Same Same But Different

Same Same But Different

Times change, but people not so much.  There are always reasons.  Things move so fast in our internet-driven, 24/7, high-speed society that it’s hard to assimilate everything all the time, so instead people lapse into familiar ways and patterns, a form of stasis perhaps, but keeping up often requires way more energy and free time than most of us have.  As a result, we are all guilty of a certain rigidity of thinking.  

Now before you say, “not me” let me just say I know who you are because I am you.  One time, long ago when Catholicism was all I knew, I thought that everyone who wasn’t Catholic was wrong and only I and those who thought like me were right.  Thank the heavens I got over that.  All it took was a comparative religion class for starters, where I heard, quite clearly, people of different faiths saying THE EXACT SAME THINGS about God that I was saying.


I think not.

Today, it’s happening again for me, but this time it’s politics and the people who think the exact opposite of me politically are saying the exact same thing about my guys (used in the generic sense of the word) as I’m saying about their guys, sometimes at the same time, which is when we laugh and look at each other knowingly.  Hallelujah for a break in the stalemate at the court of public opinion!  It happened to me the other week with my neighbor who’s great, just not his political choices. 

Coincidentally, he thinks the same about me.

I believe you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts.  My mother used to admonish us kids to keep our opinions to ourselves.  In a society of over-sharers, there’s something to that.  Maybe if people kept a few opinions to themselves once in awhile our nation wouldn’t be in this pickle.

Anyway, over the course of conversation with my neighbor, we both said we couldn’t believe what Candidate [fill in the blank] was doing, and when we both used the same words about our respective candidates AT THE EXACT SAME MOMENT, it dawned on me:  we are entrenched and we are never going to get anywhere, never going to get out of it or remedy it, never going to do the “full speed ahead” kind of maneuvering we need to save a planet that is very clearly trying to shake off the human component of its existence, unless — we honor our differences.

That’s right — Honor Our Differences.

It’s hard.  I’m not going to lie.  To think that our newest Supreme Court Justice could undo decades of advancements for women with a few strokes of the pen makes me apoplectic.  But I know from whence she came in all her conservative thinking because I was once her.  But people can change, yes, sometimes they can even surprise us as Pope Francis has done on more than a few occasions since he took over as the head of the Catholic Church with his message of inclusivity for all.

To move forward we often need a push to find fulfillment and balance and an understanding of the process of transformation.  Perhaps the world needs a life coach, or as my friend Kelly says, couples therapy.  Generally, the only way to have trust in the process is to make it a collaborative one, something that’s been missing in the U.S., especially in religion and politics, for many years.

Access and consensus are imperative. 

Siloing is destructive. 

People who believe in God telling me I’m wrong because I don’t believe in God the way they believe in God seems illogical to me, maybe even unethical.  To them I say, has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?

Very few things that have worried me have come to fruition.  I’ll take that as a win, not because my worrying solved anything, but because it all worked out despite my interference.  And things I’ve thought about people have not been true, or maybe things I’ve never thought about them have been true.  Either way, my preconceived notions about people should not be the litmus test; everyone needs an opportunity to prove themselves and to be that which they came to this planet to be.  Everyone.  Even people with whom we  disagree vehemently as in God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions.

So what is the next version of US?  What does U.S. 2.0 look like?  What needs to change?  What should stay the same? 

Try to recall a picture of yourself from childhood.  Do you recognize who you are today?  Maybe.  Can you go back to that person?  Not without a time machine.  Shouldn’t we as a nation do the same?  Take the best parts of our lives and incorporate them into the next version of ourselves and try, really try, to work on the worst?

