COLOR

I love the colors in nature.  I like to wear bright colors when it is raining or dark. Color lifts my spirit.

shocking pink wildflower

pink wild flower

I appreciate colors in all parts of nature, not just in plants and flowers, also in people. I have had many good experiences with people from all over the world of all shades of beige and brown because I taught English-as-Second language classes for many years. I have friends who are all shades of the rainbow, too. I feel deeply grateful for these relationships.

crocuses mid 2/2015

purple Crocuses

I feel very blessed and grateful that I have had opportunities to work with all people and cultures.  I can’t imagine a world where we were all just one color. I have learned so much from the students I taught and my friends.

ESL students

Adult ESL Class

We Americans live in a country with some racial strife, and some people have a lack of acceptance of people from all cultural and racial backgrounds. Our newspapers and TV news tells us about this almost daily. This is, I believe,  is NOT how many Americans feel. I think many Americans are appalled, as I have been by what we have seen revealed about some of our social institutions which continue to perpetuate racism.

An incomparable documentary about race is called “Race: the Power of an Illusion”. This is short youtube video of only part of this powerful work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8MS6zubIaQ

coral and yellow tulip

coral and yellow tulip

I hope and pray for the day that our country can overcome our historically caused issues with racism. I wonder when we will start to have REAL conversations with people from all racial backgrounds participating in dialogues with each other to heal ourselves from our historically tainted roots in slavery, as well as our history with American Indians, Asian groups who built our railroads, Latino people who have been underpaid to harvest our food, and other groups I am probably not even aware of.

Like an addict of any kind with bad habits, to heal with any real change, we Americans must first become fully aware of our past and tell the truth about it. We’ve made progress, and there is still a ways to go.

“I have dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will NOT be judged by the color of their skin, but by content of their character.”  

– Dr. Martin Luther Jr.

I pray this for all people and all children in the USA and world.

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Our Beautiful World, Including US

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?

coral tree

coral color tree

Nature and the beautiful changes that our trees display each fall has always given me great joy.

tree from fall

multi color tree

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.

kamie photo

from Ghana, Ireland, Spain, Jamaica, Cherokee Indian, and
Seminole Indian

If we do not accept ourselves, could this contribute to making us unable to accept people who look different from ourselves?

mom and son contrast

from England?, Ireland? Nigeria, and Osage Indian

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?

children from Iran

from Iran, Turkey, England, and France,

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. ”

girls from Japan and USA

from Japan, England, France,  and Switzerland

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.

women from Mexico, Somalia

from Mexico, El Salvador,
 and Somalia

“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.

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