Strange Difference

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A strange phenomenon… when I go on Youth Focus camps and spend time with young people – one thing strikes me everytime.   20-25 young individuals arrive to spend a weekend together and often there’s only one thing they have in common – they’re all different.    That ‘difference’ too, seems to be the carrier of loneliness, the feeling of disconnection and lack of sense of place in the world.  But, over the space of a weekend, that very difference is what unites and strengthens them.   Why?  Because, unlike the world outside the camp environment, difference is valued and accepted there.  So it’s safe to reveal their true selves, however strange, weird and unacceptable that might be to the outside world.   And they are safe also to try on new ways of being without judgement and criticism.   And it always makes me wonder … what if being different meant you’d never be alone again….what if society valued and appreciated difference as opposed to casting aside those who don’t fit the mould.

What if individual flags were flown in the face of the ‘one size fits all’ (we know it doesn’t).   Wouldn’t the world be a far more interesting (and safer) place to be.