This I Believe

Dorothy - Clearwater, Florida
Entered on September 28, 2006

This I Believe

I believe in the marvelous benefits of diversity — for meand for my world. I believe that as each area of living forsakes sameness and opens up to variety, all existence will benefit.

In the more than ninety years I have lived, I have watched diversity make life better. I remember worrying about which hemline is “correct”, for instance. We have gone to “any hemline is correct” and why not shorts or slacks and of course jeans when we rfeel like it, making life much more interesting for women and those looking at them. I could even wear purple and a red hat now and be correct.

Young people today must find it difficult to believe that not so long ago baseball and football teams were one color. Diversity certainly has improved sports watching and playing, besides upholding justice in sports.

I have always loved classiccal music, but sometimes country music has a lot of appeal, as do the love songs my children labeled “elevator music”a. As parents, we had another label for the music our teen-agers chose, but I had to be glad they had music they enjoyed. I loved Aaron Copland for using bits of “Turkey-in-the-Straw” in a classical composition.

I am an agnostic when it comes to many religious beliefs, but I think the tunes of some of the old hymns are amazingly beautiful.

That made me wonder about the beliefs expressed in some of those hymns. Could I accept religious thinking for others that is so different from mine? Does diversity bring benefits here? Are other people wrong to believe as they have been taught – carefully taught – by parents and other adults who think they are doing the right thing?

With horror I haavae to remaember the killing that has taken place each generation as wars have been fought because of differences in religious belief. Is it possible that I and people who think as I do can reach the place where we accept that all people have a right to believe as they do? I”ve decided that I ddo not want to convince them to think as I do. Different religious beliefs provide diversity!

Probably not in my lifetime, but I think humankind is almost ready to acknowledge that diversity, even of reliegion, can provide benefit rather than fear.