It is estimated that there are 28 000 different species of butterflies, but constantly new butterflies are being discovered. It is this diversity that adds to their allure. Even two butterflies that seem exactly alike will have subtle differences. Each one is uniquely made. We as humans are no different, even identical twins are not completely alike. Yet it is a sad fact that from the moment we are born we are moulded and formed to fit in with the "norm". Every growth milestone is measured to see how it compares with others. From an early age we are conditioned to measure ourselves against others and we soon learn that to be different is not tolerated well by society.
Many people as adults still bare the scars of being teased and even shunned because they dressed differently, spoke differently or came from a different part of town. Some have learnt to point and laugh with the crowd at those who did not fit the expectations of society in order to disguise the fact that they too are different. Teenagers, although they want to be unique, go to great lenghts to make sure that they have the current hairstyle, the same baggy trousers or listen to the same music so they blend in with the "in" crowd.
They silently scream out to be noticed, yet are angry if we as parents do not help them to look like all the others.
Yet again we can learn from nature. It is its very diversity that assures its survival. Nature in fact celebrates the differences and constantly adapt, change and diversify. All of nature is a stage with the most weird and wonderfully unique actors that provide us with endless entertainment.
In the same way each one of us is also unique and endowed with our own special gifts. Yet we are often unkind and unloving to those we perceive as different or "strange". We are afraid to associate with them and we devalue them. We are even more fearful that others might notice our own strangeness.Yet history is full of stories of how these "different" people changed the world. Howard Hughes, Van Gogh, Jesus of Nazareth, to name but a few, were some of those strange and different individuals.
It is time to look around us and embrace the differences in others, but even more so, it is time to look within and recognise and love yourself for the gorgeous, unique and special person that God created you to be. Put your different-ness on display and celebrate it. Walk with your pyjamas down the street, let your hair grow, eat ice-cream in the snow, dance with the butterflies or do whatever you want to, you may, YOU are you, not a copy, but the original!