I am better because we are different

“I am better because we are different” Unfortunately I didn’t write down who said this, but it was one of the Scholarship recipients at the FIGT Conference in 2019. The statement really resonated with me at the time, and I wrote it in my notebook. 

I came back from the conference, and I was going to write about this statement “I am better because we are different”. But I never did it.

The other day I was rifling through my files the other day, and my notebook fell out and opened to this page. I paused for a moment, “I am better because we are different”. This statement speaks so loudly to me. But why?

I headed out for my morning walk, and it was running through my head the whole way round the park “I am better because we are different”. What does this mean to me, that I keep coming back to it? 

Then this morning it hit me. Because we are different, I learn from you. Because we have experienced different things in our lives, we have a different perspective. Because we have been raised in different circumstances, our approach to life and parenting is different. Because we have been raised by different families, we like different foods. It’s the complex things, but it’s also the simple things. 

“I am better because we are different”

We are different, but at the core we are still a part of humanity. No matter our belief systems. No matter the colour of our skin. We are different, but the same in so many ways.

With our differences comes diversity. With our differences comes understanding. With our differences comes respect. 

However, despite all of our differences we love the same way, we hurt the same way, we feel things the same way, and in many respects our values are the same too.

While I didn’t intentionally do this, as I am writing this post thinking about my dear friend Kachina. We don’t talk very often, but when we do it’s meaningful conversation. We haven’t seen each other for years, but it feels like yesterday. When I think of my sisterhood, it’s an amazing group of women, and Kachina is at the core of it.

Kachina and I are very different, our backgrounds, our upbringing. But we are so similar too, our values, our hopes for our children, our vision for a better future. We have been through some crap together, and we have celebrated amazing milestones together. 

“I am better because we are different”

My life is richer because of the women like Kachina who are in my life. And while I apologise for singling out one person, I feel the recent clarity I had regarding this statement is about celebrating and honouring our differences.

At a time when people continue to hit the streets to protest Black Lives Matter, even an interview I did yesterday focused on this topic. Racism is impacting all of us. No one is immune. No one is perfect. But I think when we can recognise and celebrate our differences and how our differences make each of us better, only then we as individuals and communities can start to move forward. 

“I am better because we are different”

Absolutely!

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