In honour of Martin Luther King Day, the civil rights leader who fought tirelessly to dismantle racial segregation, I thought would post this article.

As someone who makes their way through this world expecting to like those I meet, I am not naïve enough to believe that everyone I meet will be my next best friend, or that I will want to move them up from acquaintance to friend, however, imagine being open enough to suspend any judgments before you interact with someone?

How might your life change if I told you that every person you were going to meet in the next hour, regardless of how they looked, what language they spoke, whether they were rich or poor, black, brown or white, male, female, non-binary or other, had something of great value to give to you? Nuggets of gold that they couldn’t share with you until you suspended any judgement of their worth to you, at least until you could find that out for yourself.

What if we took on the perspective of looking forward to meeting the next stranger that comes our way, regardless of who they are or how they look? Do you think it would be possible for you to don the ‘hat’ of a Prospector for the day? A miner whose mission is to actively search for the ‘gold’ within?

What if you started by looking for the things you both have in common. Do they have a family, or children? Do they enjoy sports, movies or music? Do they love art or theatre. What makes them cry? Do they love to sit on the beach and enjoy the smell of the ocean or do they work too much and never have time for a vacation? Have they ever broken a bone or fell off a horse? Do they live with emotional, physical or spiritual pain? Have they ever been in Love? Have they ever lost a love? Do they have any regrets about life and if so, what would they change if they could? What could you do to help them?

We have more similarities than differences. We are the same species and just like dogs or cats, our shape, colour and temperaments differ, but no matter what we look like on the outside, we can still mate with one another, we still share the same physical need for water, warmth when cold, food when hungry, and comfort when hurt. Whether you like to walk this planet alone or live with a large family, we are pack animals and without touch, especially in our first year of life, we lose part of our humanity.

We have all heard of feral children, children brought up in the wild, raised by animals, well by a certain age, it becomes impossible to socialize them or give them language skills. This can also happen to children who are never given a comforting touch as babies. Though they are surrounded by human beings, the massive loss of their potential is astounding. The orphans they found in Bulgaria after the war are a perfect example. These babies were left alone all day in their cribs. They were given a minimal amount of interaction, just enough to feed them and change their diapers. Denied the comfort of touch and soft words, these children became catatonic. Their potential intelligence stunted, irreversibly, emotionally void and vacuous. What is my point here?

Each and every one of us has a deep need for one another. Even those who like to live alone need a certain amount of social interaction, even if it’s from their dog. Any differences we have are environmental not inherent. We are products of our socialization, molded by our family’s first, conditioned to fit into the society in which we were born.

Once we recognize this, we can change our story of intolerance, and instead of disliking those who are not like us or that we were conditioned to hate on sight, we can become tolerant and even more, when we look for ways to celebrate the differences and find comfort in the similarities. We weren’t born hating one another. That is a lesson well taught. However it is also one that can be relearned.

I have always said that I could take ANYONE off the street and make an interesting and compelling video about them. No matter who they are or what they look like, there will be something in their tale that we can all relate too. Each of us shares this ‘human’ experience connected spiritually. We all are tapped into ONE consciousness. Sure we each have our own agenda and individual journey’s to complete, but as you grow spiritually, so will this feeling of oneness.

I invite you today to change your perspective for just one hour. Engage the very next person you meet with an open countenance, and a true desire to find out who they are, to find a reason to like them. Look for the hidden nugget, the gem that is them.