Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bridging The Them and Us Gap

We like to tell the story that mankind (Homo sapiens) started as one, and that more profoundly, everybody is made to the image and likeness of a good God. Thus, the only race that we all belong to is the human race.

But we tend to forget that people GET different growing up in their own unique environment. They develop the same ways of reasoning and using their own perceived logic as the rest in those familial and social milieus. Sadly, the Middle East and its people, in many places where they may have sought to live and prosper, still resolutely cling to their adherence to many cultural and religious practices and mores that have not changed much since the 12th century. This continues to be the same way they look at the world and how they judge the rest of the world. This kind of time warp very much explains those confusing and very illogical behavior we see exhibited in the world today. And of course, which obviously alienate them from the rest of the world that has in the meantime, moved on.

I see a long-term solution from where I sit. The USA is a very good example of showcasing how integration and assimilation of the different ethnicities into the mainstream can radically change not only how people look and act. But more importantly, how people think and relate in the social environment quite different from their old homelands. And this while still continuing to learn and maintain one’s past ethnic heritage in ways amenable to the rest.

For after all, the US is probably the only place in this globe where the convergence of practically all the races/ethnicities can be found. At times messy, but essentially bound together by common goals and ideals. And this could be a good reason to advance why the US is still essentially insulated from such illogical behavior now raging in other places of the world.

Thus, comparing the first generation immigrants, whether adamantly resistant to assimilation or not, with the next generation offspring, one witnesses a world of changed differences. Not only in the manner of dress, speech, and demeanor, but even in the more profound social or moral values that somehow manage to reveal themselves in the many innocent and uninhibited ways kids express themselves.

Instilling democracy and democratic ideals are definitely a good commencing step toward pushing the Middle East and its people away from the constricting clutches and demands of the past ages that present civilization has cast aside a long time ago as largely irrelevant, inadequate, and illogical.

Note: The lithograph on the left came from a gilt-edged devotion book published in Barcelona, Spain, in 1881.

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