Diversity: Tolerance Through Communication, Part 1
There are many controversies currently happening around us, including the Arizona Immigration law, racial profiling, the Cordoba Mosque and the Dove movement, that inspired me to share some peaceful thoughts, and not get into the debate of who is right and who is wrong or even take sides. Hopefully, I'll be able to start a healthy dialog.
The US is a great country - if not the greatest; the founding fathers built it on the spirit of human rights, tolerance, and acceptance of all differences. The US is built on diversity, on a combination of flavors to strengthen the foundation of this country, one flavor enhances the other.
One doesn’t have to agree or like everyone, but one has to treat everyone and every person with respect and equality.What someone thinks is their business, how they act it out is what is important as it concerns others. Having flexibility to integrate is what will get us all to the safe side of the river.
Prejudice is a natural human reaction, we all have distrust and fear from people that don’t look like us or are different from ourselves. Confronting our belief system and find our biases becomes crucial so we can make smart choices about our behavior. Healthy conflicts bring positive changes, effective communications provide safe environment to discuss conflicts and differences. Effective communications creates tolerance, which creates acceptance and respect; both are key solutions to most of our problems.
When people are asked what they think represents difficult communications with others, the answers include:
- People that get angry for no reason
- People with heavy accents
- People that talk all the time and don’t listen
- People that listen to us - then re-arrange our words the way they want to understand them
- People that always think they are right
- People with egos
- People that are indirect.
People assume that people that are different from them either by color, age, race, religion, gender, political views are difficult to communicate with, and this is where the communications’ barriers start erecting.Continued on the next page