Differences

colby - durham, North Carolina
Entered on May 11, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change
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Ever since I was very young, I have always enjoyed the presence of people. At school, I talked to anyone and everyone, perhaps maybe a little too much; and because I traveled constantly, I was continuously forced to interrelate with new people. Even at my home, new people flowed in and out. I grew up in a household that held multiple dinner parties a year. Besides my brother and I, nearly all of the people at these parties were in their 40’s or older; and although this was never my ideal crowd of people I always interacted, socialized and mingled with the guests. Talking to these mysterious people always, at least slightly, pushed me out of my comfort zone. However, my love for social interaction always kept me interested and even curious. This social interaction with people who were out of my element taught me things that I never could have learned in school or from non-stop reading. Besides honing my social skills, these dinner parties helped me realize the importance of people, and the importance of the differences that divide us and unite us.

I believe that people’s differences define them instead of the broad categories society uses to label them. It is true that people belonging to one race, gender or religion are often different from people belonging to another, and it is this fundamental fact of human nature that restricts human kind’s ability to accept these differences. Human nature has distilled a thought of self-grandness in most every person and in turn it has become incredibly difficult for people to accept the fact that people who look different, hold different values, and enjoy different things could possibly be as good as they are. The ignorance to the value of differences has inhibited mankind’s ability to flourish as far back as the varying Chinese dynasties all the way to now with our very own country of America. Although, America has dubbed itself “the land of the free,” it is not exempt from this pandemic.

This facet of human nature has also forced people to decrease the amount of interaction they have with other people, most specifically people outside of their comfort zone. Once people begin to step out of their comfort zone and experience news things or new people, the realization of equality will shortly follow. The change will not occur overnight, but instead it will happen gradually overtime as each person slowly adapts to these ideas of change. The thought of change or of differences do not usually spark our urge to change, instead it is on us as a race to embrace our own individual role to create change, and once that is completed, the pieces of the world around us will fall into place. As the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr once said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom…”