I’ve been around a few years. I was 11 years old when JFK was assassinated. I lived in what would be considered a small town in Nebraska. The whole world outside of that town was something on the other side of a television screen.
Then I joined the Navy in 1974 and began to travel the world, or portions thereof, and was able visit and experience those TV images for real.
It was extremely breath-taking for me. Being in places that before were places that had a glass window in front of them. Some in Black and White. Some in Color.
But being in these places, for real, showed me that much of what I watched on the boob tub were tinted in a different way. Some were more awesome that I could even imagine. Some were so much less. But from experience I learned that the real thing is much more than the experience you get from just reading and hearing about people and places on planet earth.
Cultures of every area in the world are different. I don’t care if it is a town 9 miles from where you are or 200.000 miles where you are..,things are different!
The change in culture, such as government, laws, atmosphere, attitude, and most importantly people’s attitudes toward life, religion, and every other thing is always different.
Prejudice exists in all areas and in all people. complacency, Concerns, Cares, Rejection, Attitudes towards Race, religion, Sexual orientation, and everything from where you hang out to how, many teeth you have, all the way to your personal habits are evaluated by everyone.
And the reaction to these observations, based on what one believes or thinks, is held against those that are different.
When you live in an area, regardless of your a new resident or long time resident, anyone that does not fit into the mindset/stereotype of the your community is considered an outsider.
In my travels I have learned this the hard way. And that to me is a good thing. Why? Because, had I stayed in the same place all my life, never gotten out and seen the world, never lived in a place different than where I spent the first 20 years of my life, I would have become an over opinionated bigot solely based on the center of my world and not the real world.
The lesson I learned is there is far more in this world, many many more people that have many many more morals, mores, cultures, habits, attitudes, social interactions, beliefs, and just plain old way of dong things than I could ever imagine.
And to this day, at the ripe old age of 61, I’m still learning.
I have come to realize that in my small town, in which I grew older, for the first 20 years of my life that it was not perfect. I have come to realize that in the places I have visited and lived in the past 40 years that the world, as I know it now, is also not perfect. I have come to realize that all the people I have met are not perfect. And from that I have learned this lesson:
“I AIN”T PERFECT. THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND ME. THE WORLD AND IT’S PEOPLE ARE THEMSELVES AND I MUST OPEN MY MIND AND TRY AND IDENTIFY WITH ALL.”
Sure I may agree with some, I may disagree with some and I may become confused by some. And that gives me room for exploration of humanity. Not for automatic rejection because someone might disagree with what I presently believe and hold to be true.
Life is a learning process. To fail to consider that others might have something to offer is to cut yourself off from understanding what this whole life thing is. And that is just plain … well stupid.
To prejudge anything in life where everything is wrong unless it agrees with what you know is not only a lazy cop-out, but an action that robs one of the opportunity to gain knowledge of what life is all about.
We are given the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. That’s our five senses. But with these five senses there comes a sixth sense or perhaps a human trait. And that is … “THE ABILITY TO THIN!”
To turn off or ignore our ability to think, reason, comprehend, analyze, compare, accept or reject anything we see, hear, taste , smell and touch is wrong, we rob ourselves of a leaning experience, the ability to gain more knowledge of the world around us and we tune out instead of tuning in.
It has been said that we need think outside of the box. We’ll I’ll put it this way. Yes we need to think outside of the box. We have to consider all things and learn from them.
To not do so traps you into being (a phrase from some years past) “A SQUARE!”