“Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere, yet I encourage travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure…by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.”
-Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
Taking the time to understand one another that is American poet Maya Angelou’s main message in today’s quote. Through this we will understand and realize that we are all more alike than unalike. Maya Angelou encourages us that through travel across the world not only for pleasure but to learn about others along the way, we will make this explicit connection. Each of us cry, laugh, eat, worry and die. The only difference may be our gender, race, creed or opinions on certain things: that’s it. It really shouldn’t be anything more than that really. We as a society tend to use one or more of these to “build our case” as to why we may be better than someone else. This, in my opinion, is a faulty way of seeing the world as this is a huge error in judgment.
When we become more socially aware we remove those blinders and learn from one another by looking at things through their eyes and their experiences. We empathize and not sympathize and learn to accept those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Once we take the time to better understand the societal and ethical norms of everyone’s behavior while appreciating and respecting their diversity along the way.
The benefits of accepting others and their differences helps us in many ways and opens the doorways to many other opportunities. We must be mindful not to let certain things get in our way of accepting other people’s differences. Often times our own mistrust contributes to our own fears. When we accept others it does not mean we are agreement with them or that we need to accept bad behaviors from others. It is so much more than that. It actually helps to guide us in learning to be more tolerant of certain differences. Learning to accept one another’s differences is in essence a journey into our own inner self but to me it is a journey that is well worth the risk and one that is worth taking.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?