Beautiful Differences

November 7, 2011
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Discuss some issue of local, national, or international
concern and its importance to you. (500 words or less)


1,716 friends on Facebook, zero in this classroom. I am the new girl, I have been the new girl five different times! When people ask where I'm from, I don't know if I should say where I was born or where I just moved from or where I've lived the longest. Often, I just spit out a run-on sentence of how I just moved here from Los Angeles but was up north in Canada a few years earlier but was born in Chicago. Their response is usually sympathy. I can't relate though, because I feel blessed. I believe I've been given a gift to move as often as I have. My concern is not everyone sees it that way.

Its rare for me to talk to someone who sees how much of a privilege it is to meet new people and adjust to new environments. Maybe they're afraid of being surrounded by new people with different opinions and experiences. Or maybe they're afraid of being alone without a friend to hide behind. I reflect back on everywhere I have lived and all of the different friends I have made. I easily see a pattern. There are certain characteristics that people begin to absorb from the culture and town they live in. There's nothing wrong with that. My worry resides where people close their minds off and stick to one route of thinking without question.

I am concerned that people conform to discrimination, bias, prejudice, racism, sexism, and all of those shallow precedents because they are afraid of the unknown. I think it can be reversed with a wider and more beautiful outlook on our world.

There are so many differences in the world! Interesting, incredible differences. It upsets me when groups of people look down upon these differences rather than understand them. It is arrogance. One of many things I have learned from relocating is that in order to understand others you have to understand yourself. Understanding never means agreeing; but it means to acknowledge and respect. I believe if there were more understanding in the world there would be more agreeing as well.

The world is becoming more connected all around every year. Its absolutely brilliant. I'm able to stay in instant contact with everyone I know spread out across the globe. I have access to chatting with a teenager in Brazil or an artist in Singapore. I can't wait to see the world become one as we begin to see our differences with a curious heart. Everyone with an open mind will contribute to this possibility of peace. It's important to me to spread the hunger for understanding. We all want to be understood and we all have a perspective to share.

My name is Blair, but many people call me the new girl. I've grown to like it. I feel new. I feel fresh and I feel vibrant. I am open to new ways of thinking and new ways of seeing things. My perspective is limitless.





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