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COMMENT: 'We are more alike than we are unalike’

["Walt's World with Walter Jones"]
Walt's World with Walter Jones

Walt's World with Walter Jones

It takes a village to raise a child. A simple statement, but a profound thought.

Given half a minute most people would agree.

Further thought will tell you why this is true and necessary. If we cosset our children to our family group they learn only what we know.

They absorb our values, our culture, our beliefs and our prejudices.

Expose them to your village, preferably with contrasts in, skin colour, culture, religion, sexual preferences, language and outlook and they learn tolerance, respect for change, as well as.why it is necessary.

So how big should this village be? Should it be just your town, your province, your country or should we include our global village?

I opt for our global village and with our instant communication it is within our reach. We, the human race, are very good at being exclusive but not good at all with being inclusive. We have to change this mindset. We should put our minds to looking at the things that divide us, such as race, religion, politics, language, poverty and ignorance.

If we can think of ourselves as a member of our global village - just as we would in our small village, use tolerance and acceptance of differences - we might get a bigger sense of well-being than we have at present and our midnight clock that represents the end of civilization might be set back instead of forward.

Being tolerant does not mean you have to stifle your opinions or views as everyone is entitled to express what he/she believes in. Just be aware that they are not sacrosanct.

So where do we go to learn what our values should be?

We live in one of the best countries in the world. This did not happen by chance.

Look to our forefathers, the people of servitude, who had the wisdom to look ahead.

We should protect our heritage, both in our buildings and our memories. If we do not respect and learn from our ancestors think about this, a quote from Luisah Teish: "We are the ancestors of the future and what we do now will have an impact."

We are making future history. Let us not try to be ashamed of what we are.

I say the only impact we will have is what they know of us and what we knew of them. So why are we so reluctant to celebrate our past? I leave you with this message which is the last line from a longer poem by Maya Angelous: "We are more alike my friends, than we are unalike."

Walter Jones lives in Amherst. His column appears weekly in the Amherst News.

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