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Unity in Diversity: Embracing Our Differences in 2019

by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

 

Our nation arguably suffers more division and polarization than it has confronted in decades. With a societal framework that can turn partisan lines into rivalries, at times, we might avoid those who are different than ourselves. However, many in the United States are also determined to look prejudice right in the face.

Some institutionalized forms of bias have caused us, on an unconscious level, to experience friction with one another. But the story doesn’t conclude here—it continues with a hope that we can rewrite the next chapter in love and acceptance of our equal humanity.  

            Instead of allowing our differences to thrust a wedge between us, we can choose another option—we can embrace the unity in this full-spectrum of diversity. The fact is, all humans are welcome at the table of community. Each of us represents a strand on the unique, vibrant, colorful tapestry that makes this nation an extraordinary place.

For that reason, the onus to resist discrimination is ours alone. We are accountable for harmonizing this country across all perspectives, backgrounds or affiliations. We can choose to treat one another with respect and dignity. We can resolve to change the discourse.   

But we need to remember that people are defined in terms of their character and individualism. Labels cannot begin to encapsulate the intricacies of a human soul. From the most powerful and affluent to the most overlooked or disenfranchised, we all add value. We all bear significance. We all can yield an impact. We all matter. If these are intrinsic beliefs we uphold about each other, it’s time to mobilize some action behind the conviction. And as with any undertaking, it starts at the grassroots.

So we need to listen to the accounts of those who don’t share our views and learn from those whose narratives we don’t know enough about. Moreover, we need to start looking people in the eyes and affirming their worth instead of deflecting our attention from that which we don’t understand. As the occupants of a cultural fusion that is our American experiment, we need to behave like United States.

The well-being of our future generations will depend on the harmony we reclaim in the present. So as the lessons of 2018 become a launchpad for the possibilities of 2019, just imagine if our combined New Year’s resolution was to love each other in a manner which is poised to make history. Politics aside, that is a cause we can all march behind. 

 

Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is the Managing Editor of Natural Awakenings Sarasota–Manatee. She also works as a freelance writer, blogger and social media marketer based in Southwest Florida. Her personal blog HealthBeAHippie.Wordpress.com features practical tips for embracing an active, nutritious and empowered lifestyle.

 

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