Oh, how easy it is to look at others and to rule them out because they’re different than we are. Different skin color, different sexual orientation, different religion different clothes…. The common wisdom seems to be that different isn’t good.
Worse is the trap we fall into when we look at ourselves and rule ourselves out. According to all the statistics, I’m not good enough. I can’t compete…I can’t measure up… I’m different – and so not worthy. Too many of us fall into this self-talk trap. Too, many want to believe different but are driven to self-destruction because someone somewhere tells them they’re no good.
Who is it that has the right and the power to determine the worth of an individual?
It seems to be a game right now….people looking for ways to destroy others because they are not just like themselves. Obama is “Black”: (forget he’s equally “White”)… Muslims are evil (ever read the Koran?) … homosexuals are headed to hell (And who made you God?) …
Those who point their fingers need only wait a little while eventually the pendulum swings and their kind will be judged different enough to be ostracized, too…maybe in your own lifetime, but it will eventually happen as surely as there will be a new day.
This isn’t new. Throughout history people have ostracized others who were different than themselves. There aren’t many people in the world who haven’t been victimized by this thinking. Just look at American history. Italians, Irish, African Americans, Spanish, non-Christian, homosexuals, people who wear funny clothes, each group has had its own experience with being the outsider and the outcast. Individuals in each of those groups have had incredible stories to tell about the devastation of such prejudices that they or their ancestors endured. The ebb and flow of what’s acceptable is enough to make your head spin. It all boils down, in my way of thinking, to who is in power at the time and who is strong enough to control the lives of others.
Don’t believe it? Who is it that is the most outspoken when it comes to ostracizing others? Usually it’s the very same groups of people who have been prejudiced against in their past. It’s as if the outcasts have to find someone else to point their fingers at and put down in order to validate their own existence and self-worth.
I would have hoped that we’ve grown beyond that, especially now that we have the power of the internet to give us a first-hand look at the world around us. But, not so. The good, bad and ugly hang out in front of us and we shake our heads in disbelief as we see people bullied and driven to suicide because of their differences. Intolerance is rampant right now.
And, then, you come across someone like Nick Vujicic
Human beings are complicated. And, for whatever reason, we still hold to a lot of outdated prejudices. We still have fear in our guts and the need to be among the “fittest” so that we can survive. Well, that really does have to stop. Each and every person has intrinsic worth. Humankind needs each and every individual, no matter how different.
Nick doesn’t fit in the box. He doesn’t conform with the current norms set out as our guide for those who deserve to be happy and constructive and accepted by society. But he doesn’t let that stop him. He knows his intrinsic human worth and he lives his life to the fullest – without judging or putting others down.
He doesn’t accept the judgments of others. And neither should any of us. I’m different…you’re different… I have flaws and incredible capabilities….and so do you. With open minds and hearts we all can become a stronger and more powerful people. We each have a great deal to learn from others who are different than we are. It’s exactly those differences that make us all better people.
.So, when the whole world starts getting more than a little crazy – as it seems to be right now – let’s all take a deep breath and look to the individuals who make up this society. Rather than looking for what makes them different (and “scary”) let’s see what they have to offer – and what we can offer them.