There is a song called “The Minnow and the Trout” by A Fine Frenzy. One line is: “Please, I know that we’re different. But we were one cell in the sea in the beginning and what we’re made of was all the same once. We’re not that different after all.”
That is an important concept to remember. We are all a part of the human family. Even if your norm is too exclusive for most people, you’re still connected to them.
This connectedness comes head-to-head with our social divides. This is where a lot of conflict comes from. These divides we create foster an “us vs. them” mentality. We create prejudice because we are unwilling to consider that people who think or act differently may have worth. Some people have risen slightly above this thought process. They preach tolerance and co-existence. But to achieve peace and equality we must do more than just tolerate differences. We must cherish and support diversity.
Challenge the idea that different equals bad. We are living in such a global age. People are interacting with people different from themselves much more frequently. If we are to keep up and thrive as a nation and a species we need to adapt and evolve.
We need to stop judging people based on generalizations. Try to be a little more open and really listen to people before you write them off. If we try, different can be seen as good.
Katherine Ahearn is a rising junior at Unatego Junior-Senior High School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.