There is a major problem in the United States with the misunderstanding of differences. We are a nation of various ideas, religions, beliefs, cultures, and races. When I say misunderstanding differences I also mean the act of individuals blindly accepting and incorporating other peoples differences into their own way of thinking and lifestyle. We are not a melting pot. We are more of a masterful work of art that should function well when viewed by the intelligent mind. Then the mind should be able to understand the arts concepts without being confused.
Yes, each individual is different even if they go to the same church, they associate with the same religion, and believe in some of the same things. However, a problem arises when two different individuals meet or one individual looks upon another group or people and does not quite understand what they are about. The problem is they might think that in order to understand they need to try or be what the other person is and does. This is not necessarily a bad thing but, this is not necessarily a good thing either.
There is a difference between learning a new skill and studying something from a textbook in college as opposed to going from Christianity to Islam with the sole purpose of “understanding and sympathizing”. When a person is trying to learn something such as a new skill or course material, actually performing the necessary measures, skill tests, and experiments helps the individual better understand the concepts and ideas they are trying to learn. This is true for skills such as programming in the C language, welding, and auto mechanics; even artwork.
I believe a lot of individuals explore and experiment without knowing the risks when it comes to subjects such as ideologies, politics, and religions. Compare and contrast these with a skilled trade such as welding, auto mechanics, or even something such as mathematics and geometry. They are obviously and blatantly different. Now, the reader might view this and think to themselves “yeah…duh”. They might understand the obviousness of this but why do they persist in blindly accepting and incorporating certain aspects of the other subjects into what they do and think? I’m comparing this to what we have witnessed on the news and might have experienced in our own personal lives.
When a person welds, repairs a vehicle, or writes a simple computer program the individual is performing the necessary steps and requirements from the chosen avocation. There isn’t much religion or politics involved in changing an alternator or welding a quarter panel on a vehicle. However, subjects such as art, religion, history, and politics are more abstract and individuals have the opportunity to express themselves.
Now take art, religion, ideologies, and politics and try to experiment with them based off of what you know from history. Reader, do you really think that if you experiment with a historically dangerous idea that the same thing will not happen to you? Also, do you really know your history? Not knowing these things is the reason why history has the potential to repeat itself because the individual or groups of individuals get themselves to thinking, “eh that isn’t going to happen to me I’ll play it safe and my intentions are good”. Well your intentions can be good all day. But if you don’t exercise some caution and keep track of what your doing you will become lost and end up becoming something you never intended to. When was the last instance where you sat down and compared where you’re at now as opposed to what you wanted to be a year or two from now?
The biggest reason why an individual has the potential to be caught up in controversial things, they do not fully understand, is because subjects such as politics, ideologies, and religions are powerful. The individual has the potential to be influenced by external forces meaning, other people who’s intentions might not be similar to your own. Their intentions might be downright malicious such as power and control.
An apprentice welder can be mentored and taught by a master welder and this goes for a young mechanic and a master mechanic. There is not much wrong with that unless we’re talking about ethics as well. But, take the other subjects, art and its expressive nature, politics, and ideologies even philosophy. What if the unsuspecting and inquisitive individual wants to do something awesome and positive with their potential in these areas? They might come across a mentor they might not know about or several mentors and they have bad intentions. The individual is in trouble.
That is one example in that specific instance. Understand the differences. Basically an individual can meet somebody different than them on common ground. Understanding an individual different than yourself does not mean that you have to think, practice, or do what they do and incorporate those things into your way of doing things. You can accept that the other individual is different in what and who they are. Knowing and understanding the differences and not being offended by them means you have perspective and are mature without disrespecting them.
For example, you can understand that a person from India believes in Buddhism, they value hard work, and family. You, on the other hand might believe in Catholicism, you might not be as close with your family members, and you also believe in hard work. There are some differences and similarities. However, knowing these things about the individual from India does not mean that you must immediately begin practicing Buddhism and try everything you can think of to become closer to your family to understand him or her. You understand and accept the facts that there are both similarities and differences but what you must do is relate, have perspective, and translate what you know about them into what you know about yourself. Then based off of that information, in say, helping them with a problem translate back from your perspective into what they might do from their perspective based off of what you know about their religion, way of life, beliefs, and values.
I know this sounds complex, but we do this all the time with other aspects of our daily lives with other things. The mind does this quickly, efficiently, and effectively when we understand how to do this. The better we become at doing this the easier this is to do. Making your mind go through those processes you will see that you have helped the other individual and all of a sudden your still not practicing Buddhism, any closer to some of your family members you might want to avoid, and possibly you might have learned a better way of performing work functions better in conversing with the individual from India.
These principles and aspects are not a melting pot, rather a highly functional work of art with various and complex colors, brush strokes, and concepts. Each individual comprises the work of art and the more of us that do these things with perspective and understanding the better impression this has on the individual viewing the work of art. If the work of art being viewed was similar to a melting pot where everything is blurred together, do you really think the viewer would understand its concepts or what it is trying to portray easily?
Yes, we have the ability and freedom of choice to experiment and try things for ourselves. However, depending on what we are doing caution, some study or research, and intelligent thought is necessary.