Appreciating difference

Although there are a lot of ‘not so positive’ stories to tell about this place, there are some funny ones. I went for a walk the other day to a little village nearby. The locals there were eating some sort of vegetable that looked like something between a cucumber and a bean. We sat down and had a little with them – it reminded me of when my grandmother and I used to do a trek up what we called the “circle path” to sit and eat cucumbers and salt. In essence, the locals in that village were having the same sort of picnic that Nanny and I used to have. Some days when we walk through a village, we’ll be flooded with children who are just being plain old annoying. Just when it seems as though nothing will solve the problem, an elder will haul off and throw a rock at the crowd of kids. They scatter instantly, and to be honest it’s almost always a relief. I can imagine that if an adult in a North American city wound up and threw a rock at a bunch of children, it would cause a small riot of sorts. I find it always amazes me to see the contrast between the similarities and differences of the human race. Even here, in a place where my beliefs differ significantly from those of the people around me, I always try to learn a little something. Naturally a seeker of similarities, I can also appreciate difference. In a lot of my travels, I have noted that the way people do things in their own domain just seem to work – even if they seem odd to me. Wouldn’t the world be different if we as the human race moved from our “we’re right” and “you’re wrong” viewpoint to a more alternative inclusive perspective?

2 Comments

  1. Aram says:

    What I lovely thought, yes! Thanks for an in-your-face, true-to-life, experiential testimony of doing diversity well.

    “The challenge today is to seek a unity that celebrates diversity, to unite the particular with the universal, to recognize the need for roots while insisting that the point of roots is to put forth branches. What is intolerable is for difference to become idolatrous. When absolutized, nationalism, ethnicity, race, and gender are reactionary impulses. They become pseudoreligions, brittle and small, without the power to make people great. No human being’s identity is exhausted by his or her gender, race, ethnic origin, or national loyalty. Human beings are fully human only when they find the universal in the particular, when they recognize that all people have more in common than they have in conflict, and that it is precisely when what they have in conflict seems overriding that what they have in common needs most to be affirmed. Human rights are more important than the politics of identity, and religious people should be notorious boundary crossers.”
    –William Sloane Coffin

    Like

  2. Bruce says:

    Hi sweetie, Love your blog.
    The Yarmouth Ex is in town so when I go I plan on putting 9 rocks in my pocket. How’s that for adopting diversity.
    Love hearing from you. We pray many many many times a day for you.
    Bruce

    Like

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