What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people?
Nature and the beautiful changes that our trees display each fall has always given me great joy.
What disturbs me is that we often don’t seem to see ourselves as beautiful as the world we live in, no matter what culture we come from. While I was teaching people from all over the world of all ages for 23 years, I learned how beautiful we ALL are with all our DIFFERENCES. Our beauty comes from each of our spirits and how we treat each other and ourselves with kindness and respect.
If we do not accept ourselves, could this contribute to making us unable to accept people who look different from ourselves?
One of the oldest quotes which appeared on the wall of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece more than 2000 years ago was: “Know thyself“”
Learning to do this requires compassion for ourselves, as well as self-reflection, which we can do with discipline and humility, one day at a time. And when the going gets rough, as we tell the truth about ourselves and our lives, we may have to reach out for help. Knowing yourself is worth it and changes your life!
What are some other sources of our lack of acceptance of people from other cultures?
From the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology the idea of ethnocentrism might be another explanation.
“Ethnocentrism is a belief that the norms, values, ideology, customs, and traditions of ones own culture or subculture are superior to those characterizing other cultural settings. The term was coined by William Graham Sumner in his Folkways (1906) and has long served as a cornerstone in the social analysis of culture. ”
I ask myself, what emotion encourages some one to be ethnocentric? I think it could be the emotion, FEAR, which can be helpful to us at certain times, but not when we are dealing with people who just look different from ourselves.
“Fear defeats more people than any one thing in the world.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Also about fear Emerson said:
“He/She who is not everyday conquering some FEAR has not learned the secret of life.”
Thank you, Emerson!
What stops you from being willing to get to know people from other cultures and ethnicities? Or do you have ideas how we can be more accepting of ALL people? Please share them.