The Roots of Importance to Me
From a very young age, I was always aware that there were many different cultures and beliefs far beyond the one I was raised in. I was raised in a very loving and comfortable home, with southern baptist views and practices. We did not often talk about other cultures at home much. I knew from the start of biblical understanding that there were other denominations that believe predominantly the same that I do, just with a few things that were not the same.
When I was younger I attended a mission trip to Mexico and was so excited to see this raw part of the Hispanic culture that I had only heard about in textbooks. It was a beautiful experience and that is what set me off to want to learn more about how others live. I found the most beautiful thing about less fortunate (in America’s terms) countries, was the togetherness of families and the worry-free mindset. You did not need to fully understand their language to see that.
My Life now with Different Cultures
I think now I have a truly better understanding at 27 of what the difference in cultures is. Having grown up in a small town in the south that has different values, beliefs etc. have always been looked down upon. To me, I think it is absolutely beautiful to see the difference. There is so much fear of what is unknown to you as an individual, yet we as humans have to find that peace and try to understand other cultures to the best of our abilities.
A major thing to me is acceptance and respect, and that is what I try to give everyone. No matter the culture they were brought up in. The human race as I see it is equal and it’s totally okay to be different. I think that if we gain the trust of others of a different culture, to truly understand who they are, it allows that negative space to dissipate and bring us together. If we as humans can manage to achieve this, to accept one another’s cultural values- we are doing the greater good for our individual self.
My Hope for the Future of Cross-Cultural Awareness
I dream that one day each human on this planet becomes aware firstly of who THEY are, and become more open to others of different cultures. To hate a culture is in my eyes the same as racial discrimination. Rather than hating someone of a different pigment count, you are hating the way someone was raised, the way they live, and the way they prosper.
The main cause of not understanding other cultures is firstly not understanding our own. We do not understand why we do the things we do, yet defend what we believe is right in comparison to someone else’s way of living. The result of that is arguments and unacceptance. As a whole, we need to stop expecting everyone to be the same, believe the same thing, or even eat the same things. I think the world would be such a beautiful place to exist if only people could come together and learn about one another!