This I Believe

Jenna - Fairbanks, Alaska
Entered on April 10, 2007

A Patchwork Perspective

Diversity keeps the world spinning. Think about it! How would we ever progress without someone there to change our minds with some radical idea, or a new train of thought? Everyone is different, and as people, we not only have to accept that and celebrate it, we need it to grow. I believe in the importance of diversity, and know that nothing can be learned without exploring a new train of thought and sharing your own with others.

Last year in my English class, my teacher made us each interview an adult that we admired and ask them about the valuable lessons they had obtained in their lives. I immediately thought back to my middle school history teacher, Mrs. Yetter. I set up an interview with her and when I finally got down to the last question, “What is the most important life lesson you would want me to learn?” she responded with stories of traveling and experiencing different cultures. She could not emphasize enough the importance of celebrating diversity and culture. She told me that in her travels she learned, above all else, that no matter who you are or where you are from, all you want to do at the end of the day is come home and have dinner with the people you love.

It is unfortunate that throughout history there have been stories of division and conquest. Are people so stuck on the idea that they are superior to others that they must do whatever it takes to make everyone the same? When will we begin to understand that just because someone is different, doesn’t mean that they are wrong, or inferior? I ask myself these questions and realize that forcing an opinion or belief on someone unwilling can only do damage. No one will drop their own beliefs for those of someone else without putting up a fight. I know I wouldn’t. I believe we have the ability to rise above this perspective, and quit thinking of ourselves as superior. No matter where you come from, or what you believe, don’t we all just want to do what’s right?

I try to keep an open mind, and learn from what others have to say, even if I don’t accept their beliefs as my own. To keep an open mind, I aspire to travel, just like my old history teacher, and experience many different cultures. I have already been to London, and it was an experience I won’t soon forget. When traveling, at times you are the minority and it becomes easier to see from another person’s perspective. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to expand your mind and become more accepting of different opinions, beliefs and cultures.

Diversity allows us to use our minds and collaborate, and I believe without it, we could not have made it as far as we have today.