I want to tell you a secret. But I realize some of you probably aren’t prepared for this information. You won’t be ready for it, you won’t understand it. You’ll potentially scoff, or get defensive, or shy away from it, or misunderstand it entirely. I don’t want that. So click through the break if you think you can handle it, and I’ll trust that you’re ready.
We are all the same. I wanted to sugar-coat that, to wrap it up in pretty language and metaphors and such, but ultimately I decided it wasn’t fair to you. So there it is, the plain, unadulterated, unmasked truth: we’re all the same. We have differences, of course. We all have different experiences and different features and different ways of communicating and different habits and different vices and different hobbies. And sometimes those differences harmonize in beautiful ways; sometimes we even find someone who shares more of those things than mere coincidental circumstance would suggest. Sometimes those differences clash. But we focus too much on the differences and overlook the similarities, and it is to our detriment.
Somewhat strangely, it’s been Tumblr that’s reminded me, and made me fully realize, this very important truth. I’ve always had what I considered a diverse group of friends. But whatever I thought was “diversity” in the past, I fear doesn’t even deserve the name compared to the diversity of my Tumblr friends. You come from all over the planet, from all kinds of backgrounds, all sorts of circumstances, and all manner of cultures.
Here on Tumblr, I’ve made friends with people in every state in the United States. I have friends in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, India, China, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Spain, Norway, Finland, Sweden, France, Portugal, Turkey, Thailand, South Korea … can I stop now? I just don’t want to leave anybody out. You live all over the world. I have friends of nearly every race, and a lot of friends who are some combination of several.
And you’re all different ages. I have friends who are 15, 16 years old … and I have friends in their 40’s. I have friends in high school, I have friends in college. I have friends who’ve been out of college for some time, and friends who were never in college. I have friends who work, I have friends who are unemployed, I have friends who are self-employed. I have friends who love their work and friends who hate it with the burning heat of a thousand suns.
I have friends who follow different religious traditions. I have friends who are Pagan, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic, Atheist. And you all have varying degrees of adherence to your faiths (or non-faiths, as the case may be). I have Muslim friends who wear hijab and are proud to do so. I have Muslim friends who eschew it. I have Protestant friends who are strictly observant and evangelical, as well as those who only ever go to church on Christmas and Easter and otherwise don’t think about it very much. I have friends who are open about their religious beliefs, and others who believe in keeping them private.
I have friends of different gender and sexual identity. I have trans gendered friends and I have cis gendered friends. I have friends who are strictly heterosexual and friends who are strictly homosexual, and I have friends who are every degree of bisexuality in between. I have friends who are polyamorous or pansexual. I have friends who believe in monogamy. I have friends who are virgins, and I have friends who are unapologetic sluts. I have friends who are strictly vanilla and friends into various fetish scenes to various degrees.
And you know what we talk about? The same things anybody talks about with anybody who’s a friend. We talk about books, movies, music. We talk about writing. We talk about Tumblr. We tell each other jokes. We tell each other stories. We relate to each other because deep down, we’re all the same. Human beings and mice have 92% of their DNA in common. Human beings share 100% of their DNA with each other. We may have different eyes, and different thoughts, and different experiences, and different points of view, but we are all the same.
If more of us realized that, the world would be a better place. Or maybe it’d just be more like Tumblr.