Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Count Down to 60-Differences That Make Us

What have we become?
This morning as I was waiting on time to leave for work I was surfing social media and read a post by a friend. From what she said, she had been to a fitness center and the people behind her made some disparaging remarks. Their comments, obviously that were meant to be heard, about her size were rude and uncalled for. It has become sadly commonplace for so many to think it okay to insult, ridicule and verbally attack others. And before you say it, that freedom of speech thing, that is not a license to be rude and insensitive. It is not a constitutional okay to be abusive through the spoken or written word. Yes, we have a right to speak our mind, but we should have the common sense not to be cruel.
Before we speak, we should consider our words carefully. There are always possibilities that we may not know. That person who is over weight, may have medical issues. They may have an eating disorder. They may have reasons that they are unable to exercise to keep the extra weight off.  Eating may be a way they find comfort in difficult times. They may have genetic reasons. The very fact that someone is trying to help themselves and improve their health should be applauded not ridiculed.
We are all different physically. Our sizes vary, our height and weight as individual as all of our other attributes. Our eye and hair color, the sound of our voice, each individual traits. None of which are found in the 'things to make fun of' column.
Everyone has a talent or several talents. We can all do something well. But one who writes, should not ridicule the ones who are not able to write as well. Some have impressive musical talents, whether as singers are who play an instrument. Those who are able to sing and play, should not ridicule those who are less talented. There are those who are able to create an amazing work of art on a blank canvas. Those who are able to dance well enough to bring tears to the eyes of the ones watching.. Our intellectual levels differ, each one of us learned in different things and ways. Our talents and gifts each make us the individual who we are. They are not us, but they are a part of us.
 There are those who are handicapped. Some of the handicaps are not obvious or visible. Some are due to diseases, physical or mental. While on the outside they may appear to be fine, but they are severely limited in what they are capable of accomplishing. There are those whose handicaps are obvious as in the missing limbs. Some have birth defects such as Downs Syndrome. These things are not reason to ridicule. These things are not cause to curse, embarrass or slur another. Because one is different, does not make them less. Because one has handicaps does not make them targets. The very handicaps can and often do give the individual more cause to strive harder, move forward quicker and show, the talents and capabilities they possess.
This planet that we call home, is inhabited by many different ethnicity. From the many different continents, countries, counties we come. Our skins vary in hue, our words a mix of the many accents and languages. We are separated by natural barriers and man made barriers. Yet as separated as we are, we all inhabit the same planet. We are different and yet we are one, we are all human. Because this person is different from that person, it gives no one the right to insult or ridicule the other. Because one is different does not make them less of a person or less worthy of life and respect.
It saddens me when I see or hear someone attacking another.  Words hurt and words last. They become embedded in our mind and echo repeatedly, tearing down the confidence, destroying the desire to move forward. While we may think that our words are harmless, they hold great power. We should use that power to uplift and build up, not tear down. When we see someone trying to better themselves, we should use our words to encourage them, to stir them on to finish the quest they have set out on.
Our very differences, the things that we allow to divide us, are the very things that could and should strengthen us. The alphabet is made of twenty-six letters, apart they are merely letters, taken and placed together in proper order they make words that make sentences that create paragraphs. Words that allow us to express our thoughts and feelings.
A table full of ingredients , is just that, a table full of ingredients. Using the ingredients to follow a  recipe creates a tasty meal or wonderful desert.
Bricks, boards, nails and wire alone are simply that. Following a design and plans and they become a house.
The list goes on and on. The point is this, if we take the things that make us individuals and use them in cooperation with each other we can do amazing things. Together, we can do wonders and make great things happen. Together, as individuals working with each other, using the many talents and abilities, we can move the world.
If we can get past the childish, immature, cruel and rude acts of attacking others simply because they are different.

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