The word different can be defined in many ways and can be taken in different contexts. God created us all spiritually equal. We are all considered brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, God created us with our unique features. Although He wants humanity to be united, His immeasurable wisdom and benevolence allowed us to experience the world and His creations in our own special ways. God ultimately gave us free will to allow us to think for ourselves and freely choose how we live our lives and seek God for ourselves at our own will. Are we so different? It’s a subjective question that can be answered in many ways.
Going back to the concept of free will, God gave us this kind of will to look at things in our unique ways. Thus, we may look at things differently, but ultimately we will come to realize, accept and appreciate that all these things were wonderfully made by our Creator. Until such time, we will have to live with and understand our diversity. God also made us unique, yet social individuals. God created us the need for companionship and social connection with our fellow humans. The world could have been too overwhelming for us to appreciate and our lives would have been really boring if we are not social beings. God has made this a balance for our diversity or difference.
We may consider others as racially, ethnically, ideologically and physically different for us, but essentially, we are the same beings. Our perception and concept of difference can be influenced by several factors. Our environment plays a major role in the concept of difference. We are born into different environments: different countries, different climates, different resources and different homes. Even among closest relative and families, the environments they live in can be different. Our parents can also influence our concept of difference. We are born from two unique individuals united by God through love. Although our parents try to be consistent as they can be in all aspects of directing our growth and development, we can still grasp their unique personalities and ways of living. Mentors, friends, peers and acquaintances can also influence our perception of what is different. What they do or say can actively or passively affect our outlook on difference.
Our inclination to be social individuals has helped us to accept individual differences. As mentioned earlier, God created us as social beings as a balance to our individual differences and uniqueness. Our modern societies would not be what they are today if it wasn’t for our quality of being social individuals. Our yearning for companionship has become stronger than our desire to be different and be secluded as individuals. The concept of groups, organizations and society would not have been possible without this quality. Although our parents have taught us what the idea of being different is, they have also taught us the basic foundations of being social beings by themselves being the epitome of social bonding.
The question “Are we so different?” can be an interesting topic for all of us. It touches upon our individual perceptions and our social interactions. Thus, a mere “yes” or “no” answer will not be sufficient. This question is like a test question for humanity and for us as individuals on how far we’ve come on our understanding and depth of appreciation of human life in all its complexity. God is truly glorious and worthy of praise for allowing us to experience life. May we all find our answers to life’s questions such as this through His Word.