In today’s world, we tend to hear so much negativity whether if it’s the weather, sports, government or family. Perhaps we need to take a step or two back and look at who we are as human beings and world citizens. Every one of us is a unique creation of our God, whatever He may be to each of us, or simply of nature if that provides a fuller description.
Have you ever wondered why we speak so many languages? Why do we look different with various skin colours and sizes? Would it not have been much easier if we looked similar?
Imagine what the world would be like if we all shared one basic physical appearance and one faith tradition and one similar cultural heritage. When I try to conceive such a notion my only response in one word is BORING!
I do not know why we look and sound different or why God or nature made such a complex and varied world. I do know it is something to be lived, celebrated and shared. I enjoy meeting people who have move or are visiting my home here in Canada. To hear their stories, sometimes sad but usually exciting and very interesting is one way to celebrate our diversity.
Canada has moved dramatically over the years from a country with one basic faith and a few different cultures to a nation with so many varied cultures and beliefs. We have finally embraced the rich history and cultures associated with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada who were here long before the white settlers. This history also contains a lot of negative actions taken against the indigenous population but even the reconciliation process can and should be celebrated by all.
When we talk about diversity, we should also remember that those living in poverty also present a sad and different cultural background. This culture of despair and hopelessness is one we can all address in some way. When we are able to make systemic changes that can lead to helping our friends and neighbours in need this becomes another reason to celebrate. We must also recognize that the barriers faced by those experiencing poverty are greatly increased if the element of systemic racism is a factor.
Let us seek to learn more about our many cultures and celebrate them in a more communal way.
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About the author:
Jim Paddon lives in London, Ontario, Canada and is a Canadian Vincentian. He is married to his dear wife Pat and they have six daughters and eleven grandchildren. Jim has been a member of the Society since the 1970’s.
I respectfully acknowledge the traditional, unceded territories of the Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit, on which lands we meet, work and live.