I believe we are more alike than we are different

Catheirne - Friendswood, Texas
Entered on January 23, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe we are all more alike than we are different.

I grew up with a father who was a Chaplain in the Army and a mom who

taught school everywhere we lived. I thought nothing of going to school

with people of different races and with different beliefs. They were

welcome in my home, as well. My grandmother, on the other hand, used

the N-word to refer to blacks. I had conversations with her about the

inherent characteristics of race, and her ideas were beyond

stereotypical. I simply could not fathom her position and so our

conversations turned to other things we had in common, dropping any

references to race. From her I saw the reality of prejudice while

living in a home of acceptance.

Because my dad might be the only Chaplain at the post, he was

responsible for ministering to people of any faith. I played the organ

for the Catholic services and attended many services of other religions.

But since my dad was ordained by the Southern Baptist Convention, we

also attended a Southern Baptist church if one was available. I saw

both the homogeneous nature of faith as well as the fractional

divisiveness. I do not currently ally myself with any organized

religion. I prefer to look at faith itself as a religion, and,

therefore, an idea that many of us have in common.

My family and I have lived in New York City, Anchorage, Alaska and

Gaeta, Italy. I have traveled throughout Europe, Greece, North and

Central America, Japan and Israel. Wherever we were, we took advantage

of discovering the local culture and mingling with the people, learning

about religion and customs of other peoples. Because my family embraced

difference, I find myself regarding all races and religions as simply

other views of the same world.

Since 9/11 and with all the discussion of immigration, I have resisted

the inclination to group people together. I want to see each person as

an individual but with the same needs that I have: a safe place to live,

enough food and clean water, and access to education. I try to remember

that these desires transcend political and religious ideals, and I

believe they can be accomplished because we are more alike than we are

different.