My friend and life coach —yes, I got a life coach this year to help me figure out the next version of myself:  Pam 2.0! — Mike told me a story about how when he was little — maybe 8 or so — he used to walk a blind man to the bar on the corner where the man could get a beer.  There was never any spoken agreement between the two.  Mike just saw him one day and knew where he was going so he’d grabbed the man’s arm and walked him to the bar and waited until he was done and then walked the man home.  While there, the blind man drank a beer and he always bought Mike a coke.  That’s not why Mike did it.  He didn’t need that man to buy him a soft drink.  He did it because even as a young child Mike was driven to service and he knew the man would appreciate his help.  Plus, he got to hear the blind man’s stories and in that, Mike got his first taste of listening, a skill that completely supports his current side gig and maybe someday full-time job as a life coach.


I think not.

Who you were as a kid is who you really are underneath all the learned behaviors that society forces upon us.  Your true soul energy had a powerful current running through you when you were a born and it continued into childhood and lives within you today although it may be a bit more tamped down or even ravaged than the original.  That doesn’t mean you should give up trying to connect.

Tap into your soul now and try to remember what it was that drove you.  Reconnect with the essence of your younger self and get some answers for the you of today.  While you’re at it, have a little tolerance for yourself and the rest of the world.  Give thanks for small incremental changes rooted in love. They are the very best and most lasting kind.

Take the saboteur test and let me know how it goes:

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  I am grateful for the power of a free-thinking society that is tolerant of diversity and always evolving, always rising to the challenge and striving to live life in harmony with nature and one another.  God bless us — Every One.

pam lazos 11.29.20

About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
This entry was posted in teach tolerance, Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Same Same But Different

  1. Christa says:

    I loved this! Thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jkaybay says:

    Best wishes for Pam 2.0 in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loving soooooooo much of what you’re saying here. I’ve been teaching bits of this to my students for years, that a true argument isn’t about out-shouting one another and calling names, but actually listening to one another about why we think differently and finding the common ground on which a compromise can be built. Our country has forgotten how to do that, and feels like they have to win it all or go down burning everything. No one likes to say they “gave up” anything, yet it’s only through “giving up” something that a solution can be found that benefits all concerned. GAh, we apparently need to take American administration back to school….

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jkaybay says:

    Great post, Pam!
    Hope you had a peaceful Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hilarymb says:

    Yes – we do need to respect each other’s differences – good reminder at this time of year – thanks Pam … all the best and stay safe – Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  6. cath says:

    So true, and neatly put. Free speech is most certainly the most valuable thing most of us have.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. theburningheart says:

    Yes, actually when people ask me what are my beliefs I tell the I am Spiritual but not Religious, a denomination with bad connotations, for some committed merely following one path, but something I adopted by lack of a better word, since after studying several Religions come to the conclusion all of them seek the same, some people also may disagree, on this as well, but it’s not about semantics, but about True Spiritual Experience, and I respect every belief.

    Seven years ago Nov. 2013 I published a post about it on my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. theburningheart says:

    I was born on a fairly conservative family, and sent to a Catholic school run by Italian missionaries, but around maybe between twelve to fourteen years of age I was already pretty skeptical, that it was the Only Real Religion, and where my passion to study other Religions was born.

    And I have adopted a saying from Swami Vivekananda:

    “It is very good to be born in a church, but it is very bad to die in a church. It is very good to be born within the limits of certain forms that help the little plant of spirituality, but if a man dies within the bounds of these forms, it shows that he has not grown, that there has been no development of the soul.”
    Of course that phrase also has limits, when you are talking about a person who has reached holiness following a particular path, but tolerance, and acceptance it’s a sine qua non, in Real Spirituality.
    And hold to the idea that the problem it’s not there’s too many Religions, but very few, each man/woman need to hold his own direct Religion, or link to Spirit.

