Despite what you have read, heard, been told or decided for yourself we are not all the same. We are different, very different and in some ways those differences are large and obvious and in others they are so small you might never see them.
No doubt you’ve heard we’re genetically similar to apes, to cats, mice and lots more besides. You might even have come across the fun fact that we are genetically similar to bananas. This is both true and not true, depending on how you phrase it.
Genetically we have much in common, in terms of DNA, not so much. This is besides the point though, since I’m not referring to the medical differences between us and our fellow organisms.
In this particular instance, I’m all about the people – and the fact that we have our differences, all of us. There are so many differences, they might be impossible to count. Visually obvious is our differences in sex, age, height, race, eye colour, freckles, and yes … hair.
There are other things that influence us though, with greater impact. The size of our family, our financial situation, number of parents, grandparents, culture and our connection to it, religious beliefs, social standing, education and on and on and on.
These are formative differences, which influence our experiences, thinking, thought processes and reactions. This means we interpret the same situation radically differently because of what we’ve personally been subjected to and how that has seen our brain develop.
There is no way that two people from different races, different backgrounds, different social standings, different sexes and different ages will look at the one situation the same way. This is where our differences lie.
What needs to be remembered is that neither of these viewpoints is specifically wrong, they are only unique to those particular people. With this reality it needs to be understood that because we are different, it doesn’t make one view right and the other wrong, just different.
Trying to lump everyone into one box based on any common characteristic is impossible and reduces the individual to a “herd” with no personal identity. This allows for general categorisation which is easy to manipulate and control.
People have a lot in common, but they are not the same. We are the sum total of our teaching and our life experience. We are not the same, but not being the same and not seeing things the same way does not mean there isn’t respect for differing viewpoints. The mark of an advanced society is the ability to consider the validity of other views, other experiences and absorb it into the whole.
An intolerance of others is not the mark of an advanced society.
My web share for this post is one of my favourite YouTube channels. FortNine is a Canadian motorcycle channel that provides a great deal of bike-related info that varies from different models, riding techniques, riding gear, safety and science. If you like motorcycles, then Ryan is worth watching.
On a final note, expect to be treated to a “My Fellow South Africans” very soon. With the continued hints at a move to Level 1 of this lockdown – which has officially just been extended until mid-October – you can be sure the speech is coming. The continued, rather financially inconvenient, pandemic has reached the point where finances will be prioritised above all else, because government needs their cut. Take this opportunity to further ensure your safety and health by being careful and smart. Don’t let others pressure you into acting in a way makes you uncomfortable.