Lately I’ve been looking at other people more and more, and I was fascinated by what I found. People are so different. Like, completely different. I used to perceive these differences as something wrong or something threatening. However, lately I notice beauty in people, looking at their different features, expressions, voices, the way they speak and the way they move.
I am learning to love others. Not just one or two friends or family members. Lately I’ve been able to feel little hints of love towards people I thought I could never love. I started admiring people who used to seem noisy and obtrusive to me. I must say it’s been a terrifying experience in a way, but also a huge relief in another.
When I was growing up, even way into my teens and early twenties I didn’t like people. I liked only those who loved me and would show attention to me. As for the rest, I either perceived them as threatening (because of their otherness) or was completely uninterested in them. That created a gap, an alienation between me and them and made it hard for me to build new relationships and feel like I belong.
Otherness is scary. Otherness is difficult. But it can also teach you things that you never would have learned otherwise. When I started my new job at the Hotel, I was learning from my colleagues (especially one particular girl who at first I found hard to like but I had to admit that she was excellent at her job) how to be nice to people, make them feel welcome and, well, make some profit from the commissions. I learned so much, sometimes unwillingly, that last month I was at the top of my game and was congratulated for upselling the most stuff to customers (good stuff, that I could honestly recommend myself). Mind you, I’ve never been a sales person, I strongly dislike customer service but at the moment it’s the job that fits best around my situation, and so I make the best of it. The point of this is: I never would have learned so much from that girl if I let my initial dislike and conflicts with her prevent me from seeing all the good qualities that she had. Mind you, lately at work we’ve been pretty much two peas in a pod. However, we’re still very different people.
Learning to love people is a hard journey but it’s so rewarding. If you love someone or at least appreciate their uniqueness, you stop feeling so threatened by them, can build relationships easier and develop great qualities that don’t come naturally to you by looking at their example. I don’t know exactly why God created us so different but I guess it’s because these differences make the world more rich and colourful and help us grow and develop as human beings.
Let me know how you feel about otherness and if you find it hard or easy to see beauty in other people and appreciate their unique personalities.