“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.”
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot in my life and I want to continue that travel. I want to be able to see the world and soak up all of the different cultures and perspectives it has to offer.
My anxiety often makes me feel hopeless. It gives me the feeling that things will always be this way and that my anxiety will always remain. But travel does the opposite. Traveling reminds me that the world has so much to offer. The good outweighs the bad in this world, even if the evening news tries to tell me otherwise.
Present day American politics tell us to fear other cultures. They argue that those cultures are horrific and violent and they are trying to change us into something we don’t want to be. America is a country founded on diversity, functioning as a melting pot to bring out the best parts of many different cultures. We can’t fear the world’s diversity. Diversity is a beautiful thing to embrace and encourage in our lives.
In addition to the increasing segregation between our country and the rest of the world, we are creating divides within the walls of our own country. These are the United States, not the divided states. We can’t make progress in this world, or our own nation, when we are at each other’s throats.
Despite our differences in political opinions, religious beliefs, or cultural norms, we all have a lot in common. As human beings, we respond to kindness. “Be kind to one another,” is a phrase that Ellen DeGeneres closes her show with every day. Showing compassion to our neighbors and understanding their opinions rather than scrutinizing them is how we learn from one another.
Next time someone has a different opinion or belief, or even a different way of life, learn from it. Don’t push back. Keep your mind open to the possibilities that a contrasting perspective can bring. No culture or belief is the “right” one. All cultures have their positives and negatives. We can gain something from each one, allowing us to see things in a new and positive way. We don’t need to fear one another. We can work together to create a world built on kindness and understanding.
This nation is about unity and diversity. Keep an open mind and an open heart.
Be kind to one another.