“Learn About” Questions
- What cultures and races are represented in my community?
- What opportunities are there in my community to experience other cultures and languages?
- Has my community’s population changed much in the last 20 years? Why or why not?
“Learn From” Questions
- Does my circle of friends tend to be diverse or very similar to my own cultural background? Why?
- What is my experience with traveling and meeting people who have very different backgrounds from mine?
- Growing up, did my family tend to have experiences with people of colors and races other than our own? Why or why not?
I still think all people know too little about other people. When you get to know people and know them as people without stereotyping, good things happen. I think about when Todd was in elementary school and one of the things, and again, this is from home – you never label people by color. We just, that just was not, so I was trying to find out who his teacher was. So I said, well, what does she look like. ‘She’s OK.’ OK, uh, what color is her hair? etc. I really think that not only do people not know other people but there is, in some cases, this built-in stereotype that some people can’t get rid of. And until people can accept other people, you know, the other thing too, I feel so privileged and blessed to have had a chance to travel, meet people all over the country and literally the world. And it helps you realize that there is more about us that is alike than there is different. And just like my mother said, there are people you’re going to like of all races, people who you’re going to like less. But people have these built-in stereotypes. And it also, I think of when I went to Australia. It was really good for me. I was walking down the street and I kept bumping into people. I said, OK, Treopia, you’re doing something wrong. So I stood back against the building and I watched and I realized that there, everything went from the left and we are accustomed to doing things from the right, which taught me that just because you do something one way doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Other people do things another way and it’s right. But I think so many times people, if anything is different, it’s bad, it’s negative. But it’s such a rich experience to be around and to have experiences with people whose backgrounds and experiences are different from yours.