But we are not all different.

A few weeks ago I started off some seed packets I found in a box. A few different herbs – basil, coriander, oregano, mint, rosemary. They were all planted in fairly similar conditions – same pots and soil. Those that were meant to be covered by soil were and those that weren’t weren’t and then all left on my kitchen window sill. Similar amounts of watering.

Look at them now.

As you can see, the coriander is doing very well! The others are making a slower start.

They aren’t all the same. They don’t all need the same conditions, some need heat, some need cool, some need plenty of water and some need to as little as possible. Some will grow faster and some will grow slower.

People are the same. In that, we aren’t all the same. Some people need quiet, when others need noise. Some need darkness and others thrive in bright lights and high technicolour. There will be a spectrum of speed of development, and that development won’t be an even rate, across the multitude of areas a person can develop in.

We don’t all need the same things.

And that is ok, because we aren’t all the same, and we don’t need to be the same.

And even if you treat everyone the same, they won’t turn out the same.

It is ok to be different and to need different things. If you treated a blueberry bush like an amaryllis it wouldn’t grow well, and it wouldn’t produce a good crop of berries. It would still be a blueberry bush, but a struggling one. Because it wasn’t given the right soil and the right conditions it may not give its berries or autumn beauty, and even then, it will never produce a large flower because it isn’t an amaryllis. It is a blueberry.

This is the amaryllis that has flowered in my kitchen recently and the blueberry bush in my old house that I miss (although I’ve bought a new one for my new house but haven’t planted it yet).

People are capable of producing results more beautiful, profound and impactful than any plant, and they are more varied and unique than the differences between plants. Why does the education system in this country treat children as though they need the same things? That if you do so, you’ll iron out any differences and they’ll all come out the other end the same?

It simply isn’t true, and it simply isn’t right.

Instead of celebrating and appreciating the differences that they have, and what unique contribution they will ultimately give to the world, the system is all about fitting in and squashing their natural inquisitiveness and personalities so that targets can be met and boxes can be ticked.

As much as we are not all the same, we are not all different. We all have tremendous potential to achieve greatness in some area. We all want to form relationships with others that are warm, loving and trusting. We all want to improve the world we live in, even though we may have different and contradictory ideas about what that would mean. We all want to be happy, and healthy. And ultimately, I think that we all want to be appreciated for who we are.

If everyone was treated as the individual they are, and not demanding absolute conformity, just imagine what mankind could achieve.