Like many of you, I have recommitted, as I do every New Year, to staying in shape. As a part of this commitment, I made my way to the gym along with many other like-minded individuals. Although I have been in this gym many times over the years, today the “Judgment Free Zone” sign struck me differently. Perhaps because recently I have been in many conversations focusing on what makes us different from one another – from the gifts and talents we possess to feedback on how our differences get in the way at work, with friends, and with family. It seems more often than not we are focused on how we are different versus how we are the same.
Today in the “Judgment Free Zone,” I became keenly aware of how we as individuals are alike. Regardless of how we take in information, how we process data, how we communicate or structure our lives, we are much the same. We have a desire to be successful, however we define success. We want to feel valued and that what we are doing matters to someone. We want to laugh, to feel joy. We want to have friends, to be connected to others. We want to be heard. We want to love and be loved.
While it is healthy to recognize and value our uniqueness and that of others, often we only focus on our differences. Perhaps if we focused a little more on how we are alike as human beings, we would experience less frustration and more understanding.