On Differences & Similarities

Anna Sarayna
On differences and similarities

I saw her walking with a friend outside the temple. They were both striking, bald and dressed in white head to toe. I stared (discreetly of course) and thought to ask for a photo but I hesitated.

Ten minutes later inside the temple, the game has changed and she is now staring at me (struggling to be discreet, she is a little more obvious than I was), nudging her friend and smiling.

Eventually, she musters the courage I did not and asks for a photo with me, grinning widely. She is thrilled that I have granted her wish, not knowing I am equally as thrilled and grateful for her bravery.

I am still learning to be ok with constantly being gawked at when I travel because of my dark skin and nappy hair. Ever so often I catch strangers taking photos of me (it’s worse when they hide – I prefer the open requests) and it makes me all the more conscious of my own actions. I seek permission before photographing humans, especially children, because I know what the violation feels like.

Then there are moments like this one that warm my heart. Another human being looks at me and finds me odd – different – and chooses to engage instead of objectify.

The more I see of the world is the more I learn, “We are more alike than we are unlike.” – Maya Angelou


This post is part of the Insta-Losophies series – a curation of my more verbose Instagram posts. I wanted a record of them in case Instagram decides to cop out on us. Plus, they kinda read like bog posts so I thought, why the hell not?

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  1. Gregg Delgado MORAIS

    This is another great post from your collection. I wonder what was her reaction after you noth took the picture together? Did she asked questions about your culture as you did same? We (westerners) are so caught up in our ideologies that we fail to appreciate the beauty of indifference.

    • Anna

      There were a few questions but mostly I think she couldn’t believe I actually agreed to us taking a pic together. You are right though. We do forget to appreciate different instead of fearing it.


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