Focusing on the difference vs. the overlap.

It’s often easy to look at the world and say here is how we are different. When judging a product, a service, a restaurant, all you need to make your decision is on how they are different. Some differences include, appearance, price, speed, durability, craftsmanship, taste, and quantity. However, when interacting with others it’s easy to see the differences and not the overlap.

I watched an interview with Ricky Gervais recently talking about atheism (Please ignore the religious undertone here, it’s just a good example) and to paraphrase he said, “There are around 3,000 gods across all religions in the world, the difference between an atheist and a Christian is that the atheist believes in 1 less god than the Christian does.” They both agree that the other 2,999 gods don’t exist, but on the last one the disagree.

While some people get heated over that kind of stuff, it’s actually a healthy way of looking at it, Mathematically, when it comes to deities they worship those two are actually in agreement on 99.9% of the worlds deities. However, that 0.1% can be a sticking point for a lot of people.

It takes significant thought, reflection, and perspective to see the overlap, and that’s precisely why it’s so valuable. Differences are easy to spot, it’s why we use them as a shortcut, seeing the similarities is much harder and likely, much more valuable when trying to make sense of the world.