We live in a society that celebrates difference. If we’re truly honest with ourselves, we’re all looking for that thing–and oftentimes a label–that makes us unique. The thing that makes us stand out from the crowd. And I get it. It feels good and has been truly beneficial to discover and name my distinctions.
But what if we didn’t only do the hard work of unearthing what makes us different? What if we also really searched–I mean deep down probed–for all the ways we are alike?
I’m certainly not proposing we ignore differences and pretend they aren’t there. For example, let’s not pretend to be color blind when it comes to race. Doing so diminishes the unique experiences people of color have.
We can celebrate differences while at the same time seeking commonality.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the things I might have in common with someone. We have such different backgrounds. Worldviews. Upbringings. Ideologies. Experiences. Cultures. Predispositions.
But I can always find at least one thing in common with everyone–our humanity.
ABQ Mom is made up of over 40 women. There is no possible way we will all agree with each other on every issue. In fact, there’s every reason to believe (and expect) that as a community, we will have some values in common and some that are wildly different.
And there’s no way you will agree with all 40 of us either. Actually, if you did agree with each one of us, I’d be concerned that you didn’t have any convictions or notions of your own.
ABQ Mom is a collaborative blog that desires to be representative of our city.
This site is not representative of me. I do own the site but also have my own set of values. So of course, there’s every reason to believe that I will differ in lots of ways from others who write for this community.
My husband and I evaluate how well we are loving our proverbial neighbors by examining our dinner table. We ask ourselves: who’s been at our dinner table recently? And are they different from us? We want to make sure that we are truly welcoming–socially hospitable if you will–to others that we don’t have a lot in common with. Prioritizing eating and drinking with those we don’t see eye to eye with is part of our worldview and value system. And I can’t stress enough how much doing so has shaped me and grown me.
I want to do a better job welcoming everyone to the ABQ Mom table. It can’t be a truly inclusive table, however, if some voices are silenced. If they can only sit, but not speak, that’s a really lousy dinner party.
Certain voices and perspectives are sometimes silenced by a mainstream that doesn’t condone those viewpoints. However, shunning or silencing does not make a person or a community grow and flourish. It’s only alienated and angered. But lots of people flourish and grow because they are loved and are a part of something bigger than themselves.
Is this unity in diversity a pipe dream? Maybe so. But I’d much rather be accused of being overly optimistic with occasional disappointments than continually scanning the horizon in order to criticize those who aren’t like me. Or segregating myself from anyone who doesn’t look, act, and think like I do.
All this to say, you will probably see posts on ABQ Mom that rub you the wrong way. We allow our writers to write about their lives. And all of our lives are decidedly different.
But before you leave an angry comment, picture the human on the other side of the screen who has poured out her heart . . . and shared her life. It may not be your experience. It is hers though. And her humanity deserves dignity.
When you see something on our site that doesn’t sit well, rather than unfollow and write us off altogether, consider seeking to understand. Work to find the commonality between you and the writer. She’s a three-dimensional human with all kinds of depth and loveliness. Not a 2D villainous cartoon character who only has one emotion. And then wait a few days and posts you like will emerge because that’s the beauty of a collaborative blog.
Also, please know that I am available. The great thing about a local blog is that I’m right here. I’m your neighbor. Maybe we shop at the same Target and go to the same park.
I’m easily findable on the socials, and I’d be happy to talk through the reason why ABQ Mom makes the choices we do. Send me a DM. Let’s chat on the phone or grab a coffee.
I can very quickly find lots of online forums and community organizations that are full of people who agree with each other. Come alongside me as we seek to create something unique at ABQ Mom. A place where we can care for and support each other and help our community flourish despite our differences.
May all our convictions be seen through the lens of love.
There’s room at the ABQ Mom table for all voices.