We talk a lot in recovery about perception and perspective, and one of the driving points is humanity’s tendency to focus on the differences between similar things. It makes sense; it’s biological. It’s how babies develop their sight. And then, it’s how they categorize and make sense of the world. I remember one of the first things I watched on television being the “One of these things is not like the other” game on (i think?) Sesame Street.
But when we are always focused on all the ways another person is different from us, we miss all of the ways they are the same. And by and large, people are similar creatures.
So in recovery they describe being difference-focused as behavior that isolates us from our fellow humans, which is counterproductive for a social species like ours.
If we change our perspective just slightly and actively seek out similarities, we flip from focusing on exclusion to focusing on inclusion.
It’s a small change with some pretty impactful results.
It can be damned hard to make that small change, but it can be done.