I wrote about the similarity between people before here. I said that we all are equally good, but just in different phases in our journey. Now, what I want to do is to focus on one of the factors that defines our journey. That factor makes us different, but it is also a big indicator of similarity. That factor is our background, i.e. environments we grow up in.
We all grow up in certain environments and we get attached to them. This can be our family, school, neighborhood, city or country. Our natural instincts force in us the need to belong somewhere and the environment(s) we grow up in is the biggest candidate for this. That is what we end up doing. To achieve that sense of belongingness, we do a lot of things: we align our worldview with those prevalent in these environments; we talk and behave like others in them; we eat similar food etc.
However, the problem is, especially for those looking for commonality in humans, that there are countless environments in the world.
Well, the idea is simple. The environments are actually similar, no matter how distant they look. They are similar because they are all structured around similar goals such as survival and sharing (and living, which is bigger than survival because living is surviving for a higher purpose).
To me, one of the biggest signs that all environments are similar comes from people who immigrate to other countries.
Immigration is when the natural bond we have with our original environment is broken. Therefore, we need that bond to be fixed to keep our goals of survival, sharing and living intact. But when one migrates, the broken bond cannot be fixed easily, simply because we are not in the environment that would normally provide us with the tools we know anymore. So, problems arise in that stage, the confusion stage. Everyone goes through this phase no matter how many extenuating circumstances they might have (e.g. one might not be attached to their old culture that much anyway or the new culture could be very accepting of others).
The confusion stage is defined by a search for what parts of the new environment one can adopt and what parts of the old environment one can keep. Eventually, a mixture arises. A mixture that has elements from both the old culture (since it is impossible to erase your old culture from your individuality) and the new culture (since one needs to adapt to this environment to survive and live).
This example may be a radical one. But similar ideas apply to everyone, migrated or not. We all grow up in multiple environments. We have our national culture, but also our school culture as well as a family culture. We travel back and forth between all, get confused every now and then, and eventually end up making a mixture.
This sounds very chaotic because it is very individual-based. But it is not so chaotic really. Yes, it is true that no two people are the same ever, but we all share the fact that we are on the same journey: we are all trying to make our own mixture. That is, we share the goal. Not only that, the fact that we can actually mix cultures/environments means that we are not so different after all. If they were too different, they would be irreconcilable, right? So, we not only share our goal, but also the basic elements that we need on the way towards our goal.
This boils down to the same idea that I posited before: We all are on the same journey, but at different stages. This is very universal, but also very specific. That dichotomy is what makes human nature exciting.