In a large group of people, differences amongst those people are definitely present, since different people have different upbringings, different past experiences, different morals and values, different lifestyles and so on. Those people with different backgrounds tend to have different opinions and perceptions on things, as those factors that differentiates people in the first place affects people’s personality greatly and is what shaped people’s different characters.
Differences come in different forms. They can be in very simple forms, like the ones seen on a daily basis of people having different taste in food, clothing, music, film and so on. Other forms of differences can also be differences in way of thinking, method of working, opinions, etc.
Differences are often perceived as something that can cause a rift between two or more people in a society, which is usually why people are often pressured to be a “normal” person based on society’s standards, to avoid potential conflict of interests. This causes fear in a lot of people to be themselves and be “different” and causes them to suppress their differences in order to blend or fit in with the rest of the population.
The suppression of one’s self usually begins as soon as one is old enough to be surrounded by people from outside the family, like in schools for example. In schools, teachers tend to shape children’s creatively different minds to be the same as theirs and tells them that the way they’re thinking is wrong and that a certain way is the right way. No one should’ve had to gone through with being limited by others in thinking, as people are created and destined to be different from one another. With that, more people should learn that differences amongst different people is normal, instead of forcing others to be someone else their not and/or agree on opinions that does not align with their views and own opinions.
In facing differences amongst people, tolerance and respect is required. Both tolerance and respect are things that are needed to keep peace intact among different people. Yes, conflicts do happen in societies where every single people are different, but conflicts can actually be handled in a much more mature way with tolerance, respect and discussions, rather than in ways of violence and war.
Both tolerance and ability to respect others are the main keys to be able to live and co-exist peacefully within a single society, place or nation.Tolerance and the ability to respect others are simple things that people tend to disregard, simply because the inability to accept differences amongst others and that inability to do so is the root cause for conflicts, which can cause rifts and even disintegrations, if further elongated.
As members of a very diverse society, every single person should be able to have the rights and courage to express themselves the way they want and embrace the everything that is different about them amongst other people, as the world would not be an interesting place to live if every single person had to be the exact same person as the others.
(c) Grace Monica, April 2018
(Intern Student from Kanaan Global School)