In which ways do you think you are different from everyone else?

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Because we are different. But also the same. Wait, how can that be?

It's like no two fingerprints are the same, but they all go on fingers. Most of us respond to stimuli similarly. We get hungry, we mate, we seek pleasure, we recoil from pain.

Yet our DNA plus the circumstances of our life dictate different identities. This is true even within a family. I had four sons and they are nothing alike. Yet they all share a common bond.

Feeling different can be a good thing in some ways, and not so good in others. Individuality is preferential to herd mentality: groupthink is scary. Yet too much exclusionary ideology can lead to isolation and loneliness.

It's cool to feel and be different, but it's good to be tolerant and respectful of different perspectives as well. So much of life is this kind of balancing act.

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