After traveling as much as I have you come to find how utterly indifferent Americans are to welcoming diversity. We call ourselves a melting pot because people from all over the globe congregate here. Whether seeking asylum from their motherland or simply looking for a fresh start in the magical land where everyone has equal rights & anything is possible. What’s truly amazing is how, despite the diversity provided here in the United States, people are completely oblivious to the fundamental principles involved in accepting others. We have more diversity than most countries & yet I feel we are in the most turmoil because of it. This does not have to be the case. There are three key steps I feel we must implement in order to reduce the hostility created by diversity.
- Observe (look, listen, learn)
In order to observe something you have to be fully engaged. Look with your eyes, what do you see? Listen with your ears, what do you hear? & most importantly of all, contemplate what you can learn from this. The first part of observation may seem the simplest, but I believe that in fact it is not. Too often people look & only see what is different: the color of a person’s skin for example. However, they fail to notice what is the same: it is still another living, breathing human with red blood flowing through his/her veins. Listening too is not so simple as it may appear. Once again too many people focus on the differences, for example a language barrier; forgetting that smile is the universal language everyone understands. & as when interacting with small children or the hearing impaired, hand signals combined with body language are often very effective means of communication.
In my opinion though, the most important part of observation is learning. Always consider what you can learn from what you witness. The more you understand someone/something the less frightening it will seem. I crossed paths with a very large moth last night. Now, I am no lepidopterist, & I will admit the initial sight of it caught me by surprise, but I didn’t let it scare me. Rather I approached it slowly. I took a few photos & later got on my computer & researched it. I did this to learn more about the creature, to better understand it & its purpose. The more you know, the easier it is to grasp that everyone & everything on this Earth serves a purpose, if for no other reason than to make our time on this block of rock floating through space significantly less boring. This is why is it important to take the time to study, research, & postpone judgement.
The next step is to process all this information. Consider all you have observed. What is different, what are the similarities, how can this benefit society. Does this person know or understand something you cannot? Can they help improve your life in some way? Maybe they are a biochemist who will one day develop the lifesaving medication you require to survive. Maybe they are an electrical engineer who wants to make your life easier by creating technology that is more user friendly & affordable. Maybe they are simply capable of cooking you the best meal you’ve ever had in your life or providing for your ears the most glorious music you’ve ever heard. Everyone serves a purpose, maybe it is to teach you a lesson like patience, but whatever their purpose is, you best believe they have one! So, before you judge, try to focus on these things. Find one positive attribute or search for a purpose you may be overlooking.
Once you have observed & processed, the only thing left to do is to act! Now while this may seem the most daunting task, truthfully, it is far from it! If you have put in the work to find out why this person exists, why they are crossing your path, what one positive thing they provide, how they are similar to you… Accepting them, embracing them, & even loving them will seem easy. ❤
PS here is the moth I ran into last night 🙂