Respect the differences!

The outside may differ but on the inside we are all the same.

One of my daughters is for the moment studying in Verona and the family decided to spend Christmas with her instead of staying at home as usual. This time was a much more relaxed time together then previous holidays since we were not stuck with all traditions.

We really had a lovely time in Italy and I tried to study the culture and learn from it. I can clearly see that the Italians have a different culture from us in very many ways.

 And at the same time I can clearly see that Italians and Swedes have the same basics needs. We need food, physical activity, sleep and we need other people around us treating us well. That is because we are biologically the same kind.  This goes for all other nationalities too – we may look different on the outside but on the inside we are all the same and basically we have the same needs – physically and mentally.

I see the outside differences as an advantage. They give something extra to a relation. The differences forces you stretch your mind and you have to think in different patterns – outside the box. The outside differences may of course vary also between people of the same tradition because we all have our own personality. Think how boring it can be to always be among people who are just like you. It may feel safe but it doesn’t grow your mind.

At the same time I see the inside look alike as good news. Everybody has the same basic needs –white-, black-, yellow-, red- skin or anything in-between – it doesn’t matter. We need to be seen and respected for what we are. It means that it is easy to connect with people all around the world. Just treat everybody the same way you want to be treated – with respect.

I have met many patients from far away during my work as doctor. Sometimes I have felt a bit nervous that I would not understand them because their world is so different from mine. My way of solving this problem has been to listen carefully to what they tell me and ask a lot of questions. It usually ends up with good contact and I realize that their needs are just like ours. I have seen it again and again. And I owe these patients a big thank-you because they have taught me so much about life.

Realizing this I have for example found it is a good thing to build teams with people with different personalities and with different cultural backgrounds. That will make the result of the teamwork more interesting because it has been viewed from different perspectives. Of course you have to give the group the working conditions they need too – regular breaks for food and rest and so on. These are universal needs.

These experiences also have made me interested in working with personality tests helping people grow and to make groups work better together. I will tell more about this later this year. If you can’t wait till then you can send a note and I will tell you more.

Until next week – Greetings from