If there is one thing in this world that seems to cause us the most problems, it is the fact that we live in a world full of differences. Everywhere we go there is difference in opinion, belief, culture, beauty, style, approach, and persona. There are different colors, cuisines, clothes, and convictions. Men and women, black and white, day and night. We live in a world of contrasts and contradictions. Our differences have been the foundation of some of the most destructive human faculties — Murder, Cheating, Divorce, War. And some would argue wouldn’t it be a better world — a utopian society — if one person set the standard for all others and we were all the same. Wouldn’t that get rid of the arguments and constant fights at home, at work, and in the government? It’s a pointless question really because differences make us human. They make us who we are and remind us that even though we were all created equal in the eyes of God, we are His unique creations. Each person adds their own beauty, has their own place, their own dreams and passions, and complements the strengths and weaknesses of others. Without differences we would all just be shadows, lifeless shapes dancing on empty walls. So our differences are assets that decorate our life with power and beauty and they are meant to be celebrated. I saw a post on elle.com a few weeks ago that covered the work of Mihaela Noroc who quit her job two years ago and embarked on a journey to find the beauty in diversity. Her project called, “The Atlas of Beauty,” is the result of her travels to the 37 countries she’s been to so far. She believes that, “beauty is everywhere. It’s not a matter of cosmetics, money, race, or social status, but more about being yourself. Global trends make us look and behave the same, but we are all beautiful because we are different.” And she is always surprised by “the way beauty is seen in different cultures. I was showing my photos to different people, in different countries and something that was beautiful and trendy in Myanmar seemed out of date in New York, and something that was cool in London, seemed weird in Ethiopia.” Her project inspired be to take some time to explore the differences that mark empowered women living now, cross cultures, and throughout history. For now I leave you with these quotes and the work of Mihaela Noroc. And remember your differences do not make you weak, they give you power. Remember that next time you start comparing yourself to someone who you think is more worthy. They could never be a better you.
“It is when we think we can act like God, that all respect is lost, and I think this is the downfall of peace. We lie if we say we do not see color and culture and difference. We fool ourselves and cheat ourselves when we say that all of us are the same. We should not want to be the same as others and we should not want others to be the same as us. Rather, we ought to glory and shine in all of our differences, flaunting them fabulously for all to see! It is never a conformity that we need! We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors!”
― C. JoyBell C. “I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility. Not this “In order to love you, I must make you something else”. That’s what domination is all about, that in order to be close to you, I must possess you, remake and recast you.”
― Bell Hooks http://www.elle.com/culture/news/a26870/atlas-of-beauty-photos/