Extend Small Courtesies to 'Individuals of Difference'

We live in a country with more diversity of every kind than any other nation on earth. It's one of our greatest strengths. It's also one of our greatest challenges.

Diversity implies differences and differences often create uncertainty. Additionally, many culturally diverse groups have a history of conflict with one another - a history of fact, a history of perception, and a history of innuendo.

So it is particularly important that when each of us encounters someone different from ourselves (i.e. an "individual of difference"), that we go out of our way to show that individual that they are on equal footing with us, that we respect them, etc.

Yes, we should do this to everyone, but when two "individuals of similarity" interact, there usually isn't that potential tension of difference. However, when we encounter someone of difference on a day-to-day basis, we go out of our way to:

  • hold the door for them,

  • look at them and say hi,

  • give them the right of way in traffic,

  • ......
Extend a small courtesy to people of difference

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