My oldest daughter and I went recently to a party honoring one of my daughter’s best friends on the occasion of her friends’ college graduation. They are friends from high school, so we know her family a little bit. The party was at a local restaurant. The friend’s family is Indian (Middle East Indian, not American Indian). There were about 100 people there; every table was full. My daughter and I and one other person were the only Caucasians there. We felt very comfortable and included in the event. Her parents greeted us very warmly and seated us next to a couple of her uncles.
They were also very gracious to us, even though we had just met. We chatted some, ate, chatted, ate, etc.
As I looked around the room, I noticed everyone eating, talking, gesturing, smiling, laughter, attentiveness. There was an active hum in the room from all the talking. Then, somebody dropped a plate. It shattered and made a great noise. The room hushed for a few seconds, but quickly the buzz came back. The plate died, but no humans were hurt. Most folks were dressed in typical western clothes, much like I was. Some were in some traditional Indian garb.
As I sat there looking around, munching on some delish Greek food that was laid out family style at the table, I thought, this is pretty cool. These people are mostly acting just like me. Many of them have an accent, for sure, but then so do I. There were kids running around the room, a couple of babies crying or squealing, cameras, cell phones taking pictures, baklava (I love that stuff) and a nice big sheet cake.
We live in one of the most diverse counties in America. Some of you reading this live here and know what I am talking about. Its also one of the fastest growing counties in the country. Lots of people are coming here to live. From all over the world, much less the state or the USA. There are good jobs and good schools here; and good people.
I was talking to my friend the local constable one day. He said he has found that most everyone he talks to in our community, from all backgrounds, ethnic groups, etc., just want to live their life, raise their kids, pay their bills, and live a happy life. We all share that goal and idea. We have a WHOLE LOT more in common with each other than what separates us. And most of those differences are not show stoppers or divisive. I can be as uncomfortable as the next guy in situations or circumstance or surroundings that are foreign to me, but when I focus on the buzz, baklava, babies and stuff, its really not that different.