Combatting xenophobia through cultural diversity

Humanity? Humanity is just a dictionary word to us today. It’s an illusion we have fixed in our minds that exist not. Together, we were in the struggle, but look at us now. We’ve turned against one another like adversaries in a war; we have become unsympathetic of our own so effortlessly. This bolt from the blue has turned our soft hearts to wickedness and selfish desire – the desire to bring about violence, desire to hurt and desire to end lives. People are engrossed and enthralled by fear as minds have no traceable idea if they will live to see another day.

This expression of love has been replaced with hate, tolerance with intolerance, peace with war, happiness with sadness and unity with division. The world is crying, the world is bitter, the world has changed and yet we go on and hold sermons, preaching the value of benevolence. We were created as rational human beings who are ought to think and reason unlike animals found in the wild but then we have adopted character traits of some of these wild animals and we see ourselves not looking up to that fundamental purpose of why we exist as humans. We are now self-made hypocrites as we continue to sermonise the art and value of humankind, as we continue propagandizing and ranting out sermons and talks that we fail to act upon.

Love for all and love for our people. Where did that all go? Where did it vanish to? The minute we turned a blind eye on humanity, we killed peace. The minute we decided to over value our desires more than spreading love, we killed peace. We slaughtered ourselves in the daylight and look at us now. We are filled with so much hate and animosity towards one another. Lifeless bodies dot the streets, human blood flows from one end to another, anger and detestation rules, peace hides away for the two do not meet. It has become so easy to kill and take away life though we were never created nor given the right to end the lives of those around us. We are busy preaching the art of tolerance when we cannot begin to practice what we preach. The golden rule has not been taken heed of as if it doesn’t exist.

The mass killings of people that recently transpired have effected nothing good, but   unfathomable agony and discomfort to those that recognise and believe what humanity is. An important and vital matter that should be denoted and understood so well is to highlight that, acts of xenophobia do not affect a country alone. Xenophobia is more of like a smoulder that flinches in a wilderness and spreads out to other regions.

Xenophobia affects everyone and every country in the world. The main aim of this writing is to thoroughly use and depict how cultural diversity is a fundamental tool in dissolving xenophobia turns.  The existence of cultural diversity does away with negative acts of Xenophobia, and it starts with us people training our minds to accept the idea of cultural diversity because it appreciates the fact that people of different races can actually co-exist regardless of their differences. Cultural diversity is appreciating and accepting the manifestation and representation of different cultures within a society or area. It is all about understanding and coming to terms that, a wide range of cultures exist in this modern society hence as people we must learn and execute the behaviour of tolerating these different cultures. Tolerating in the sense that, we critic not human traits like race, religion, age, gender, ethnic group, nationality, skill as well as capability and many others such related.

These are cultures in a specific region existing in the world as a whole and us being fully aware and recognising the quality of different cultures. It offers a strong and a powerful connection between culture and education for the purpose of sustainable development. It is determined by different ethnic groups in an environment with diverged elements of culture like food, materials, shelter, beliefs and many others such related. It creates a more vivid atmosphere, or a place made up of many different people and things.

In an environment where there are two or more cultures present of divergent ethnic groups, there are high chances of advancement and growth because, firstly, there are a variety of skills, more depth knowledge and full mutual understanding of one another as well as the community we live and come from. There is a pleasant room full of worldviews, opinions and perspectives which then will provide us with a source of good foundation of knowledge on how to deal with certain matters  that affect us all, one way or another and a possible remedy to that particular problem.

We are able to relate and interact with one another on best ways to serve our country as noble servants as well as the best tactics we can fully adopt to achieve our aims thus promoting the level of development. The term ‘development’ does not necessarily mean road, school and hospital constructions but it also includes, another aspect of  growing and establishing our human minds and being able to help one another with ideas, opinions and views towards a particular matter.

On the other hand, tolerance also plays a major role in promoting development. It instils a sense of acceptance and responsibility towards a human being. This is the willingness to allow people to do, say, or believe what they want without criticizing or punishing them. Tolerance involves the spirit of accepting each other’s diversity, belief system, thought patterns and perspectives of the world. It is the state of absence of war, a state of physical, social, economic and psychological well-being. It is indeed the common brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity. It is born out of love of self and love for others. It emanates from acceptance of diversity. It comes out of respect of human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and many other such.

Tolerance has become a dictum preached all almost every day; it arises from deep within our hearts. If we cannot accept others for who and what they are and instead we begin to magnify our differences, this may then lead to a conflict, which can and will affect the level of furtherance and become a major drawback to us. When we tolerate ourselves and tolerate our neighbours then we are building an empire that can never be shaken in the very same world we live in. If I accept my neighbour’s differences just exactly the way I tolerate mine, I will not seek to hurt my neighbour.

Where we have disagreements, I will sure build bridges and mend fences. For betterment to prevail even furthermore then we need to foster acceptance of diversity and respect human rights. Education and more access to information about tolerance give out a helping hand for the purpose of attaining development. This is because it builds better communities, richer cultures and through advancing science, brings economic, social, cultural and psychological well-being to the world . Development in a country or to the world at large must therefore begin with the knowledge of acceptance which is the element of tolerance and cultural diversity.

I am for cultural diversity and I am for tolerance, for I am building a foundation block for development. Our differences make us one. We are one!

We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity life would be very boring – Catherine Pulsifer.

…Motsu writes from University of Botswana

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