“You are looking different today, someone told me. Is that a new outfit you are wearing?”
“Not exactly”, I assured her. “I normally wear this shirt with formal trousers. Today I am wearing it with faded jeans.” I also had on a pair of hoop earrings that I normally do not wear, and strappy sandals rather than formal shoes.
Quite apart from the fact that my outfit was more summer friendly than my normal work-wear, I wore what I wore because I wanted a change.
And don’t we all?
We don’t eat the same thing every day- we may do so out of necessity or convenience, but sooner rather than later, we crave a change.
We may wear the same thing every day, because it is convenient. But once in awhile, we want to break out of the mould and wear something quite different.
When we crave variety in food, and clothing, why do most of us go out of our way to surround ourselves with people just like us?
At the gym the other day, I encountered someone I haven’t met before. “I’ve never seen you before”, she said. “Are you new?”
“Not really”, I told her. “I normally come much earlier than I have today.”
“Earlier than this!”, she exclaimed. “What is the point? Once you have sent the kids and the husband off, you can really relax.”
“True, but I leave for work with my husband, so if I don’t’ come earlier, I can’t come at all.”
“You go out to work?”, she asked incredulously. I nodded, and she had nothing further to say to me.
In fact, when I tried to say goodbye to her before leaving, I found her going out of her way to avoid eye contact.
Whether she was opposed in principle to the idea of women going to work, or whether she did not think she would have anything in common with a woman who worked, it was clear that she didn’t want anything further to do with me after she found out I worked. Quite obviously, she was in her comfort zone with women who did not work, and didn’t want to waste time getting to know someone with whom she felt she would not have anything in common.
While I do like being with people like me, some of my closest friends are people with whom I have not very much in common. The last person who made me laugh did so, because what he said was something absolutely unexpected. The last person who made me think was someone who’s blog I may never have visited based entirely on their blogger profile. The last person who saved my life was someone who I would never have thought could even relate to my then current life situation.
My life would have been infinitely less interesting had I not actively sought out people not exactly like me. And that is one of the things I like most about the virtual world – you meet people you never would have otherwise, and once you get to know them, you realise you actually like them a lot.
Variety is what make the world an interesting one for everyone. You may all have your favourite genre, but sometimes, don’t you pick up a book that is totally different and fall proceed to fall in love with it?
What would we do without Variety?