You haven't loved until...'ve loved difference.

It's easy to love someone when they look like you, share your worldviews, practice the same rituals, value the same things, behave in like ways, engage a similar thought process, always say yes, are there when you need them, never challenge you and sing your praises.

Then, there's the "other" person, where all the opposite scenarios apply.

How quickly do you find yourself moving towards a space of criticism, defensiveness, judgment, blame, and fear?

This is the dualistic, egocentric, tribal mentality that operates at the extremes of good or bad and black or white, where you love those who are easy to love and hate those who aren't. This applies the "set-it-and-forget-it" principle to people.

This self doesn't truly enjoy life. It can't because joy is in the middle, the grey area, where it's chock full of contradictions, conundrums, and paradoxes but maintains an inclusive nature that tolerates both good and bad and black and white (notice the difference between either/or and both/and thinking).

Next time you encounter difference, realize that if you experienced what they experienced and believed what they believed, you would do what they are doing.

You can't be angry (oppositional) and curious (empathetic) at the same time.

"In diversity, there is beauty, and there is strength." Maya Angelou



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