Afraid to See the Similarities


It’s 2015 and we can’t figure out how to get along. Is that too much to ask? The turmoil with race relations, violence, or inequality fills the news and breaks most of our hearts on the daily. I’ve seen racism. I seen it online and on the news.  I’ve also seen it before my own eyes.  You never want to believe you’ll witness it but then it rears its ugly head when you least expect it. Years ago, a friend of mine got charged double at the club we were going to just because of her skin color. We asked for our money back and took our business elsewhere. Wouldn’t it be nice if the world wasn’t such a depressing place at times?

I want to believe that even the nastiest person can one day see beyond the bigotry and realize they were wrong, even it’s just for a moment. It seems you can’t ask too much of them but I’d try. The people who are cruel to others, spout bigotry like Niagara Falls, and hurt others for their pleasure all feel that they are different from those they oppress or put down. I couldn’t agree less. We are all the same whether some individuals like it or not. We feel joy, sadness, fear, love, and every other emotion.

This point brings me to this great documentary I discovered around 2011 called “Life in a Day.” It’s wonderful. What happened was, the film director and YouTube asked everyone to film their lives on July 24, 2010. Anyone who wanted to participate was allowed to be a part of the global project. When people sent in the videos, the producers created a powerful film about how we really all aren’t that different after all (despite what some people think.) They focused on the one day to show we all eat, sleep, fear, dream, love, and work.   The film displayed a powerful message that we are very similar on the inside.

They spoke about love at one point. They asked everyone to film, “What do you love?” Some loved a person. Some loved their fancy car. Others loved a single word. One guy even loved his fridge! Love came in all shapes, sizes, and appliances. The one story that really stood out was the woman in a rural tribe in Africa. There was also another was a woman in the United States. Do you know what they had in common? They both loved her kids. Whether you reside in a mud hut or a city apartment, we’re similar when you look at our hearts and discover what it values. Motherhood and unconditional love for their child shined through and though.

When it came to fear, the kids mostly feared monsters no matter their location. Adults feared death and being alone. God was universally feared as well. There were multiple answers that were exactly the same in different locations around the globe. Economic backgrounds had nothing to do with their fears. Well, there was the boy who was afraid of tigers.  That’s legit. All kidding aside,  why is it so hard for some to relate to other who appears different from you? We all get scared. You’d think that would be something to pull us together and help us relate.

The final lesson in this movie really gave me “all the feels.” At the end of the movie, a woman was in a car on a rainy night. She waited all day for something to happen but nothing did. She was disappointed at first. She wanted to be a part of something big and have a purpose in life. When she started to think about it more, she realized something very important. Life isn’t always a big gesture. Sometimes, it just peaks its head from over the hill. She learned that a normal day is a part of most of our daily lives. Regardless of the boring day we may have, we need appreciate every breath on this earth you have because it’s short. There are big lessons in small packages.

With that said, why do some waste their energy spreading negativity towards people they don’t understand? You may find out that the person you judged has more similarities rather then differences compared to you. This movie showed me that in 2011. We can learn a lot from people who challenge your perception and mind-set on “who they are” based off a physical appearance. Be more open to someone you’ve never spoken to and learn about them. You may make a new friend.

Remember, we all are connected. Appreciate the differences that make us all individually special 🙂


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