Having moved across the country for school, worked in very ethnic neighborhoods, lived in England for 3 months and been to Jamaica—I am always amazed and awe-struck at the differences around the world. Yet—around the world people are always paranoid about things that are different.
Now, this isn’t my moment to get on a equal rights discussion (though can be very justified at time.) This is more of a discussion that it is okay to have differences and still work together. The thought came up when I was talking with friends about come personal problems with another individuals and their advice was that though you may respond by saying “ok” to someone, it does not mean you have to agree with all or even anything they just stated. It was a shocker to me. Yet-I could relate when I realized it’s the same thing: you can be united and be different.
Now, here’s the outpouring of this idea: there are several types of people in the united states. Social, economic, ethnic and cultural differences. Yet, we are called what we are – The United States (and Texas , and maybe California… 🙂 just kidding.) We agree that we are going to unite as states to follow one government and its established rules. We are one country-yet operate with state legislation.
I wish people would get this idea more regularly. Even in basic ideas, we don’t accept this. We think things have to match, not unite. And if they don’t match, then we don’t want to be a part of it. And I think this teaching starts very young—think of kids on a playground. Most kids find those that look like them, like to play the same sports or games or even those they know because they go to the same church or daycare. All based on similarities and we associate that as children that things that are like us are okay. I also know (so maybe this is attributed to my parents) that when I was a child-I was always curious in the things that were different. Yes-sometimes I starred as a kid, not because I was shocked but because I was actually trying to understand it with my mind. It was like a daze-glance…not a mean stare. I’m even guilty of this nowadays. I wish starring wasn’t culturally rude….I know it can have negative side effects, but sometimes people are just honestly trying to grab a visual so they can grasp the concept.
So maybe next time when you want to do something—try doing the different. The unusual, the unique. Instead of staying with the familiar. I’m not asking you to put your life in danger (at least not all the time), but I am asking people to step outside their narrow mindsets and perspectives and try & have an open approach to life. It allows for flexibility, love and grace