Monday, November 30, 2015

Celebrate Diversity

Today as I opened Facebook and scrolled down the news feed, I got this strange feeling of amazement at the diversity of life.  The small circle where I belong is a classic example of this.  In this sphere are my friends who are made up of people I met during the different stages of my life. There are also groups that I follow – some of them I do because they are what my friends like to promote – but most of them are groups I’d like to be identified with because they are related to what I am doing at the present time or to an experience in a previous time of my life.   Each one of them represents something different. 

Diverse World.  Here’s a glimpse of what I saw on my news feed – which made me smile:
  1. Art professor posting about Art work
  2. My niece praising God for passing her physicians license exam
  3. Missionary friends eating Ethiopian food
  4. My former dorm mate advertising a job opportunity in the college she works at
  5. Self-taught artist showing her new finished work
  6. A young niece getting her selfie to send her parents
  7. Pastor challenging Christians to choose their priorities in this world
  8. Former pastor announcing a Badminton tournament
  9. Pastor’s wife announcing a new Women’s bible study
  10. Friend in Canada showing off a growing dahlia (mine is about to fade away)
  11. People greeting people on their birthdays
  12. Cousins in the Philippines sharing articles about the corrupt government
  13. People eating at restaurants
  14. Ladies cooking food
  15. Friends posting pictures of their dogs
  16. People meeting friends
  17. Grandparents showing pictures of their grandchildren
  18. One sister showing picture of her not-so- little-anymore sister
  19. Former coworkers at the Department of Agriculture posting pictures as they attend conferences
  20. Pastor asking about Siri
  21. People showing images at their job
  22. Person in love and in a relationship now missing the simple days
  23. Friend sharing important points from a Sunday sermon
  24. Friends from Natomas showing a caterpillar eating precious plants

Be You and Be Enough.  There you see a diverse world.  We’re all different people making up one community.  We are part of a community that is made up of different talents and gifts and different levels of energy.   The problem arises when some of us want to be like another member.  Our culture promotes imitation.  Find those who are labeled with superlative adjectives, choose the one you want to apply to yourself and then copy.  The problem is – physical characteristic don’t translate verbatim when transferred to another because there is an underlying unique character in each of us that determines the outcome.  And we try and try again, sometimes draining us of peace, to be like someone else.  Don’t stress.  We were meant to be different.  And it is so freeing to know that we were meant to be different.  In this case to be different means to be who I am and be enough

Strobe Lights Hide Things.  The next time envy and discontent creep at you remember someone is dreaming to have your life.  Maybe your friends seem to be eating all their meals in fine restaurants overlooking the ocean, or they seem to be traveling all over the world and they never seem to go home ever; your rich friend buying yet another house or car; your old acquaintances now showing pictures of themselves in a sophisticated-pouty look holding the most expensive purse you’ve ever seen and it makes you wonder what happened to you.  Think again.  They are not showing you everything. Maybe you have that same effect to that friend. The media is a stage where we present ourselves - to be seen.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, it is only a stage of strobe lights.  We get to show only what we want to show and hide things we’d rather not show.  And if you are the one watching these shows, you are only seeing snap shots, which are a representation of a split-second in the life of a person.  The show is properly managed so that the lights turn on only during the seemingly good times. Therefore, don’t let yourself be shaken by the skin of a tomato (sorry for the Helenism there).  

In the end, there is only one person we should all strive to impress, and that is the author of diversity - God.  You are his workmanship and everything around you is as they are because he allowed them to be.  

Be proud to be your own original self.

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