We are in the midst of some trying times, fear of others different from ourselves is creating major divides in the way we engage with each other.
For most of us this is a huge shift in the paradigm we were raised in. It seems that throughout history every tribe/culture/family has made a strong point to stay amongst themselves. Dating outside of the ‘tribe’ was frowned upon, much less creating friendships, business partnerships, marriages, etc. Those may have been the best rules available at the time – but, the world is changing and getting smaller where we are exposed to people who are ‘different’ from us on our social media sites as well in off line worlds. Next time you go to the mall – notice the number of different cultures and cross culture relationships walking passed you. It is very different than my memories of trips to the mall twenty/thirty years ago. I grew up in a very segregated city and my first experience with a black person was at 15 years old. There were no other people of color in my school, people with disabilities were schooled elsewhere, people of different religions did not make it known they were different.
I believe that these experiences were more harmful in that countless numbers of us never could develop an understanding and acceptance of all people and then/now blindly follow the rants of ‘leaders’ that we should fear them. In a country that was founded on religious freedoms and that has welcomed people of all nations – the trends are alarming and perhaps this Bridge Building exercise can be helpful and healing.
To read the rest of this post and learn about Building Bridges, join my new Habits group on Facebook.