Look how much more interesting this whole group becomes when just one bloom decides to do its own thing. She doesn’t ruin the collective by letting her colors fly. She doesn’t even diminish the beauty of the other blooms. Somehow through her own uniqueness, she makes everyone around her more unique.

I took this image a few weeks ago, but I continue to marvel every time I see it. I think there’s a larger message to be found in here: how boring would life be if we were all the same?

Would we function? Sure. But would we be as vibrant and interesting? Personally, I don’t think so.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a lovely elderly Black woman at the Symphony not long ago. We were both sitting on a bench in the lobby waiting for our respective companions to arrive when we started chatting. Somehow the conversation came around to the subject of travel and experiencing other cultures. I mentioned that I always wanted my kids to have the opportunity to experience new places and be exposed to all different types of people. I thought that they needed to know that their corner of the world is not the center of the universe, their way of life is not the only one in existence, and there is so much to be learned from others. The woman smiled and said simply, “I always told my kids that if everyone in the room looks and thinks like you, it’s time to find another room.”

I loved that. And I was so grateful I was lucky enough to find myself in the same room with her, even if it was just for a short while. From the color of our skin to the eras of our upbringing, I don’t know that we could’ve been much different. But what a vibrant and meaningful interaction it was.

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