When America was founded, it was based on freedom and equality for all people, at first religious freedom, but eventually freedom of speech, press, petition, and more. In time, America began to be known as a “melting pot” of cultures as more and more people came because they wanted this freedom; the more people who came though, the more problems America had. There were too many cultural differences between people, and eventually America, the country based on freedom and equality, faced challenges concerning diversity.
So, why do we need diversity? As America grows, the differences in cultures among individuals become larger. People are becoming closed-minded about others who are different from themselves, which creates tension and ignorance about other cultures. “For all societies at all times have their particular blind spots, groups within their culture and also groups abroad that are especially likely to be dealt with ignorance and obtusely” (Nussbaum). Since we live in a nation that is always growing and will always have diversity, we need to become more aware about others. If we simply live life only coming in contact with those who are similar to us, no one will benefit. But “if we have more contact with people of other ethnic and racial backgrounds (or at least more contact in the right circumstances), we will begin to trust one another more” (Putnam 141). We need to become more socially engaged with those who are different from us so that we can become aware of other cultures around us.
Becoming aware of other cultures is more than just coming into contact with others though, we need to accept them and understand where they are coming from so that we can strengthen our communities. By learning more about where people in your neighborhood are coming from helps you trust them more. The children who live in your neighborhood are the ones that will be playing with your children. Wouldn’t you want to know where that child’s family is coming from? We need talk to those around us who are from different cultures and ethnicities. Awareness of other cultures also helps to promote personal growth by making you confront typical stereotypes about other cultures and learn how to communicate with people of different cultures.
When you learn how to communicate with others, you also gain perspective. “Learning to see another human being…as a full person in not an automatic event but an achievement that requires overcoming many obstacles” (Nussbaum).This perspective helps you see the world in a new light. When we are younger, all we have to live on is our parent’s perspective, “we see things not as they are but as we are” (Loewen) but as we grow older and mature, we gain our own perspective. With each new person you meet, you have the opportunity to view the world through their eyes and see how life is for them. Perspective is what America need to become more accepting of other cultures. In the book The Things They Carried by...