Have you ever wondered what life would be like without diversity? We would all be identical. We would be clones of one another. Each of us would look identical or perhaps have the same hair color, eye color and stature. We would all have the same religion and pray to the same G-D. We would all come from the same country and have the same language and dialect.
Did you ever wonder how hatred and prejudice gets started? We are not born with it. It is a learned behavior. It is necessary that children get exposed to diversity before 6 years of age. If biases are formed in young children, it is often carried out throughout their life. Kids are never too young to be introduced to the topic of race.
Lack of exposure and lack of knowledge causes barriers. Barriers are built on hate.
This sounds like what the Nazis did in World War 2. They wanted to create the Aryan race. This was the catalyst for hatred, prejudice, bigotry and antisemitism.
My mother, a Holocaust survivor stated life would be boring if we were all alike. My mother’s close friend was born in Germany and they live in the same subdivision now. They go for daily walks. They respect each other’s differences and found similarities.
Would it be fun and exciting to talk to someone identical to you all the time? I do not believe so. It is important to accept diversity. One should honor and celebrate differences.
You can do activities with children at home or in a classroom that exemplify how different leaders can have a commonality such as Mother Teresa and Elie Wiesel. Mother Teresa was Catholic and from Macedonia. She dedicated her life to helping the less fortunate. She was a great humanitarian and extremely kind. Elie Wiesel was Jewish and from Romania. He dedicated his life to fighting human rights and was extremely kind. He helped support victims of oppression all over the world.
We can find similarities that we share even if we come from different countries, speak in different languages or dialects, have different skin colors or observe different religions. Each place of prayer offers diversity and a common modality of G-D. Let’s embrace it all.
I personally love going to Catholic weddings that have a European mystic at the churches. I also enjoy going to Armenian Churches that have a beautiful opulent look. There are many Synagogues with spectacular stained glass windows that are spectacular. Each service is unique and spiritual.
My children celebrate Chanukah, yet they enjoyed celebrating Christmas with their friends. Now my grandson is delighted to celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah in his home. Often times my children would bring friends home from college so they could participate in the Jewish New Year called Rosh Hashana, and celebrate Passover.
When I was young I attended a New Year’s Eve service at Kirk in the Woods Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I was mesmerized by the beauty and the service. It was wonderful that a diverse group of friends attended this service to celebrate a happy and healthy New Year. Most of us have the same goals for the New Year, such as happiness, health, prosperity, etc.
In the children’s book Ryan’s Magical Shoes, he receives magical shoes for his birthday. He loved his iridescent shoes that changed colors before his eyes so much that he slept with them. The shoes teleported him to different countries where he met young kids and their families from South Africa, Shanghai, China and Bangkok, Thailand. While traveling Ryan and the boys realized that they all had loving parents, love to play games and sports, and they enjoy school. Ryan stated it was fun to learn about other peoples’ cultures and traditions.
Excerpts taken from Ryan’s Magical Shoes