Norman Cousins’ Confessions of a Miseducated Man is simply saying that society has the wrong notion in thinking that respecting each other is based on acceptance of our unique individuality because he believes that true respect can be achieved in realizing how similar we actually really are to each other. Good formal education has led us to see the differences of our cultures, beliefs, skin color and preferences. However, accepting the uniqueness of another leads to “tribalism” which puts a distance between every human being. Cousins realized that true respect can be gained by finding the similarities we have. We all have the same basic needs to live and these could be instruments in helping us comprehend the thoughts and actions of another.
Fully understanding our similarities can lead us to better understand and respect each other. Cousins explains it well when he said, “What counts is not the thoughts of men lead them in different directions but that all men possess the capacity to think; not that they pursue different faiths but they are capable of spiritual belief; not that they write and read different books but they are capable of creating print and communicating in it across time and space; not that they enjoy different art and music but that something in them enables them to respond deeply to forms and colors and ordered vibrations of sounds.” Respecting each other’s individuality in the light that we see ourselves in one another is a better way to recognize each other’s dignity. This is what true respect and education is all about.