Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Imagine if you will a group of people. It can be any group of people. Perhaps your family comes to mind, immediate or extended, or your soul circle of friends. Or perhaps, you thought of your neighborhood or your community. Perhaps your imagination took you to a broader scale, and you thought of something grander, such as the human race.
Whoever you thought of, I would like you to take a moment and consider the individuals that make up this group. Think of their strengths, their limitations. Consider their beliefs, their values, and preferences. What tastes do they have? What do they like to do with their time? What are their talents and passions? Their way of life?

I imagine that this group of people you have in mind has many differences. After all, no two people are exactly the same. Each person in this group has their own unique personality, perspective, and approach to life. Each is beautiful and imperfect. Each individual has strengths, weaknesses, traits, and characteristics that are completely their own.

And yet, while the people in this group are very different, they must be quite similar as well. Some of them may share interests. They may have certain traits in common. They may have similar beliefs, values, and perspectives. Or perhaps they are alike in ways I have not mentioned.

Now, I would like you to imagine a puzzle. It can be one of those great big puzzles with itty-bitty pieces, or a child’s puzzle that is much smaller. Regardless of the details of this puzzle you are imagining, think now about the individual pieces of the puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle is irregular. It has grooves that stick out, others that turn inward. Some of them look nothing like the others, but there are similarities to most of them as well.

But no matter what the individual pieces of the puzzle look like, they fit together in some way. And when they fit together, they create a beautiful picture. A picture that simply could not be created without all the pieces.

We are the pieces to the puzzle, my birds. There are differences among us, and they are to be celebrated and embraced. We should not shy away from these differences, and instead welcome that which makes us unique and precious in our own special way. We are to appreciate that which makes us different, and rejoice the richness it adds to life. For it is these differences that make life beautiful, fresh, and balanced.

And just as we are each different, we are quite similar as well. While there are many traits that we share, we are also similar in a much more basic sense. We are all human. And as human, we crave love, acceptance, and kindness. As humans, we share many of the same needs, have many of the same desires, and we must remember that about one another.

Today, I challenge you, my beautiful birds, to take a different kind of look at the people around you. I dare you to celebrate that which makes you unique, find comfort and understanding in that which you can relate to, and take delight in the beautiful picture that we may create only when we embrace one another.

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