Sometimes we struggle to engage with people who are different from us. I think it’s part of human nature. We each have particular ways of thinking, feeling, and doing. We each have our own thoughts about what is right and wrong, good and bad, and beneficial and harmful. And it is usually easier to connect with others who are more similar to us. Connecting with others who are different can sometimes take more work.
I was thinking about this as I sat at the train station the other day, waiting for my train to arrive. It was raining lightly, and I sat quietly, watching folks as they passed by. Some had umbrellas, while others were running quickly with their jackets held over their head.
I noticed a lot of differences. There was an older White gentleman with a hat buying a train pass. There was an African American woman walking slowly past me. She had a cool tattoo on her forearm. There was a Hispanic woman on her way to work.
In the midst of sitting there in the rain, I had this thought: As difficult as it is to get along in a pluralistic world where people look, think, feel, and behave differently, I’m glad the world is this way. There is something beautiful about diversity.
What if everyone in the world looked and thought like me? Like you? The world would definitely not be as cool or interesting.
So the next time you get angry with someone who doesn’t see things your way, or have a negative reaction toward someone who doesn’t look like you, remember the other side of the coin. Engaging with people who are different than you can be challenging, but there is beauty in diversity as well.
Discussion: What is one group of people that you struggle to engage with? What is one thing that you appreciate or respect about that group?