When we only associate with like-minded people, there is often no room to grow because new ideas aren’t being introduced.
We tend to gravitate toward people who are the most like us, at least in the ways that make us feel comfortable. But life has its way of bringing us into contact with people who challenge us with their differences. It may be an obvious difference reflected in their outward appearance or an invisible but powerful philosophical stance, but even in our closest circle of friends and family, some confront us with their different ways of experiencing and expressing life. We can choose to resist, but we can also choose to learn from them and appreciate that they, too, have a place in the kaleidoscope of life.
As much as we may say that we want peace and a life without struggle, the truth is that human beings are, at this time, thriving in a world of dualities and challenges. It is how we choose to approach these hurdles that determine if we sail over them, confirming our agility, or trip and end up face down in the dust. And each of us absolutely will and must stumble, and then get up, brush the dust off and carry on. This is how we learn and grow, developing depth of character and shades of understanding. In a world of dualities, we have trouble defining ourselves without something opposite and can’t discover who we are. Without challenge, there is nothing to do and nothing to discover. That leaves us either in a state of non-being or pure spirit, but as humans, we are spiritual beings experiencing the physical world in all of its startling contrast and beauty.
No matter how spiritual we are, our lives will have challenges. We will always run into different people, but the true challenge may be finding ways to be at peace with this process. Rather than give in to the fight or flight response from our animal nature, we can find new ways to evolve together into higher, more beautiful expressions of ourselves, realizing, embracing, and celebrating the beauty of diversity and its strength in the future.