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OPINION: We are all unique

by By Stan Fine, Columnist | May 4, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

When I take a good hard look at the world around me, my heart is saddened. The cruel intentions and blatant intolerance of some of the people I see cause me to wonder what if any goodness remains. Has this once-beautiful place changed so much? And, if so, can the peace, joy and love that once filled our hearts ever come again?

What is it that has brought about the fear of listening to the words of others? Have we become so fearful of dissenting opinions that we cannot allow some to express themselves? Do we sincerely believe that our beliefs are the only ones that matter, and are some of us so consumed by conceit that it is assumed that our views should, without question, be accepted?

Everyone should have the basic right to be who they truly wish to be. Our lives are here for only a moment in time and that life should be as we want it to be. However, the choices we have made need not be the same ones others choose to make. I believe that we can live our lives fully and with decency while respecting the choices others have made.

Don't think less of me because I am different and, in turn, I will think no less of you. Don't condemn me for whoever I may be, and I will, in turn, never try to change you to be like me. The differences and the diversities that may be seen among each and every one of us are the things that make our lives and this world so very beautiful and wonderful.

Every blade of grass is unique. There are others that are similar, but no two are exactly alike. I don't ask the blooming roses or marigolds to change and, in turn, they are not asking me to be more like them. Each of us is different from the other, and that's the way it was meant to be.

When I gaze into that dark night sky, I know that it is like no other that I have seen before. Each star, every speck of light has its own identity, and none are craving to be like another; nor are they promoting their brightness, attempting to coerce others to be more like them.

I listen in the spring of the year as the shrieks made by the blue jay move across the pastures and in the evening and sometimes late at night, I can hear the calls of the coyotes far off in the distance. Neither the blue jay nor the coyote envies me or my life, and neither wants me to be more like them.

The summer skies are bright blue, bluer, it seems, than any that have come before and unlike any that may come in the days to come. Those fluffy white clouds that call those skies home have shapes that prompt my imagination to explore the things they remind me of. I appreciate the qualities that make each blue sky and cloud so different.

The new sun seems brighter and the warm rays it sends to me are warm and comforting. When those rays of heat and light begin to blister my skin, I don't ask the sun to change. I accept the life-giving star for what it is.

The summer wind that brushes across my face cools my skin and moves on to a far-off destination yet unknown to me. I don't ask the puffs of wind to stay with me because it is not in its nature to do that. Winter's cold and bone-chilling winds move over my hands, breaking the skin and prompting me to find a safe place for those cold and aged appendages. Yet, I don't ask the blistery breezes to change their manner; I take the wind for what it is.

I don't ask why the tree branches sway as the breeze passes through them. I dare not ask the trees to be more like me, and the trees are content with their existence which is unlike mine.

The hills and valleys I see when walking are very different from any others and that is what makes each of them so very special to me. How monotonous would it be should every hilltop and grass-covered valley be alike?

I am unique. For better or worse, there is only one of me, and I am like no other. My appearance, my traits, good or bad, and yes even my soul are mine alone. Some parts of me may be like those possessed by another, but when all my components are assembled, I am unique, and that's the way I like it. There will never come a moment when I wish that someone else will be identical to me.

However, I respect the wishes of others to be different. After all, variety is what makes this world of ours so very interesting. I will always allow others to speak and submit their opinions and, although I may not agree with them, I must always keep in mind that they, too, may not agree with me.

When the day comes, and it most surely will come, when I leave this world behind, I will leave it knowing that one irreplaceable part of it is gone and will never come again -- a unique me.

Stan Fine is a retired police officer and Verizon Security Department investigator who, after retiring in 2006, moved from Tampa, Fla., to Noel. Stan's connection to Noel can be traced back to his grandparents, who lived most of their lives there. Stan began writing after the passing of his wife Robin in 2013. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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