We seem to make judgements about people's actions or beliefs based on minimal information. Are we scared of finding out more? We jump to conclusions; allow ourselves to be influenced by public opinion or gossip; make up stuff that seems to it. All rather than take pains to form an informed opinion of our own. We are quick to dismiss other people's views, without finding out why they think that way. Perhaps it's because it's safer to stay within our own prejudices.
One of the podcasts that I regularly listen to touched upon this earlier this week, when talking about our experiences using motor vehicles. Comedian George Carlin made the following observation in one of his stage shows: “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” It's true. Because we're safely cocooned in our cars, the other drivers are fair game. We hardly ever relate to the drivers concerned personally. So the 'maniac driver' who we will never meet face-to-face is a safe target (perhaps that's why we have such a problem with road rage - we're so used to - and even enjoy - being angry at other road users that we can't control it on those occasions when do meet up).
We do all have something in common. That big blue marble that we live on. We share this planet with so many different types of people. Some are markedly different from us; some are the same. We can easily identify with those who are the same as us. We find it tougher to find common ground when all when can see is a barrier rather than an opportunity.
The truth is - we are all unique. You and I. Everyone is different, and there is no one on this Earth who is quite like you. Someone could find you so different, that it could make them uncomfortable, even scare them. Could that explain why other people behave differently?
We all need to embrace diversity. Step out of our comfort zone. That's the way we can grow.
Star Trek fans have a simple way of summarising this into one symbol. The Vulcan IDIC (pictured above).
Infinite Diversity, in Infinite Combinations.
Let's rejoice in our differences. Be glad that we are not all the same. Learn from each other, not criticise.
Make this world a better place. Dare to be different.