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Greetings everyone, it’s Joe Dwyer. I’m very pleased as always to be with you for week three of “truly celebrating our differences”.

This topic really does fascinate me beyond just the Orangeland topic, which I really need to move on from, right!! However, it really is a fascinating topic but also one that we really need to embrace more in our life. We have already covered how this is so harmful to others when we prejudge or we don’t recognize or appreciate differences in them and what we miss out for ourselves. That ‘s been easily covered and I’m looking to make progress and hopefully we all are in this important area.

However today I look to share with you first and foremost a story that really stays with me about my first house. You see this house was a wonderful house that we lived in, a great starter home as they called it. However, there was a very annoying and unpredictable way that water would seep into the basement. It was so disturbing because sometimes it would rain an incredible amount and you wouldn’t get any water. Then, sometimes it would rain just seemingly a little and you would get a whole bunch!

It was extremely invasive, it was extremely disturbing and it was destructive to things in the house. Most of all it was always on your mind because it was such a deep influence in our life. So I would have run home sometimes and run down the basement to see if water was seeping in. I share this with you because we also have this influence and “seeping into ourselves” of influence of others that could really sometimes shape our opinions and lead us away from where we need to be from celebrating differences in people and appreciating them for who they are. It’s an all-important area to look at.

Now I must pause here for a second and tell you a very hard and fast theory that I have that is kind of countered to what most people believe in. Most people would say that it is the way that people grew up and that is what they learned and that’s the way it is. That doesn’t really make it with me and I hope it doesn’t with you because I really believe that it is a cop out.

We really need to take stock in our own actions and we need to take them seriously when it comes to this issue. Is it right or is it wrong?

Well prejudging somebody and not appreciating him or her for who they are is clearly wrong. If you are influenced somewhere and that dangerous water seeped into your life at any point, you need to stop it! You need to stop it and you need to solve it. That was the issue with this house. What really needed to be done was to stop the water from seeping in. To take corrective action outside and do what was necessary so that influence, that very difficult influence I might add, would end at some point of my choosing.

That is what should happen here, my friends. What we really need to do is take a look and say are there influences in our lives, whether they were from our youth, whether they were from things we heard, whether they are forming an opinion and in our mind, do we think that is right? I’m going to say, very boldly, that in most cases when it comes to not appreciating people for who they are and respecting them, then it is wrong. That needs to cease!

Once again, as I always transition because it brings such incredible cohesiveness to what we are talking about, a dog doesn’t do this. A dog isn’t influenced by anyone else and forms opinions and then holds on to them and uses them in an unfortunate destructive way for others and self. They just don’t. They certainly form opinions on their own, that can happen and certainly we know that can happen but it is not an influence from others. But certainly it’s been done to them!

Karma1-smallLet’s consider for a moment, I know that it is becoming a popular topic but it does bear a story here about Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls are terribly maligned for just being who they are, because they are different and because of the way the breed is and all the other things that come out. But just think back to not that long ago. The Little Rascals, Petey was a Pit Bull! Chosen specifically for that show because he was that breed and they knew his temperament was the right one to be around those children for so many hours filming. Helen Keller had a Pit Bull for they knew it was a kind and compassionate dog to care for her with her difficulties. The list goes on and on.

What happened? – the influence of others! That unfortunate influence created what we have today which needs to be turned around by each of us and removing the influences in our lives and moving forward with what we know is the right thing to do, to think and to act towards others.

So I would like you in our action items to take stock in maybe what you learned growing up. I can tell you that for me it was all about good things that I learned from parents and grandparents about accepting people for who they are. I’m happy and proud about that. It’s not to say that I wasn’t in places in my work life and in life that has gone on where I didn’t have some influences that weren’t so nice.

So take some stock in yourself now. Look and see what are the influences that you had along the way, how did they mirror that damaging water seeping into your life, your thinking and your interaction with others. Then, of course, think of the positive ones. Look at maybe some of the dogs in your life. I look at the four here all the time for positive examples. See how that positive influence can assist us as we journey towards this all-important place of truly saying that I can appreciate people for who they are.

I can not only accept but also embrace and truly celebrate the differences amongst us. For that is exactly what not only are we are called to do from a prospective of what is right but it also brings us to a spiritual level of peace, compassion and deep inside ourselves a sense of peace and beauty of who we are and who we are interacting with.

Thank you. I look forward to being with you in week four in this important journey. Take care, have a good week and as always I welcome your comments and thoughts.



  • What did you learn growing up?
  • How do you treat people who are different?
  • Did this influence others around you in a negative or positive way?