Just inside the south eastern corner of the London borough of Islington there stands a large multi-screened advertising hoarding, built on top of Old Street station, it’s owned by Google. On it, in large colourful letters is written the Android slogan which reads “Be together, not the same”. Thousands of people flock past this missive every day, and miss it. Completely miss it.

I love the message, it’s positive, it makes sense, it’s fair, and I wish we could all think about what it means, and pay it some attention.

We don’t have to be the same, and anyone who demands conformity, also demands control. To expect all people to have the same thoughts and same experiences, is like expecting people to have the same hair or skin. And we are all guilty of this, we love patterns, we hate change, and yet we are always looking for something new…well here it is. We don’t have to box people, we don’t have to live separate lives just because we don’t have everything in common. All people are guilty of this backward thinking, Religious people, Atheists, Agnostics, people,  we all have those we look down on, because of their beliefs or upbringing, and why? I think it starts with fear.

We worry what others think, what they might feel about us, what they might do to us if we walked into their towns. Never braving enough to open up and to reach out. We are terrified of social norms. We are scared of change, and scared of things that fall outside our black and white vision of the earth and its ways. Never wanting to spend the energy getting to know the people we know so little of, but are prepared to ignore/hate forever.

The message is simple, you can carry on being you, and they can carry on being them, doing whatever it is makes you/them happy, and yet still live together. In mutual respect.

So, I invite you, actually I beg you, if you want fear to end and hatred to cease, and for everyone to at least, be able to get along without killing each other, to be able to see the good in all those around us, especially the ones who aren’t like us.

Even starting a conversation makes us all better off. Open up your heart and say a kind word or give something of yourself to someone you don’t know, and help make the world a more beautiful place.

Love to you all, all!

R