What similarities do you share with the people you love?
I share the same blue eyes as my Dad. I share hints of red hair with my Mom and Gramma Alice. I share utter and complete goofiness with my friend Carlena. I share being tall with my Grandma Josie. I share my love for onions with my Grandpa Herbie. I share a love for the beach with my friend Brenda.
I share the desire to have fun, be with friends, giggle, watch Bugs Bunny, my love of Life cereal, playing golf (sometimes), eating taco salads and making nachos, Reese's peanut butter cups and many other things with my sister Kate - because we are more alike than different.
While it is good to be unique and be your own person, it is even more important to recognize everyone has similarities. We all want to be loved by family and friends. We all want to feel important by the life we live through the work we do and the things we accomplish. We all want to be treated equally in the place we live. We want to be given opportunities based on our skills and abilities. We want to be paid equally and fairly. We want no problems with activities of daily living.
But these wants are not fulfilled for everyone.
The reason I shared about disabilities this past month is my frustration with the discrimination in the population. One that hits close to home with my sister. My sister had an intellectual disability and struggled her whole life to find those similarities with everyone, including me. I loved my sister sooo much but still had times of frustration and sister-like differences. But, I still could have been a better sister.
We were more alike than different and I struggled to understand, especially when we were young. The way she felt, the things she wanted in life, how she loved, how she was sad, how she was frustrated, how she was having fun, how our parents and family loved us - we were the same. We will always be the same. There were few other things that made us different like how we learned to read and write. Nothing that would ever change my view of her or how capable she was, which is untrue of what society thinks of the people deemed "disabled." There is nothing disabled about them. They want what we want in life and they deserve all the things in life. They deserve to share their passions, purpose and abilities with the world we live in - whatever they may be. They deserve this opportunity.
The next time you see someone who you feel is "different" than you, in any way, change your thoughts and look at how you're the same.