We spend so much of our lives trying to fit in and yearning for a sense of belonging. It started when we were children. Maybe we wanted to be one of the “cool kids.” Maybe we were worried what people would think about the color of our skin, our jumbo reading glasses, or our big ears. Or maybe we were fearful of being judged because we couldn’t afford new school clothes or a new backpack every first day of school. Being called out for our differences instantly made us feel less than, unworthy, and unaccepted. Heartbreakingly, this even continues into adulthood, thereby creating a culture of social disparity and injustice. But what would our world look like if we simply EMBRACED DIFFERENCES? Behind the eyes of every human being is a heart, a soul, and a story. Each one of these stories is littered with fear, insecurity, joy, celebration, heartache, hope, love, rejection, and a deep desire to feel like we matter to someone or something. These stories are what we share in common, although they are all beautifully and tragically unique. So in all of our differences, we have similarities. And, in all of our similarities, we have differences. And we find them in the stories. Let’s get to know one another deeply. Let’s ask and listen. Let’s honor the stories. Embracing differences matters.

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