    Great post Pam! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pam Lazos says:

      That is so phenomenally beautiful and true. I agree that each must find his own path and do what he came here to do and religion should be a springboard rather than a destination. I consider myself more spiritual than religious, and it’s only in the last couple decades that I don’t see that as a flaw but a strength. Still, that only came after much reading and experimenting and hard listening to the dictates of my soul. Good to know there are more of us out there. 🥰🙏🙌

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so well written and expressed. I agree with and relate to so much, if not all, of what you have written. I was never a strong religious type. I was brought up with mixed religious experiences and mysticism, so I had so much to choose from, and then I found the Tao de Ching at 15, and was interested in the philosophy to an extent. I do agree we change throughout our lives and you gave so much good fodder for thinking about how we can expand beyond where we currently are. I like your ideas here. I’m also politically in agreement with you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pam Lazos says:

      Hi Ka and thanks for you nice words!🥰 There is so much to draw from in the world – I also read and was moved by the Tao de Ching – and I wonder why people don’t seem to want to explore more. I think my openness comes from the fact that my parents were two different religions and it didn’t seem to bother them much, although it did their families, which took a toll on my parents relationship at times which seemed so avoidable and unneccesaary so I think my intolerance for intolerance stated at a young age!😂


  10. Lots of truth there, Pam. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lampmagician says:

    Well said and explained, I hope it’ll come over some brains! I personally have given up all the religions once and for all when I was about 18 years old and as you mean here, I agreed that we all have the same God or Divine, or what so ever it might be called. As far as we mean good deeds, good thoughts and good words.
    Take care and be safe. 🤗💖
    PS: I have actually thought that you were Orthodox 😉😇

    Liked by 1 person

  12. TanGental says:

    Interesting piece Pam. There is a fascinating (to me at least) debate here about the distinction between the concepts of respect and tolerance when it comes to the right (and by extension the right to curtail) free speech in this case a change to Cambridge University’s policy thereon. This comment piece explains it. Basically it is supporting our right to mock and challenge. So while I agree we need to listen and allow others to have their say we must also be free to offend them when we tell them we think they’re plain wrong. A difficult balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Lazos says:

      I agree with that analysis, Geoff, but I think the discourse in the U.S. has gone way beyond mockery and is into actually inflicting pain which has caused a spiraling downward effect calculated to not just mock but bury people. There seems to be no level so low that it is out of bounds. People are dying here because of racist rhetoric; it goes way beyond poking fun or having a laugh at another’s expense and I wonder if we can ever reclaim the level of civility that existed at one time. I’m all for challenging each other, but when one loses in a fair fight, they need to step aside and not fan the flames of discord and hate which is what our president does daily and for the last four years, sadly. 😞 I will read your article and report back!🙏


      • TanGental says:

        yes, I stand on the sidelines of your dilemma and wonder what has become of that civilised curiosity that was once the envy of us. But then again, you guys have experienced many seemingly insoluble conundrums – the civil war, the Macarthysim nightmare, the civil rights divides and come back from it with hope and heart; it’s cyclical and you know what they say about the period just before a new dawn…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos says:

        I agree – fractal time and all – but I wonder where the breaking point it. Certainly we are dangerously close with the cheeto in chief and had he been more polished and less of a grifter he would have gotten away with more and therein lies the scariest part. The next guy had a road map.
        I also enjoyed the article on Cambridge and I do agree that we walk the razor’s edge between tolerance and obsequiousness. Time for a good shunning, I say. 😂😂😂


  13. Really good post Pam. I took the test and I do agree with the results. I am always striving to evolve, especially with so many mistakes of the past behind me. Maybe I’ll look at them as fuel to do better.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi. Well, I’m not a fan of repressive, backward-thinking people. And there are far too many of them. Generally speaking, they will not be helpful in the attempts to solve the big problems that need fixing.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Happy day from across the pond. Lovely post xxxxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks for sharing your vision, Pam. As a former Catholic nun in my young adult years, I was very conservative about several issues, so I could relate when you say: “But I know from whence [my neighbor] came in all her conservative thinking because I was once her.” My conservative mindset began to evolve–not with the study of comparative religions, as in your case–as an undergraduate during a course on anthropology. I learned to look at human evolution with different eyes.
    Politics and religion are minefields that we each have to learn to navigate if we are to collaborate in finding solutions for our shared problems as a nation. As you say: “Access and consensus are imperative.”

    Liked by 3 people

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