Managing Diversity and Civility

As modern transportation - cars, planes, boats, and trains - make the world more accessible, society becomes more diverse. Diversity in language, cultures, and religions is a positive thing. However, diversity can mean that two people in war torn countries could be socializing and moving in the same setting. A child from Ukraine could be seated in the classroom by a child from Russia or a Jewish doctor could be working in the same hospital as a surgeon from Palestine. It is imperative that civility exists in the modern and diverse society. Civility can be better obtained with a cultural understanding and a shared goal of peace.

Old wounds heal slowly and some never want to forget. If the cultures of different societies are explored, then the odds that an accord can be met are more easily obtained. To understand why an ancestor or country of an ancestor acted in a certain way is often the first step to stopping that bad behavior. We study history to ensure that holocausts and genocides do not happen again. Unfortunately, we are not yet at this place. Often people fear what they do not understand and understanding can help lead to acceptance. The Catholic Church that observes Seder with the local Temple is an example of this gesture. Some schools have different country days or weeks when a country and its traditions are studied to gain a better understanding. People need to understand often to accept something new.

Peace should be a worldwide goal, but obviously this is not always the case. And one person may not be able to convince others to just get along. However, everyone must do his or her part. By showing civility for different cultures, religions, and countries is the first step. If you have small children, you will act as a model for those children when you show tolerance and acceptance. To end prejudice we must show the children how to be tolerant and how to be accepting. One person can begin a change; be that one positive person.

Making an effort to understand people different than you can lead to civility. Do not fear what you do not know, but instead seek to know it. Additionally understanding that peace is important and that everyone plays a role in peacekeeping is an additional way to bring about civility with diversity in today’s wide world. Diversity and civility can go hand-in-hand.

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