humans are animals. in the sense that our behaviours are very similar. the animals we saw down in island bush camp were very shy and skittish - they're not used to humans. the animals at the main area, however, are more comfortable around humans so they don't run off. they've learned, through exposure, that humans aren't a threat; they've become part of the environment.
i look at how i behave in different environments and i'm not that much different than the animals. with my family, i hardly speak. i probably seem very cold to many people. but when i'm alone or with people who share similar values to me, i behave very differently.
in our family, we have many alphas so i sit back and observe. i do this in crowded environments too because i don't find value in small talk. one of my family members said that that's 'my problem. that i'm unable to just have light-hearted conversations; that everything has to be meaningful to me.' and he's not wrong. but i don't think that's a problem. i think that's just who i am. and i think his desire for the opposite is just who he is. i can't change who i am, nor do i want to. in the same way that he can't change who he is. is the onus not then on the person to accept the individual for who they are rather than on expecting the individual to change? if we're constantly changing to become what others want us to be, who are we becoming? what part of your individuality are you sacrificing in order to be accepted by others?
instead of being critical of others' differences, how can we learn to embrace them? to meet them where they are and accept them for all that they are?
i think a good starting point is to realise that people are going to have different values than you. and that's okay. a difference in values doesn't mean we can't still appreciate an individual for all that they are, to acknowledge underneath all of those differences, they're still a human being. a human being that wants exactly what you do; to love and be loved. this reality should be the core of all interactions, regardless of how different someone might be from you.
so how can you create an environment that accepts someone for all that they are, regardless of how different they might be from you?