Rejoicing in Variety

Task 48

An old saying says that you should never argue about tastes. Not everyone takes this seriously. People argue about our many differences, discussions that get nowhere, and often end up with hurt feelings.

Imagine the different cells in the body having a conversation. The muscle cells complain that the bone cells never do anything. The bone cells are upset with the acid in the stomach knowing it could burn them. The skin cells think that the nerve cells, especially in the brain, are much too jumpy, reacting to everything. The eye cells are afraid of fingernail cells, and so on and on. It is a marvel that the whole system works, and it works because, though every cell in the body can be traced back to the fertilized egg, they have branched into all kinds of mutually supportive forms and functions.

Sometimes we are critical of people for their differences. At other times, we rejoice in the variety of human lives, and the variety within our own life.

I grew up in an old farm house with a chicken coop at the back. During the war years, we raised chickens. One thing struck me very forcibly about the hens. If any one of them had a flaw, like a patch of bare skin, the others would peck at it until it died. I do not know what role that played in evolution, but it reminded me very much how we humans tend to pick away at those who are different.

This is not to say that all human behaviors are good, or all opinions are equally valid. It is simply to say that we need to welcome variety instead of using it as an excuse to look down on others. For our own peace of mind we need to resist any tendency to get upset about differences of taste or varieties of opinions.

This week notice moments when you find yourself disagreeing with someone else on a matter of taste. Notice how the lower self wants to make an issue out of differences. Replace any negative feelings with a positive appreciation of the fact that you are different.