Love it or hate it the UK is a country of diversity, family and spotting the difference, but should we? Or is it still rude to stare and point?
In food we ‘taste the difference’ in society we ‘spot the difference’ – is it OK?
‘Where are your parents?’ I was often asked at school ‘Behind me’ I would quietly say trying hard to blink back tears of shame, as an 8-year-old girl… ‘Are they? I can’t see them’, was a regular inquisition I would suffer at sports days and school events. This a very common script to any child who is either adopted, fostered or just doesn’t look like their parents. Being inquisitive is natural for children and adults but should it be? Is this random curiosity to fervently enquire about genealogy just that or a more sinister social un-acceptance of those who do not fit into our ‘world order?’
What is funny is that yes, as a transracial adoptee I do ‘spot the difference’ myself, as I love to see difference now and celebrate it! Finally after facing my demons I have realised that I actually love seeking difference. My friends are all so crazily unique from their hairstyles to their vocal accents that I find myself constantly craving ‘difference’! I remember one Sunday coming home from a trip from the States and as I got on the London tube a couple where sat opposite me… Well she had bright magenta hair, he was a businessman booted and suited and frankly no one cared! Whatever! Difference? Bothered?
Diversity once you have overcome the negative elements of painful exclusion can actually ignite a positive defiance to see change. That I can say is my story. Difference and celebration of truth has inspired me to celebrate the concept of family by setting up my new company ‘Adoption Arena’.
Time now for a little shameless plug! – My company Adoption Arena is a world of content for society around the adoption, fostering and care spectrum, like a ‘one stop shop’. You can be inspired, get expert advice, coaching, join a community and have fun. Take a look? If I had NOT faced the issues I had faced I would never have had the drive (some say madness) to set this company up!
I have learned that it is better to ‘spot the difference’ and use that information positively rather than totally ignore the wonderful diversity that is all around us.
So next time you see families, children, adults who you deem to be different to yourself maybe choose to ‘spot the difference’, and add them to your ‘finest’ collection in your mind! Good old Sainsbury for adding to our lingo…
Interestingly, in spotting difference it can actually help us celebrate the wonderful differences in ourselves.
Be different. Be fine. Be you.