It pains me to see young people who are intimated or uninterested in engaging with people from different cultures. I wonder where their fear comes from and in most instances it is probably the result of their parents not encouraging them to venture out and meet new people or because of stereotypes that are promoted within the household.
As you have probably read in my previous blogs, I believe every person should be judged by their individual character content and not by the actions of their entire race. If this were the case, I don’t think anyone would want to be friends with anyone else because not only do we have individual skeletons in our closets, all of our races have done something in the past that they should apologize for.
The children of the future will not have the luxury of segregation as many have in the past. At every turn our society is becoming multicultural and you are doing your child a huge disservice if you are not encouraging them to look past skin color and outward perceptions to get to know a diverse group of people. This doesn’t mean that they have to invite them over for dinner or even date outside of their race but your children should understand that the same blood flows through all of our veins. I doubt very seriously that if your child were in a life threatening accident and in need of a blood transfusion that you would be concerned about the race of the person responsible for the blood that could save your child’s life.
I have met some students from public and private schools that have grown up with an extreme lack of diversity. I am sure their parents don’t see anything wrong with it because many parents want to shield their children from outside influences. However, what they fail to consider is how their child will function as an adult when they have no other choice but to interact with the very people that they once thought inferior. What will they do when someone of a different race or culture is their professional superior?
Most importantly, as a parent, you should always lead by example. If your children never see you interacting with anyone that doesn’t look like or act like you, how do you believe they will become receptive to outsiders? To create harmony in the world, we all have to get along. I know that sounds cliché but it’s true. You have to accept that not everyone is going to look like or think like you and accept them for who they are as a person and not who you wish they could be. If you are wise enough to pass this lesson on to your children, the world really will be a better place.