Making Maki is the home of Maki B. It’s where all of life’s parts meet. Figuring out the work-life balance, managing finances, navigating relationships, finding the things that give us joy, appreciating life’s journey and caring for ourselves along the way. Making Maki isn’t about finding any particular thing; it’s about always searching for the best versions of ourselves and making the most of all of life’s lessons and opportunities.

Somewhere along the timeline of human history, we began to engage with people who were different from us. I don’t have a deep background in history, but I can see it clearly: somewhere during prehistoric times, people from different tribes/groups bumped into each other at the local watering hole and there was straight up shock and confusion. Perhaps the two groups had different types of clothing or spoke different languages. Whatever it was, the differences created uneasiness on both sides and in some cases that uneasiness created some unpleasant tensions. Maybe there were some swear words, a few grunts and possibly some physical altercations that may or may not have resulted in death.

Different caused fear and panic. Fear and panic resulted in attacks. This has been one of the longest and most consistent stories of our collective lives. As a species, we have maintained this general modus operandi for millennia. We have come into contact with those different from us and it freaked us out. We instinctively felt the need to protect ourselves by keeping the “other ones” far way, even getting violent if we felt it necessary. While we have somewhat toned it down with the violence to a certain extent, we’re still rejecting the supposed enemy.

I see this rejection often when I’m out and about. I see the looks people give the “other” when they get in line at the grocery store. I see it when the “other” walks up to the bar to simply order a drink. It’s as if we are still at the watering hole, sometimes just two short steps away from insults and physical altercations – though I have been around enough fights to know anything can go down. If I don’t see it, I hear it. I hear it in general conversation and sometimes I physically cringe. The way we speak about our fellow human beings makes it seem as if we don’t all belong to this planet Earth. And lucky for me, if I don’t see it or hear it, I get to read it online.

While our prehistoric grandfathers could only interact with each other face to face, scientific advancements have allowed us to interact with each other from miles away. Thanks to the internet, we no longer need the watering hole to attack the “enemy”. With our phones, tablets and computers, we get to joyously spew animosity, sometimes anonymously.

We get to ridicule each other from top to bottom with little recourse because that’s how the internet works. We leave zero space for those different from us. We’ve developed a “cancel” culture that shuts down anything different. Your gender identity is different from mine? Cancel. Your personal preferences are different from mine? Cancel. Your political views are different from mine? Cancel. You support an ideology a bit different than mine? Cancel.

Now, I’m not saying that we’re all gonna like each other on a personal level or agree on the issues, but I think we can respect each other as human beings without being totally dismissive. We can disagree without slander or using what’s different as a weapon. I say all of this because I see my community being further fragmented by the “them” versus “us” narratives. I see the walls being built. I find it unfortunate because we need each other now more than ever.

Today, a whole bunch of revolutions around the sun later, we are still having difficulty making space for different. We still grunt and create the idea that those different from us are the enemy. If we’re going to do this life thing together (seriously, we can only do this together), then we need to find some common ground so we don’t all kill each other and take our community down with us. There’s enough space for us to all survive and maybe even thrive – we just have to make a little space for different.