This past week I spent some time at UConn for my last session with the team. I had dinner one of the nights at an Asian restaurant, a small hole-in-the-wall type place with really good food. The manager came over to see how things were and noticed my friend, who happens to be Asian, at the table. He introduced himself to us, then turned to her and asked if she was Chinese. She told him that no, she was Japanese and he just laughed and said matter of factly, “Well, we are all the same…” With that he turned and walked away. We laughed at the table as he left. I smiled and thought about it for a little bit. How right he is. Not the fact he was actually talking about Asian people, the fact is, I took it as he was talking to me. We ARE all the same. Regardless of religion, color, gender, marraige status, sexual orientation, age, shoe size, height, weight, disability, hair or eye color… the list could go on. But in reality… we are all the same. We are of the human race. We feel, we think, we breathe the same air. We put on our pants one leg at a time, we brush our teeth with similar motion, and we sleep generally in the same fashion… mostly when it’s dark, and lying down. We share this planet, we laugh, we cry, we feel, we love… and sometimes… we hurt and we hate.
So I got to thinking. That last part… the hate. Why? Because we think we are more different than we are. We don’t seem to understand things that are not like us. We bring about war and crisis and chaos. And through it all, we find love and hope and opportunity. If we choose to. We all do. Even though it may be at different times, through different eyes and with differences of opinion. We choose to let our race or our age or our careers define us. We think differently about the world in front of our eyes because we are supposed to. Or we would all share one set of eyes. Standing on opposite ends of an elephant, we are bound to see and feel different things. And neither of us are wrong. That’s the beautiful part. It truly is that simple.
My air is no different. The moon in my sky is there when you look out your window too. And the fact that I am 5’11” doesn’t change that.
Bob Wong was right. We are all the same.