Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A shared difference

We are all different yet we are all the same

Some people flee from this contradiction and only see difference; disability, skin colour or gender etc are seen as markers separating humanity into convenient, easily defined groups. Yet such definitions are selective and shallow. They miss the shared depth literally born from the way all of us were thrown into the world; embryonic development prior to our birth formed the same structures in our bodies; this is what makes us all the same. Each instance of this process is unique as it occupies a separate position in the world and as such the person thrown into the world will have different experiences of the world; this is why we are all different.

There is something we were thrown into the world with that links our similarities and differences: Empathy for myself and other people. Empathy discovers who we are in our uniqueness and what we share with others. We can appreciate and celebrate our individuality and also the individuality of other people; we share the same ability to be ourselves even though we are different.

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