Very often, we see what we search for in others. If we look for differences, we see them. If we look for similarities, we can see those too. We have the freedom to choose what we search for in each other.
It is easy to compare our lives to the lives of others and to categorize people by type of lifestyle they live or situation they are in. Once we begin thinking this way, once this comparison begins, the gaps between us and what we share with others grows. It can become so wide that it seems hard to identify with the world at all. The differences make our lives feel separate, and disconnected.
In truth, there are so many more reasons why we are all the same. When we strip away the borders that lie on the surface – underneath the circumstance and the appearance – the human experience is made up of basic needs that we all share. We all have a need for love, for safety, for connection; and feel the same feelings of loss, sadness and fear. Focusing on the things we have in common with others can give us cause to contribute to a world that we then see ourselves as a part of, instead of apart from.
This closeness, this oneness, is where smiling at a stranger becomes natural again. This is where paying it forward feels instinctual, and patience seems practical. This is the place where sacrifice, and standing up for change when it’s needed, feels more like a duty than an obligation. This is where kindness thrives.
“If you can be anything today, be kind.”
Written by Amanda Harper
Amanda Harper is a 28 year old creative living in San Francisco, California who write and speaks on things driven by faith, fueled by passion, and led in generosity. She is a lover of music on vinyl, a good story, and all things brunch.