Individual Differences Matter: Maracle’s Ravensong

Have you ever wondered about how challenging it is to live in the modern world? People are now free to express themselves to the extent that was not available a few years ago. For example, individuals may participate in a child-free movement, live a secluded life, and change their sex. Simultaneously, people should have the competency to respect cultural and social differences in their lives. Some issues arise when individuals fail to balance the two approaches. At that moment, the question “Where do you begin telling someone their world is not the only one?” emerges (Maracle, 1993, p. 72). I find this quote educative and provocative: on the one hand, it teaches society to find hope and honor resilience, and, on the other hand, it emphasizes diversity and provokes despair.

Despite the intention to respect differences in people, this requirement usually challenges a person in various ways. Maracle (1993) correctly admits that the choice of the moment plays an important role. Even the best intellectuals and authorities may remain incompetent when they have to recognize the borders. It is not enough to identify a person’s culture and background, but it is necessary not to interfere with their development and self-growth. In other words, it is inevitable for people to live in different worlds and establish their unique perspectives. Still, they have to learn how to cooperate, communicate, and demonstrate equality, dignity, and fairness.

It is impossible to imagine how people can live without fundamental freedoms. Without them, a totalitarian order will replace the existing democratic society. Now, the developed world is associated with liberties that allow individuals to get education, travel, communicate, and others. However, it by no means denotes that people may value their freedoms more than those of other persons. Thus, Maracle’s quote suggests that people should have self-regulation even in the most unrestrained times.


Maracle, L. (1993). Ravensong. Press Gang Publishers.