She opens WordPress and hesitates. Uncertain of her goals, she strives to get her bearings with the new blog. She knows it may not happen today or tomorrow, but eventually she will triumph. For now, she reaches into the past…

What if we were all the same? How boring would our lives be? There would be nothing to learn, no new ideas, no change.

While it’s hard for most of us not to fear the unknown, for just one moment, imagine life without it. What if you knew the experiences and thoughts of everyone around you simply because they were the same as your own?

Homogenization is great for milk, but for you and me? Not so much.

Respecting our differences doesn’t mean letting go of our convictions. It means learning that someone else doesn’t need to be wrong so we can be right.

The current trend toward cultivating differences by drawing inward and keeping close to those we perceive to be like ourselves terrifies me. It’s dangerous, insular, and divisive, as bad and in some ways worse than suppressing our differences. It is the perfect recipe for learning to fear others even as they learn to fear us.

We must find a way to hold fast to who we are and where we come from, while appreciating and learning from those whose life experiences are unlike our own. Differences should be embraced, not judged wrong or feared. There is no better than, only different from.

The one thing we all share is our humanity. That should be where we start.

The Dolomites: for no other reason than it’s a pretty picture and I wish I were in Italy right now. (Fall 2011)