Writer of life and other useless things: Accepting differences

September 25, 2008

by Heather Small

Being from a small community, I am not used to seeing and being involved with people of other religions, cultures and nationalities.

In Florien, my hometown, I might have run into one person of Jewish beliefs, but never interacted with them for two reasons: one, I did not understand their beliefs and two, I was too shy to even attempt to introduce myself.

My freshman year, I remember seeing and having no other choice but to interact with people from cultures and religions of which I had no knowledge. I blame this “deficiency” partly on the society (or lack there of) in which I was raised, but mostly on myself for not being more open minded and just a little less shy.

If I could have been fortunate enough to have had both those qualities on my side, maybe I would have spent more time learning about these interesting differences and less time hiding at my brother’s house.

I guess what I am trying to say is: accept other people’s differences and attempt to learn from them.

My fiancé has recently brought a whole bucketful of differences into our relationship, and one-by-one I am trying to accept and appreciate them.

This cause is very difficult; however, because I love him, I might not embrace his beliefs but I will respect and appreciate them.

People who come to Tech from different backgrounds in religion, nationalities and cultures are what make the time spent here just that much more interesting.

Being a journalism major, I have had the opportunity to meet some very interesting individuals from both the International Student Organization and just around campus.

Everyone is unique in their own way, but being open to accepting this uniqueness gives us the opportunity to learn and expand our own world and knowledge.

There are over 10,000 students from 46 different states and 68 different countries attending the same university as you. Why not expand your horizons and open your eyes to the rest of the world?

You will, eventually, run into individuals with ideas in which you do not agree with, but accepting them does not mean putting into practice or even giving a second thought to their ideas.

So, learn to accept people’s differences, and then, if you find their differences interesting, strive to learn more about them and their cultures or nationalities.

The world is full of different people and that is, as my fiancé says, what makes it so beautiful.

You never know, you might turn out to be a little different, too.

Heather Small is a senior journalism major from Florien who serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to hes011@latech.edu.