Reading time ~ 4 minutes
Haunting time < 1 minute
Being different is not easy. Integrating a different-self into the uneven waves of civil society is no mean task. The bigger the difference, the more each step needs to be measured out, so as to carve out even a small, fragile personal living space.
Equality remains elusive at various levels be it because of color, race, gender, orientation, physical attributes, food habits, age, sickness, neurology, different-ability or economic strata.
Anyone different can pose a challenge to the average-minded to change in turn, so as to cope. Confronted with change, the average can meet, ignore, ridicule or oppose the challenge. Change is seldom easy.
Access to equal opportunity despite being different is rarely achieved without a struggle and has historically followed a non-linear course.
The motivation to change as a response arises if someone we care about is/becomes different (not counting oneself). We are forced to make sense of our place in life within the new reality.
Changing our ways for sake of those who are different is harder when the security of a personal/societal value system of right/wrong begins to feel shaky. Value system redefinition is never trivial: identities and resources need re-mapping. Also, inertia can tend some towards inaction.
At the tail end of the main reaction, passive or even active ridiculing can appear. Ridiculing the different happens when the acceptance is shallow to begin with, never wasting an opportunity to go one up at the expense of an available target. We may be actually mocking our own inability to change.
It is very conceivable that something we accept as very normal now may in future be deemed unacceptable. Or vice versa. All because of a not-easily-flexible right/wrong value system.
What if it is not so? What if the value system is somewhat flexible? And being different poses no challenge to anyone? If there are no metrics systematically pin-pointing the different among us? Wait, then, how to define who is same? Weird. For-
Doesn't the standard idea system define both- ugliness and prettiness? beast and beauty? We cannot have one and not have the other.
What to live by, if there is no system. When no abstract definitions exist? When there is no way to differentiate our feelings towards a blooming rose and an overfull dumpster.
Moving around, there is love and anger. They arise from a systematic core of desire. Love, when we feel we are getting what we desire and anger and when we sense we are not getting what we desire (sadness is a variation). The important thing is that we desire. Indifference is when we don't desire. Then there is nothing to go by.
Anger – Love
Pride – Embarrassment
are Mirror Images
It is wondrous when one image changes into the other. The opposing change is dismal.
On the other hand-
Matter – Antimatter. Poof. No more universe. No system at all.