Cultural Understanding Essay

1018 words - 5 pages

In my opinion every practitioner and every human being has a responsibility and a duty to respect and effectively function within culturally diverse populations as well as, to respect all members of the world. As easy as it sounds this simple act is vanishing from each individual, education, religion and society as a whole. The populace of this world is growing more ethnically, socially and religiously divided daily. The rhetoric of the media, certain religious preachings, and groups of people across the world are fanning the flames of a wildfire which is bound to lead to hatred, death and possibly war.
Living in America we are truly gifted with some of the greatest cultural diversity of any country. Variety makes a country great and strong, the more the better, the more diversity the greater the social acceptance of variety, in an ideal world. Sadly our country and the world is not ideal and there is no shortage of rampant examples of racism, classism, and worst of all hatred.
My initial experience of cultural acceptance and diversity came from my experiences with my mother. My mother was a nurse at a children’s hospital, she was a racist and homophobic. From the beginning of my memories as a child I was told how horrible the hispanic people were and how they were responsible for the decline of healthcare and how they would take advantage of American systems and its’ people. In the eyes of my mother the Hispanic people where the scum of the earth and single handedly destroying our country.
I realized at a young age that I had no reason to dislike any person for any reason. I do not know why I had this feeling or why I broke from the mold of my parents. My volunteering experiences in the hospital which my mother worked provided me with a very different experience of culture. When I observed hispanic families all that I saw was the love and compassion of a family. I saw a clear and very different set of beliefs and customs which were intriguing. I observed people who cared for their family members and who cried in pain and laughed for joy and who had the same fears as my family and myself. Having travelled through 49/50 states of the union at one point or another in my life, I observed equal use and abuse of the medical system, social security, food stamps and other forms of aid by all ethnicities and cultures.
Living in Mexico for six months in small towns and interacting with the people in these towns lead me to a strong and passionate appreciation for the diversity and beauty of the hispanic culture. The more I was exposed to other cultures around the world the vaster and deeper my appreciation, understanding and love for diversity grew. During my undergraduate education a multicultural class on the history of hispanics in the southwest illuminated the long history of racism, travesty and injustices which the hispanic people have suffered,...

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