Some differences between us are obvious and hardly mean anything at all when it comes to telling us who these people are. I’m thinking skin colour and gender, age and money.
Others are so hard to see unless you care enough to look but sing like a bright wonderful choir of people’s hearts and lives. Things like how they face hardships, how they connect, their family and what they may see in each moment and event.
I’ve been thinking of one of the aspects of that recently – cultures – and I wanted to share my thoughts.
I don’t know if sparkle is the correct term for a group of cultures, however it feels like the best and most appropriate term I can think of.
It’s easy not to see cultures, I know because I’ve managed not to so often. I used to think America and Ireland were the same as here in England, just with different weather and histories – recently I’ve come to realise how wrong I was. And yet…
And yet, even then, those countries, like mine, aren’t one flat universal culture. Imagine the sky and you think of a matt blue from end to end but look for just a moment and every tone and hue you could dream of could swirl in the edge of a cloud or hint at in the corner of the horizon.
Then, at night, the sun sleeps for a moment and a million stars, hidden during the day, sparkle and shine, each different and special – a different twinkle, colour, song to sing.
What is British culture? Truth is it’s so hard to find because there are so many, all easily hidden under the glare of each day. They each form their own sparkling brightness, so big they cross borders, so small they fit under a shadow.
There’s the ones we show in gloss and glitter on tv screens and sometimes strive so hard to follow that we forget ourselves – from royal courts to gentleman thieves, from car burning East End to entertaining Essex. Yet there’s so much more – Cultures formed from long history or ones grown out of shared hardships; people brought together by faith and those finding a shared hope., people who shine brighter for what they’ve been through and how they live, whose scars have etched in to reveal a strength or beauty unimagined or even, still, unnoticed.
Our world is, like the changing seasons, no two points the same, and that’s the most wonderful part of it.
The big thing to remember is that none of these cultures is about having it easy or destroying the others. They each have their own hardships and the greatest beauty comes when we all shine together.
There are people who’ve such strong beliefs that each act of life is a lesson in doing what’s right for more than themselves, yet that faith gives them hope at the darkest hours. There’re families who strive to support each other when, at times, they may want nothing more than to be alone, yet you should see them laugh and smile and share memories. There are people who’ve had to hide themselves for a lifetime but somehow find a light in the dark, who seem at times to laugh too hard but who we wont see when they’re crying seas. There are kings and royals who hold gems in their hands yet have every moment mapped out for them and every movement watched..
I could go on forever. I thought that accepting people meant not minding what they look like but I think theres more to it than that, because seeing what makes them special is a far harder thing, but truer in seeing who they are. It’s the difference between being invited to the party and feeling alone in the corner, or going to a party and being brought into the conversation and being able to dance. And lets face it, doesn’t a party feel more fun when loads of people are up and dancing and laughing?