This I Believe

Dax - Newburgh, Indiana
Entered on October 24, 2008
Themes: tolerance

I believe in diversity. Diversity is something that is learned from adults as well as peers, not just simply something people are born with. Many times kids are not exposed to diversity until they are much older, in history class, but it’s often too late. Opinions have already been formed and it is often hard to change them. Encarta Dictionary defines Diversity as “a variety of something such as opinion, color, or style.â€?

The two people who had the most impact on my life when it came to diversity were my parents. They always taught me to accept people for who they were, not what they were. I put this bit of advice to work at a very early age. It all started when I was a part of the youth group at church. We were going to be attending a church service at the local synagogue. I understood nothing that the rabbi was saying, since after all, he was speaking in Hebrew. Because the value of diversity had been instilled in me as a young child, I knew even though he spoke a different language in church, he was just a human like me.

At one point in my life, my value of diversity was really put to the test. It started when I was a freshman in high school. I started meeting new people because of the different feeder schools. I inadvertently started hanging around the wrong crowd. It did not take very long to realize that these people had much different thoughts on diversity. Some of them had absolutely no diversity whatsoever in their lives. I had to confront these people and explain to them that I didn’t agree with their lack of diversity. I went on to further explain to them that even though we did not agree, we could still remain friends.

I think that as I have gotten older, I have actually become more of a diversified person. My time spent in the navy, I think, has greatly attributed to that. After spending nearly six years in the navy, I have traveled the world and visited many different countries. This has given me great exposure to many different cultures, ethnic groups, and religions. One example of this was when I went to Dubai. Prior to going there, I thought the Middle East was all sparsely populated dessert with camels running wild. Well, when we arrived, I was shocked to learn that was not the case at all. Actually Dubai was far from a desert. It was a vibrant city with lots of elaborate architecture and a vast network of well-designed roads. And the Arabic people were friendly and intelligent people just like me with a slightly darker skin.

Diversity has played a very big part in my life. Being a very diverse person has helped me to become the well-rounded person that I am today. It has helped me to become more educated on others’ cultures and beliefs. That’s why I believe in diversity.