eal Response – Example 1 (864)
‘Having a sense of being different makes it difﬁcult to belong.’ Human beings are all quite different from each other, but are the same species. Our main difference with other animals is our higher innate intelligence and the ensuing advanced social structure. Human society is built around commerce and other such material concepts, but the strongest thread binding us together is having similarities which allow us to form communities. Since having similarities is the bedrock of our existence, being different can affect our ability to belong to communities and therefore affect a fundamental need akin to food, shelter and clothing. It is important to analyse how being different, or thinking that you are different, affects your ability to belong. Recently, Australian Rules footballer Dermott Brereton ‘tweeted’ (posted on twitter) ever tried being blond in downtown Seng Xeng?’ Although it is a superficial example it illustrates the effects that presumably small differences can have on people. Appearance is the first thing that makes an impression, and therefore plays a large role in determining whether you ‘fit in’ or not. A ‘different’ appearance affects a person’s social standing and indeed his own perception of himself. Recent migrants to Australia can be traumatised as a result of this phenomenon. ‘Being different was like a free ticket for all the playground bullies to indulge’/ the proverb goes ‘beauty is skin deep’. But the effects of being judged purely on your appearance are profound and lasting and make it quite difficult to belong to a group. Further differences may encompass language, culture and prejudices. Language is the single most important factor in communication, and being unable to speak the major language of the country can cripple a person’s social life. This can prompt abandonment of your original language in order to embrace the new, but this leads to further problems. Ivy Tseng in ‘Growing Up Asian in...
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