People are different. Like, everyone is different. Sure, I know there are things we hold in common (with some, there are A LOT of things in common). Ultimately, though, we're all given a life with these very specific and different set of events and circumstances. Thats what makes meeting people, maturing, growing up and, well, life in general an experience that gives the possibility for "true stories" to be interesting. Because of that, it truly BOGGLES my mind as to how so many of us seek to "fix" the people around us.
A few years back I came to the concept of "God Boxing." Now, I'm sure the visual that comes to mind is, you with boxing gloves, and a gigantic old guy with a gray beard and boxing gloves. While funny, that's not what I'm speaking of here. "God boxing" is a predominantly Western concept of how, regardless of what the bible says, God CAN'T possibly be in control of every aspect of life you could encounter. Basically, God has parameters that he's inclosed in, a la, a "God box." Western Religious culture basically states that a lot of the things we know of God are true but, we still have quite a bit of leg room in the parts He CAN'T help out with.
What's this got to do with "the Difference" I mentioned of people? I'll explain:
For the most part, we prefer people being a lot alike us because its something we can understand without much effort. Social classing and racial divides, THRIVE on this. Problematically, the idea of "God Boxing" and its acceptance by most, gives the right to another handy concept I came up with, called "the Circle."
(Okay...Technically, I didn't come up with "the Circle" concept. I got it from and episode of the TV show "House." In the show, House (a rather unimpressed doctor) scolds a member of his team for complaining that they feel sad a kid will never be "normal." He goes on to state that people's ideas of "normal" stem from their view of things outside of a circle in which they exist as being, "ab-normal" or "broken." Thus, when faced with things outside of your personal circle, the response is to "fix" it (or them) so that it becomes more like what is in your circle, i.e. "normal.")
As troubling (for some) as the idea of "God Box" is, I've found that "the Circle" is just as horrible... And one which we all seem to indulge in to quite a heavy degree.
Make no mistake, I've totally attempted to "fix" people outside of my "circle." Like I stated before, it is so much easier to have people around who are "on the same page" with you. It allows you to not have to work as hard on things like patience, humility, etc. Still, don't you think that's an "acceptable evil" we play with often? Or, maybe you've never really thought of it that way before. I know I hadn't thought of it for a LONG TIME. Literally, I had been operating in a system where a cocky level of pride about all "my good" was what everyone else should probably be about. And its just wrong.
To say that your life and the way you've lived it and progressed in it, is BETTER than the way others have, takes away from the beauty (or, sure, in some cases, horror) of individual life experiences others have. And we need that difference! Imagine a world where everyone lived how you did and learned lessons in a way similar to yours. How would our fiction read? Our movies? Inspirational talks? Shoot, even the everyday conversations you have with friends or the person who makes your heartbeat race?
You've heard the adage that, "You like a person for who they are, but you love a person for who they AREN'T?" If you had your way, and you "fixed" everyone around you to look like what's in your "circle," You would most likely lose almost everything that you love so much in this life. Really, THINK about THAT. Its not wrong to want better for people. That shows you actually have a heart and can care. I just believe that we have to be able to realize that some people NEED to have their lives existing in another "circle" so they can develop into the unique individual they should always be.
The Difference is important and, we need to always be aware of what we gain (and could lose) by trying to impress ourselves and what lives we've led, onto others.
- Conduct Lionhardt