A bald cardinal lives in our trees, feeding at the feeders and bathing in the birdbath. A quirk of nature gave him a body gloriously robed in brilliant scarlet, and a black head with an orange beak, but no red crown of feathers. He looks a little like a miniature red vulture. This cardinal doesn’t spend his days worrying about what the other cardinals think of him. He feeds, he bathes, and he flies – going on about life oblivious to his “different” looks. The other birds treat him no differently.
What would our world be like, if as humans, we didn’t worry about being different? About what people thought of us? Perhaps:
- The word bigot wouldn’t be in our vocabulary.
- The word harassment wouldn’t be in our vocabulary.
- The word racism wouldn’t be in our vocabulary.
- The word intolerance wouldn’t be in our vocabulary.
Instead the word respect would abound . We’d understand that all people matter, no matter what. We would show regard for the worth of people, valuing the dignity of race, gender, or faith. And the word integrity would abound. Instead of people pleasing, we’d worry less about what they think about us and instead just do what was important, right, and good. I think I’d like to live in a world where difference is celebrated. How about you?