The Difference Between Acceptance and Diversity

It’s common for us to think of ourselves as accepting individuals. We like to believe that we can deal with diversity and differences that other people bring to the table. Living in the United States, we should be aware that we are made of different cultures and ethnicities. Growing up, I was always asked what part of Mexico my parents are from. Plot twist, my parents are not from Mexico. Yes, they left their country to move to the US. Yes, they speak Spanish. Yes, they adapted to what America was at the time. I was and always am proud of what my parents overcame, therefore I continuously express my feelings whenever I am confused for another race.

We’ve let ourselves be clouded by stereotypes and have closed ourselves from diversity because of them. Certain races have been called criminals. Certain races are called terrorists. Certain races are assumed to be good at math. Certain races are assumed to be high class citizens. We like to think that we are accepting and diverse, but we actually close ourselves off from getting to know other cultures because we think our own is superior.

Cultural diversity is the respect of each other’s differences. By respecting each other’s differences, we find peace with each other and whoever we run into. We get to learn more about the world, like the little quirks that we have as compared to others in another country.

Being culturally diverse has been raised in importance due to the amount of different ethnicities and races that develop and enter the United States. Our work environment and academic environment continuously grows with culture. By closing ourselves off of acceptance, we close ourselves off from growth as a person and fully as a nation and continue to divide it.

We must reach a level of understanding rather than using our own cultures as a basis to judge others. Different cultures will universally educate us on what is wrong or right. Understanding cultures will help us understand why certain races and ethnicities act and think the way that they do.

We already take parts of multiple cultures to create our own without realizing it. We learned our way of doing things from the people before us. It is unsettling at times to see other cultures when we do not know exactly what they practice and how they react to our own. But think of it this way, it is unsettling to visit a new country on a vacation. The country might not seem to be as developed as our own based on our interpretation, and while there we must manage a new transportation system, new surroundings, and new ways to do tasks we already have a way of doing. There’s a different way to pay, a different phone service, different honor systems and laws. One’s culture may not be accepted by everyone around the world which can be an awfully unsettling feeling.

If we take the time meet people and understand other cultures, we can comfort someone a little more each time. We will have the chance to see the beauty of their culture and what they bring to the melting pot.

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