I was struck by a thought today: a thought about similarity and difference. I have come to the conclusion that no two humans are or will ever be exactly alike, but also that no single human will ever be entirely unique. Just as we all have differences that set us apart from each other, there is not, has never been, and shall almost certainly never be someone who cannot connect to anyone on common ground.
Now, I know that the four-hundred or so humans I have met in the provincial, pastoral little speck of nowhere I call home can hardly be considered an accurate sampling of the seven-billion or more humans inhabiting this delightful little mud ball of a planet, but I like to think the specific events of my life have introduced me to a somewhat broader range of folk than the average museum janitor.
Aware as I am of different walks in life and of the walkers who stride upon them, and content as I can be in the company of a range of social and economic classes, I wonder how it is that so many of us get hung up on truly useless similarities or differences? Why does anyone really care what color I am or what language I speak? Why should they care who I sleep with or which name of God I pray to? How can these things possibly really matter? Why can’t we focus on the important things? Different bodies on the same planet… Different members of the same species… Different souls alive at the same time… Different minds seeking the same Truth?
I have often heard it said that no two snowflakes are ever exactly alike, but, in a way, there is never one that is entirely unique. After all, before, above, and in spite of everything else: they are all snowflakes. How magnanimous of the powers that be to have put such a splendid and simple metaphor right in front of us. Never appearing the same, but always intrinsically similar; settling down by different paths in different places on the same Earth; and, unquestionably, only here for short while and then gone, do I speak of snowflakes, or of us?


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