Appreciate Differences – stop making judgements and look for what we can learn from others

by | Inspiration

We need to appreciate differences – Viva La difference

We all make judgements at times. We look at someone and think they are scary, or boring. People we don’t have anything in common with, people that we want to avoid.

But we are more similar than we think.

Young people can take a fixed view of oldies and we can of them. We can all make assumptions. We can see something about how they are dressed, or personal characteristics and see them as different to us. Many times, we see this as a negative. However, often what we dislike about others reflects something in ourselves.

  • They are aggressive, we are assertive
  • We are interested, they are nosy.
  • They are lazy, we are laid back

So, a discussion of older people, and at 59 I don’t class myself as old, but did I have a view when I was 17 or 23? Probably. A view could be: They are boring, they live in the past, they are negative and moan. We often don’t see anything positive. Well, not us, obviously, but others don’t see anything positive.

Whilst I’m using older age as an example it could equally be around young people, or obese people, or people who have a lot of body art.

We need to appreciate differences with others. We can, and I think we should, take an interest, look at what we can learn from them. Appreciate differences as the chance to learn something new. About them and us.

That’s what I like about these two videos which are focused on appreciating differences.

We can be tempted to put people into boxes and make assumptions. But when we ask questions, we can find out what we share. We both love dance, or jazz. We are both parents or sad. We both have a dream or are affected by our past. Getting to know others gives us a chance to appreciate differences. We can appreciate some of their pain and can find a soulmate. Someone else who shares our passion.

Appreciating differences video 1: ALL THAT WE SHARE

We live in a time where we quickly put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think?
When we stop judging people by their looks, instead of by their actions. You will see that there are good people from every origin (and rotten too).

I’ve watched this video 3 times and cry each time.

Another reason to appreciate differences is to learn more about a different point of view.

We often spend most of our time with people like us, people who share our views. It can be good to talk with people who are different to us. People who take a different perspective.
Often a fixed view is not based on a deep and well thought through analysis. We’re influenced by the papers we read. Talking with others enables us to have a view on a real person, not just a stereotypical view. It can be worth finding people who are different to us and spending time with them so we both can appreciate differences.

Appreciating differences video 2: WORLDS APART

This is like a psychological experiment, and I didn’t cry this time, but smiled.

People are interviewed, and then start on a joint task. They are then asked about what it’s like to be them and to respond with 5 adjectives. Then to make a note of 3 things they share in common.  They carry on with the task. And then they see videos of the interviews, and talk. Another video to get you thinking about the differences between people and how it’s good to get to know others.

If you come across any videos on a similar theme, do share.

image from:

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Denise Taylor

Chief Inspiration Officer, The 50 Plus Coach.