Celebrate the Differences

aha moment jae m rang Feb 05, 2024

I experienced an interesting text exchange with my cousin (she’s not on social media and unsubscribed from Aha! Moments a while ago so as not to clog her inbox so no chance of her seeing this … though I would welcome it.)

You see she didn’t appreciate that I had planned to send her a birthday card because, by doing so, I was polluting the environment.  I explained that the climate is not in the crisis that they are leading us to believe, and cheerfully defended my even bigger picture; that in buying the card I was supporting a small business as well as the job of the letter carrier, all with the intention of putting a smile on her face with my “pink pen prose” as I called it. 

She replied that a text message would have sufficed.

My studies in the effects of blue light prompted me to share my encouragement for a break from EMF rays – to add more SUN rays – explaining that she’d have to get outside and walk to the mailbox.  Okay, so I was being playful but there was a healthy undertone.

So here I am believing that since we are all connected, this gesture of a birthday card would not only make her smile but would have many other positive, rippling effects. I could only find wins in the gesture but it was through her responses that I realized we did not agree.

She apologized for forgetting about my “unique perspective” and offered, “Next time I’ll just keep my opinion to myself”.  Oh my.  My heart sank. What did I do??

How could I offend a special someone with an act of kindness?  Am I guilty of imposing my “love language”?  Was the threat of a birthday card actually an inconsideration?

Aha! ~ “It is not our differences that divide us.  It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” ~ Audre Lorde

Given that each of us was gifted with free will and an intellect, we all get to choose our perspective and what works for us. 

I won’t buy into the “divide and conquer” playbook so finding a way to stay true to my enthusiastic desire to celebrate my cousin’s special day and still respect her views that mail is wasteful, was a tough one.  In the end, my cousin agreed to view my card before recycling it and I promised to only text her for her birthday next year.

For the record, my “love language” is “time” as I believe it is our most precious commodity.  So I am grateful that Jane always responds so thoughtfully to emails and Gina reaches out just to see how I’m doing. I love the indulgence of Cathy, Sandrine and Lynn to ideate or just, plain catch up. I appreciate the “always a pleasure” response from Jason for contributions and Chris for absolutely whatever needs to be done to move us forward and the willingness of Rachel, Corrie, Kristen, Nathan, Ben, Jussi and Robyn to partner on projects. Lorraine always carves time for brainstorming, Barb never shies away from an hour’s drive to hit the trails together and I can’t help but smile receiving the treasured handmade gifts Carolynne mails me and the regularity with which Mike shares his insights from Aha!s.  And forever and a day I will appreciate the impromptu walks with my SonShine.  Maybe it’s just me.

“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, perfect or beautiful, you just have to care.” ~ Mandy Hale


Full disclosure, it took me a while to get the lesson here.  I’ll share more on YouTube and we’ll open the discussion with everyone tomorrow in Human U.  And a new friend, Kerrie, in Idaho Falls, sent me this today about 50 Simple Ways …   “Hi Jae, I finished reading your book. There are a lot of sections that really made me think about my life in the past. I feel like it's a book I needed to read through and then go back and study the sections that affected me the most.”  Not the first person to refer to it as a ‘study guide’.  Get yours today then join us in Human U.


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