Mark Twain famously declared, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
WHEN YOU TAKE THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW PEOPLE WHO APPEAR TO BE DIFFERENT TO YOU, WITH A GENUINELY OPEN MIND, YOU WILL PROBABLY DEVELOP COMPASSION AND EMPATHY, THE OPPOSITE OF HATRED AND FEAR.
Consider the Hispanic boy in kindergarten who is in your son's class, or the African-American employee you know. Engage those people. Listen to their stories. Find about their families People in different cultures oftentimes have similar values.
In 2007 my husband and I were in France and we need a cab driver around 4:00 a.m. The driver obviously wanted to get home and was somewhat cranky. I asked him where he was from. He warned slightly and said he came from a mountainous region between Spain an France. I asked him if he was a Basque, people living in that region who want independence. We then discussed the geo-political events, and totally bonded. By the end of the ride we had a wonderful conversation, which I remember to this day.
IT'S TIME TO WORK TO ELIMINATE INHERENT BIASES IN SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES, AND SOCIETY AT LARGE. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT RACISM, SEXISM, LGBT DISCRIMINATION AGEISM, AND DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION IN OUR SCHOOLS, IN OUR HOMES AND OUR WORKPLACES. IF WE ARE GOING TO ERADICATE UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION, WE MUST TALK ABOUT IT.