We have all had the experience of encountering someone whose life seems so completely different from ours that we can almost imagine we have nothing in common. However, if we go deeper into observing, we will see that we all have the same things going on in our lives. It is as if our different lives are in essence the same gift, wrapped in an infinite variety of containers, wrapping paper, ribbons and blows. Everybody experiences loss, grief, happiness, excitement, anger and fear. Everyone can have money issues of one kind or another and everyone struggles with difficult choices.
Our lives show up differently for each one of us because we each learn in different ways. One person may need to learn the value of money by having too little of it, while another may need to learn by having more than enough. We each learn about work and love, with experiences that are tailored to our particular perspective. Even as it appears that some people have it easy while others are in a continual state of struggle, the truth is that we are all learning and it is very difficult to tell when looking only at the exterior of a person… you won’t know what is going on inside.
This is one of the many things that can be so valuable about cultivating relationships with people from all walks of life. As we get to know those who seem so different from us, we get to really see how much of life’s challenges and joys are universal. We begin to look beyond the packaging of skin color, clothing preferences and socioeconomic differences, hairstyles and the cars we drive to the heart of the human experience. It is important to honor and value the differences in our packaging, but it is just as important to honor the gift of the life inside each one of us and the fact that, no matter how different the packaging, the gift inside is the same.
So I celebrate the differences… and sameness….