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Respect the Difference!

December 5, 2012


“Oh, yes! To say that Arab and Jew are brothers and sisters is not to say that we are the same. There are racial differences among people, yes? There are cultural differences, sexual differences. … In my opinion, those differences can be good. What a dull world this would be were we all alike. What an evolutionary dead end! To be brothers, to live in peace, we do not have to be overly similar. We do not have to admire or even like one another’s peculiarities. We need only RESPECT those peculiarities–and to be greatful for them. Our similarities provide us with a common ground, but our difference allow us to be fascinated by one another. Differences give human encounters their snap and their fizz and their brew.”

—Abu Hadee speaking to Ellen Cherry in “Skinny Legs and All” (Tom Robbins, 1990)

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