For years and years I bought into the idea – the dream – that I should be treated “just like everyone else.” If I had known what a mantra was, that would have been mine.

But when I started parroting that dream, I was only a child.

What that phrase is trying to say, is, “I’d like people to see me as I am: flawed certainly, as a character flaw is part of the human condition. But whole, and sometimes, a bit of a pain. And allowed to be a nuisance, not because I am ‘unusual’ and ‘expect special treatment’ but because I would like to listen to Abba when it’s clear the flavour of today’s party is David Bowie. Get with the programme, Fran.

Saying, “We don’t make allowances for you, we treat you like everyone else,” in certain contexts can mean that we are free to ignore you, just as we ignore everyone else. They manage, and so will you. “See? Isn’t this grand? We treat you just the same.”

But that kind of ignoring can sometimes lead to failure: in an active universe, being the subject of ‘equal treatment’ can mean that we sit and listen and nod and admire and wish and dream and hope and yearn for someone to come along who will actually take time to listen, and do things with us. Not for us, but with us. Taking the time to acknowledge difference and allow it full expression and room.

I hope that the world might slow down a bit, so that I don’t have to devote all my energies to just trying to keep up. ‘Keeping up’, I devote a great deal of time and energy to others, worrying about what they expect from me, and what I need to do next to meet expectations.

That’s not good, as these things go; and so now, I do think that allowances should be made, based on what each of us asks for. Which is, to be seen and accepted as we are. We can make time to listen. I don’t always manage that, but it is my aim.

Thanks for reading.

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