Similarities and Differences

by Sherry Riter in Lessons of Life

Today while driving in a part of the city I do not frequent often, a traffic light turned red and as I stopped I noticed a porch. It caught my attention because it looked like my style of porch…very much my style. I wondered who lived there and if we were similar thus providing a reason that we had the same taste in porch decorations.

front porch of a home

Every day while driving, I pass hundreds of people and I don’t know any of them and they also don’t know any one in the other cars including me. We all have our separate lives filled with people and experiences. Most of the people we pass on the highway or we pass in their homes, we will never know or meet although we live so close to each other.

Isn’t it mind boggling that our lives are so complex and yet we are just one person in a huge population of other people who also have complex lives?

a lot of flowers yellow and black
    “Much of the vitality in a friendship lies in the honoring of differences, not simply in the enjoyment of similarities.”


one yellow and black flower
    “It is during adversity when one can really make a big difference. But making a difference is not about being a big hero. It is simply about leaving the bathroom a little cleaner going out, than when you came in.”


four yellow and black flowers
    “Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.”

    ~Marvin J. Ashton~

a few yellow flowers with while tiny flowers interspersed
    “In the end we are all separate: our stories, no matter how similar, come to a fork and diverge. We are drawn to each other because of our similarities, but it is our differences we must learn to respect.”


one yellow flower with many white flowers

    “We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man’s actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us.”

    ~Albert Einstein~

a patch of yellow and black flowers

I won’t probably ever meet the person that owns the porch, but I already appreciate a similarity that we share. I wonder how well we would get along and if I would be able to tolerate their differences and be friends? How much effort do we make to tolerate people that we do not know now in grocery store lines, traffic, getting off an airplane, waiting in the doctor’s office, co-workers, restaurants and other countries?

Imagine how great the world would be to live in if we all respected and tolerated each other’s differences while practicing charity.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anindita June 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm

really nice …. keep it up


2 Anonymous June 21, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Really nice post and photos as well! The porch is beautiful.


3 Liz June 22, 2009 at 1:58 am

I love black eye susans. You have a very nice blog


4 Ashley Ladd June 22, 2009 at 11:33 pm

What really amazes me is that I don't know many of my neighbors. I don't meet a lot of the people I pass in my own town, maybe even several times a day in traffic. But we make friends on the Internet from all parts of the world. I'm in Florida but I talk to people daily in Ohio, Michigan, London, Brisbane, etc.


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