Any time you turn on the news you get barraged with ugliness from around the world. Some folks don't even watch the news whether it be local, national, or worldwide because they say all the negativity and propaganda they see puts a damper on their day. And let's face it, people who say that make a compelling argument. When is the last time you've watched the news and left feeling like you've seen anything positive, uplifting or even informative for that matter?
News stations themselves are turning into tabloids. They are full of gossip, drama, lies, negative moments and perpetuated stereotypes that have been strategically inserted into segments. I can tell you more about all the racial and religious animosity going on in the world before I can tell you anything about what a local charity has done for the surrounding community.
But you know what, it's all our fault. The reason why I say that is because I know for a fact the racial and religious animosity that exists in our society is taught and learned, no one develops those disgusting notions on their own. Don't believe me? I'll hit you with several examples.
One night as I was watching "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown", one of the few television shows that I keep up with, he did an episode with celebrity chef Marcus Sameulsson in Ethiopia which aired several weeks back. During the episode I watched something that I thought was one of the most beautiful, yet simple acts ever. In this one particular village, Muslims and Christians alike, lived side by side, helping out each others families and even prayed together before a feast.
Mind you this was no special occasion, it was a regular occurrence in this village. That's a stark contrast from the atmosphere between some Muslims and Christians in America and around the rest of the word. If you watch the news or pay attention to your local climate and conversations when it comes to religion you would think this an impossible or very unlikely feat.
You would at the very least think that it was something that only occurred during special occasions and wasn't a norm. But in a place like this village, where hatred isn't taught, but tolerance and love for everyone and their differences is the baseline normal, this wasn't a special moment at all. It was as it should be and always has been. It's what's expected.
Just the two days ago at work while walking into a fourth grade classroom I saw yet again more proof of how beautiful and cohesive life and society can be if we stay out of our own way and stop teaching and perpetuating ignorance. In this class room were African American boys and girls, caucasion boys and girls, a hispanic student whose father was hispanic and whose maternal grandfather was African, a little boy who just arrived from Liberia three weeks ago, a Somali child who lived his entire life in Kenya before emigrating to America, a little girl from Cameroon, and one from Eritrea. All this diversity in one room, and a teacher with strong Italian roots and a take charge attitude and they all enjoyed each others company. They learned together and were helping one another out.
All these different cultures getting along just fine because they weren't letting differences get in their own way. They were all to busy being children, trying to learn math instead of trying to tear each other apart because of skin color and religion. That seems to be our problem as people, instead of letting some things just be what they are, we always feel the need to modify and interfere. If you're religious you could even say that people have been getting into their own way since Adam and Eve, when man committed the original sin. If you aren't religious you need to look no further than the examples I've given you and you can research yourself and find cases in which we have continued to mess up the "game of life" for hundreds of years.
But there is hope for us! We can continue to be arrogant bumbling idiots that swear that our way is the only way and continue to watch more turmoil sweep over the earth and bring the human race to a steady decline, or we can be like that fourth grade math group I was talking about and concern ourselves with other more important things instead of race and religion, be more accepting of others and give the equality that we all deserve. There is nothing wrong with embracing our differences and taking pride in them. But we should never let them get in our way to the extent that we destroy one another. Damn, you know what? I just figured out that a bunch of fourth graders may be smarter than the rest of the world! Ain't that something? Food for thought...