing things about that person that are antithetical to our own beliefs, our own clan, our own image of what we think we are. We stop looking at them as a mirror of our own image and start looking at them as someone who can teach us something new or show us something we have not seen before.

This stage can be the best part of becoming friends. It can also be the part that keeps us from becoming friends—if we are too stuck on the mirror of ourselves to be receptive to life beyond the four corners of I .

Some of the people I love the most are very different from me. I respect, and even adore some of those differences. They are the fodder that inspires me to explore new ideas and concepts in my life. Those differences contribute to my own evolution.

Integrating the differences can be awkward, but the process usually broadens my view from (and of) the limited four corners of I.

If we all associated with people just like us, trusted only those who looked like us, shared ideas with people who only knew what we already knew, or talked to folks who agreed with everything we said, we would eventually become so trapped that we would have to dismantle the lonely house of mirrors and accidentally put somebody’s I out!

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~ by leakelley on August 21, 2013.

5 Responses to “Thank You for the Commonalities that Make Us Different from One Another”

  1. I came over here courtesy of a recommendation from Stop and Wander. I am quite sure I’ll wander back over soon.

  2. “Human diversity is actually interesting enough to keep me awake.” (Dalton Quistberg)

  3. Yes, like Mr. Rochester before me, I am a friend of the Amurin. Thank you for this post and the others I’ve had a chance to read.

    You’re right though. Even though we like people who are like ourselves, it’s their differences that make our friends interesting. I don’t think I would like someone exactly like myself. I mean, I have me 24/7. I really don’t need another one.

  4. I followed the same path as David (thank you Amuirin) and having just spent a weekend with some very wonderful women who have been my original online family for 13 years now, I can say that I agree with everything you wrote 100%. I’ve always been drawn to people different from me. Perhaps that is why this very unimaginative accountant loves to read blogs be some fabulously creative folks like Amuirin. They push my brain waves in a different direction and spark creative juices that I thought I simply did not have.
    Lovely to meet you and I really really love your banner art.

  5. That was great Lea! Yesterday was Great, as is today. I am so happy all the commonality jargon was flowing through your head when we spoke, it tied in so well and complimentary to my life at this time, how wonderous it all is! I will talk to you soon.
    -Austin

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