One sunny morning, when I was travelling to work on the train, I was thinking about how different people are just after I saw a fun and bubbly train assistant. I felt that I am accepting differences in others a lot better than I did before. I was thinking about what I did differently? Then I realised that I had learned how to accept my differences a lot better than I did before, which helped me accept others. So, I thought of writing about how to appreciate others by accepting you first.

We all are different and unique individuals. Differences will create various ideas, different ways to look at something and do things differently to help create better outcomes or products. On the other hand, differences will create conflicts among people when we are reluctant to accept them. Welcoming differences in others are vital to have a fruitful life and maintain healthy relationships. It can be challenging because we are always used to match similarities and not try to live with differences. However, taking others’ differences will significantly change your life and your work, ultimately in the whole community. How can we do this? First, accept your differences, like the way how you are.

You will be different from others in various terms. Your personality, skin colour, thoughts, talents, believes and perspectives. Particularly with you reading this and me, writing this as we live in a different cultural setting from where we grew up. As an example, you can be an introvert, you may not be good at public speaking, but you can be good at your analytical skills. The way you think can be brave for you, but it can be selfish for someone else. It’s because we all different. None of these doesn’t mean you are not good enough. Be proud of being you! Because differences will make you a unique person.

Why are you worrying about what other people have in their life? It’s because you are not happy to appreciate what you have? Why are you trying to be like another person? It is because you are not accepting who you are. Do accept what you have and who you are, then only you can think of how you achieve your own life goals, instead of challenging or racing with others. Even in your work life or in your personal life, accept your differences and who you are.  Accepting how you are will allow you to figure out where you want to be. It is the best way to identify your development areas or where you want to be in your life. You will feel good and confident about yourself and your differences. Don’t be afraid to be different from others because you will add something different to the community one day or do something different from others.

Acknowledging your differences will give you a space to think about others, understand other individual’s differences and accept the way they are. You will become a person who values and respect others because you know and admit your differences. We all different for a reason. Learning how to accept your differences and others will be an individual journey for everyone and a new life skill. However, you will help yourself be you and create an inclusive community and a workplace.

Go ahead, accept your differences and others, see the difference it brings to your life.

Tara Rathnayake