Today, before work, I went out for breakfast and while there a fairly large group of people came in. I was not sure as to their ethnic background but I am somewhat sure that they were of Muslim background (the restaurant is across the street from a Mosque). As I watched them I was taken with a "spirit" that seemed to emanate from them and that got me to thinking about some of my attitudes.
As an African American, born here in the U. S. and raised in a society that is slow to accept minorities I got to thinking about some of the difficulties and barriers they face as immigrants. I am aware that it is not easy for them, leaving their homeland, and coming here to make a fresh start, and create a new life. I put myself in their shoes and realize how hard that can be and this is something I had not thought about before.
This realization makes me feel good as I watch them interact as a family, looking with a perspective I did not have before. Growth is a wonderful thing and I thank God at being able to see and experience this. We all need to broaden our understanding and attitudes of other peoples.
This also makes me feel sad at the time lost before I had this realization. How much better we all would be at dealing with diversity as we started seeing other "peoples" on a personal level rather than an "us versus them". If we truly look at others we will discover that even when taking into consideration culture, there really are more similarities than differences. In all the things that matter, personal relationships, love, children, work, even God, if you leave out the semantics, we all want and value the same things. To illustrate this watch closely and you will observe that kids are kids no matter where they grow up, married couples share the same struggles, and in the end we all want the same things.
Start looking at each other as people, not groups, and you will find yourself embracing diversity much easier, working to bring about what all of humanity has been working toward, bring to fruition, Heaven on Earth.
Think, ponder, meditate and pray.
"The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words."
- Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh CXXXII