Our Differences Ought Not Divide Us
One thing you can’t help noticing in London is the diversity. It is common to hear three different languages in a matter of minutes while walking down the sidewalk. People are dressed in every possible type of garment. I do mean every possible type. The genuinely assorted culture came clearly into focus yesterday.
I had a refreshing experience in Greenwich Park. Families were literally spread out on the green field with very little space between them. Some were reading, others playing with a child, and others just taking a Sunday afternoon nap. Friends strolled along the sidewalks up the slightly slopping hill leading to the Royal Observatory. Trees covered with clusters of pink blossoms dotted the countryside.
I decided to stretch out on a grassy hill while Sam went up to the observatory. I listened to the chatter of couples, the giggles and sometimes cries of babies, and the chirping of birds. Young children rode tiny scooters. Parents of various nationalities pushed strollers. They interacted adoringly with their toddlers. Young couples hugged and kissed lightly oblivious to the others nearby. Young adults rode bicycles.
All with not one hint of trouble. There was absolute harmony. It was idyllic.
In spite of this lovely scene, many people in many places seem to have a narrow scope of acceptability. Youngsters in school learn early to form the in-group or popular crowd. Adults do the same thing – maybe more subtly, but it is the same. We accept you if you are like us. Like attracts like and before long we start doing everything possible to be like those who seem to have it all together. We forget to listen and notice that the laughter (or cry) of a child in any language sounds the same.
“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility towards those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.” – Roger Ebert
Gail holds a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. She was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing her professional career as a Braille teacher. She married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. In 2007 She founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. She is a Certified Professional Coach and her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. Her book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.