• July 9th, 2020

We are different

After carefully laying out my plans and vision for life, I sealed the book that would guide my life. I had it all
figured out, I knew at what age I expected to finish varsity, I knew where I intended to complete my post-graduate degree and I knew at what age I wanted to get married and with how many kids.

I had it all figured out; I knew what I wanted and when I wanted it. I knew how I was going to get it and when it was intended to happen. The only problem is I was 12. Twelve years too young to comprehend life, 12 years too young to foresee the bumps and curves life throws at you, and 12 years too young
to possess the wisdom needed to  be able to make such life-altering decisions, never mind the ability
to understand the complexity of life. 

The truth is, it’s not that simple. It’s not as simple as noting down your wants and don’ts. It’s not as simple as drawing out a beautiful vision board that encompasses everything you wish to have and like rubbing against a genie, voila… it appears. You don’t get three wishes in life and get to use your third wish to get three more wishes or a lifetime of wishes. No, it takes a lot more discipline, doing and getting results. Sometimes, even after all the doing, the results are just not what you expected because
again, life happens and things don’t always work out the way you intend them to.

Learning that you can’t control the dynamics outside of yourself was a hard lesson to learn. I could fathom hard work because I had control over the amount of work I put in. I could comprehend business, because though slow, results come after the thinking and work have been done. I could comprehend all things that did not directly relate to human interaction.

When it came to the dynamic of relationships, things changed. It was no longer about me, but it became about the interaction of two people. I could never come to terms with the fact that everyone hasn’t been raised the same, hence their perspectives on life differ. Where you know it’s rude to not
say thank you, the next person feels it is trivial. Where you know it’s unkind to shove past someone without politely asking that they excuse you, to the next person they are in a hurry and have no time for polite talk.
Where you know it’s selfish to expect of someone what you are not willing to do, to the next person
it is an expectation.

Human biology and behaviour is formulated in one’s DNA and learnt behaviour from one’s environment.
Intellectually, I understand that; however, in reality, I struggle to comprehend how basic
human etiquette can be so neglected. So, how then can one make peace with the fact that human beings are different and we do not all think the same? The answer lies in the question. We are different,
and though our differences can drive us apart more often than not, accepting those differences is the first step towards working through them.

*Mavis Braga Elias is a civil engineer by qualification
and a marketing officer by profession. A philanthropist at
heart and founder of the EM Love Foundation. She won the
Vivid Philanthropist Award in 2015 and the Queen’s Young
Leader Award 2018. Find her on Twitter -@mavisbraga

Staff Reporter
2019-08-14 08:03:19 | 10 months ago

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