Differences in religion and politics are capable of separating people like a laser beam. People can go from equals to some kind of subhuman. Opinions go from favorable to somewhere bordering on disgust. This really bugs me. I am disheartened for humankind as a whole. I had to find something to balance out this malaise.
My thoughts turned to how differences can be a good thing. I immediately thought of how it is a wonderful thing that people have different careers and paths in life. A healthy community is formed by people pursuing a wide variety of lifestyles. Teachers, engineers, social works, software compliance analysts, musicians, acrobats, actors and mechanics are just the tip of the iceberg. It takes all types for our society to hum along. These are just the job groups. Next one gets into subcultures that can form along ethnic or societal / common interest lines. The variety of the subcultures serves as a welcoming mosaic of possibilities for most everyone. These differences are good and welcomed.
I hold in my heart the hope that the many healthy differences, melding into a web of dependent cooperation, can outweigh the mean spirited differences lurking so close to the surface in our society. We are challenged to live and work together, and I believe our unstated differences, our individual places of strength, are buttress against all manner of divisive attitudes.