It Starts With YOU!


“Children, no matter where they live, love to play.”







Standing in the buffet line waiting to file past the tables filled with the strange smells and textures of middle eastern cuisine, I made the comment about children to a father standing behind me smiling at the antics of his son. “Yes, all over the world, they are the same. Play, play, play.”

All over the world children love to play, people love to have photos taken of themselves enjoying time with their friends, men and women love to dance, we love our country and love the beautiful flowing fabrics and art we create. Each time I am introduced to a new culture, these facts are once again crystal clear.

Division comes when we look at what makes us different and sets us to thinking our way is the best way, the only way, the true way. Raised in a religion that declared our way of believing was the only way, I know the pain of separation that comes when a choice is made that sets you apart from that belief. The media shows us that our differences create separation and strife, instead of the opposite which is necessary for peace.

Our world is a palette of flavors to be enjoyed by all. The many colors and shapes of our world are what makes life interesting. What if we were all the same on the outside, duplicate versions of each other, forever doomed to stare at the sameness of each other every day? What if we all believed the same, and saw the world through the same perspective? No forward advancement would ever be made, and we would stagnate and die.

Seeing these students from Saudi Arabia making such a huge effort to share their lives and culture with those around them, was encouraging. Once again I am confronted with the knowledge that the media portrayal of the news does not represent the people in a country or culture, only those that make noises about what they insist to be the truth.

This missive is an old philosophy: come together as one, yet distinctly unique, and peace will come. How I wish we could. One thing I do know, if there is no peace within your own self, among your own family, with your neighbor, then peace will not be possible for the world. It starts within us, within our families, within our community.

It starts with you.

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