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I recently started watching a show on Netflix called Alphas. It is like a more “scientific” version of the show Heroes. If you’ve seen either you’ll know that the premise is that there are people with special abilities living among us, abilities like super hearing, super strength, or the ability to see computer signals.

These shows raise the question: how do we treat people different than ourselves? Do we label them freaks, threats, assets to be controlled, weapons? There are people in real life who can do amazing things maybe not to TV standards but they can do things most people can’t. I’m afraid fear and jealousy tend to draw negative reactions from us. Instead of embracing peoples’ differences and the opportunities they bring we ridicule them. We can’t shut our eyes to these differences and pretend they don’t exist but these differences shouldn’t separate us either.

Differences are what propel us forward. Different people bring different ideas to the table. Giving people the ability to fly was a crazy idea, but that didn’t stop the Wright brothers. Einstein flunked out of school because his brain was wired differently but he is responsible for proving major scientific theories we use every day. Now sure, differences can be dangerous in the wrong mindset. The us vs. them mentality. When differences are used for selfish gain instead of the common good we’re in trouble. What selfish gain entails is a subject for another post. I have a hard time staying focused as it is.

What would our world look like if we embraced our differences, if we didn’t separate the have’s from the have-not’s, if we let everyone’s differences propel us into the future instead of holding us back while we bicker and persecute? What if we all focused on using our abilities (whether we think they are special or not) to take care of our neighbor and let our neighbor take care of us? Think about it.