Northern New Mexico's Community Network

One World: Divided By Hatred and Differences
by Felisha Romero

How is that the security of a nation could be threatened, a loss could be felt by millions, and a nation could become so incredibly united and pulled apart all at the same time by a simple act of hatred? September I I th, 200 1: a date that will remain forever in the hearts and memories of Americans everywhere. With the aftermath of the tragic incident that occurred nearly three months ago, the matters associated with differences, tolerance, and action have become extremely important in rebuilding all that was lost since that disastrous event that affected us all.

The differences that exist throughout our community, the nation, and the world, greatly affect America and the aspect of peace that was a nation struggle every day to attain. America can only find peace, if every American acknowledges the differences that are present in America and embrace them. The aspect of peace cannot be reached worldwide -until we began at the bottom, where the source of the problem exists, by becoming at peace with ourselves and accept the differences in people and in life.

In even as small a community as Questa, New Mexico hatred, racism, and in acceptance of people due to differences, can still be found, Though people are somewhat more exposed to differences of people in cities and larger areas, it seems that the judgement of these people and their differences is somewhat harsher in smaller, secluded, communities. In communities such as these where everybody knows everybody else, they tend to disapprove when their community is exposed to something unknown to them. The differences that exist worldwide may be less uncommon in such areas. Nonetheless, they are as critical to Americ;a's struggle for peace as anywhere else. America was once compared to a melting pot where different races, religions, and heritages combine together and become one. Though, how could it possibly be that in the twenty-first century there are still racism and skepticism concerning people and their differences. There are many different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, and religions in our country but that does not necessarily mean that there is one right way to live your life or one correct way to focus your beliefs. Have we not come along far enough in the past 100 years that the capability of women and their place in society is still somewhat questioned, and have we allowed ourselves to become so judgmental that we refuse to come to terms with the matters concerning sexuality and how people choose to live their lives? It should not be that people are grouped into specific classes by the culture and heritage they were bom into. It shouldn't be that people are mistreated because of their financial stability and role in the economy. It shouldn't be that offensive racial terms can still be heard often, and it shouldn't be that in a country that was once deemed as a place to flee from religious persecution and obtain religious freedom, many religions are being threatened and ridiculed. It shouldn't be this way but nonetheless it is. It will continue to be, until people realize that this is no way to live and they should not be threatened by the unfamiliar, or take offense to that which they do not understand. By not accepting differences, we are depriving ourselves of a happier, more peaceful nation and world.

Tolerance is essential to allow America to continue to prosper and repair the damage that hatred has caused on our nation. Tolerance is allowing others to follow their beliefs and live in accordance to what they feel is right. Moreover, it is in a way directly associated with The Declaration of Independence and the rights and freedoms that we as U. S. citizens are entitled to. Tolerance is respecting people and their differences. In addition, it is important because these differences make each of us unique and without them the world would be boring. Without them, we would be living in a sense of conventional dullness and enveloped in an indestructible monotone. God made us all different. Yet, we all came from the same place and just because we may look different, or have different beliefs, doesn't mean that we're not a connected to one another on a much higher level than ourselves. Also, tolerance is not allowing judgement to be passed, which is vital in our country because America is the land of opportunity where "A men are created equal." Though tolerance is very important, there are some things that definitely should not be tolerated. By far one of the most gigantic problems is the tolerance of ignorance. Ignorance is the biggest cause of America's unity faltering. People are too ignorant to accept differences and recognize and respect others for whom they are. This respect is such a simple concept yet we have failed at it. The respects of effinicities, beliefs, religion, and gender are all obstacles that we as a nation are yet to overcome. It shouldn!t be that people have to walk down the street in fear of what others are thinking. This fear of being judged, ridiculed, and forced to defend ourselves for simply living the lives we choose to live, is not a fear that we should have. We all live in one world and our world shouldn't be divided by our differences. Since we are children, the idea that there is only one certain way that is right to live is placed into our minds. If we do not do something to break that chain by which were are bound, then we will forever be imprisoned by our own ignorance, Another matter that cannot be tolerated is violence and the breaking of laws. For example, the terrorist acts committed on September I Ith were very much intolerable. We as a nation must stand strong by our laws and not allow the security and integr4 of our nation to have crumbled along with the Twin Towers. Whether America is truly justified or not in taking action against those who committed such an act of hatred, at times there are matters which would lead to chaos if not dealt with and simply tolerated. When wrongful acts are comn-utted they should not be tolerated. Hatred should not be tolerated, Tolerance however is still very important and until we team to love each other despite differences then we will never be truly united.

In order to be successful at building a better world for us all, it is necessary that we must think globally and act locally to put our ideas and concepts into effect. In order to make an impact, it is necessary to start from the bottom. Even the smallest actions can have an immense effect. After September I Ith, many people came together to offer assistance and support for the families of victims involved in the tragedy. They also gave blood and much needed items to those who were directly affected by the act of malice committed. Perhaps the most beneficial thing that can be done is to volunteer time. Whether it be volunteering to help the elderly, the homeless, troubled children, in shelters, or in hospitals, more important than money time can help so many others, Encouraging others to become involved can also help build a better community and world. Giving clothes and food to the needy, or giving money to charities can have a very positive effect. Moreover, accepting Others can help us step farther on our way to reaching the peace that is just out of our reach. Encouraging community events where different races and cultures are involved with each other to reach positive goals can also benefit us as well. promoting tolerance and anti-racism in our schools and constructing benefits or charitable event s for worthy causes is very important. More than anything however, we need to love and respect each other and work together at building a world that is peaceful and tranquil.

To conclude, as a nation the most important thing we can do is never forget. Never forget how we were all affected by the mcidents of September I I th. In a sense, it is more tragic perhaps than the act itself, that it took something so terrible to happen to open our eyes to what we were so blind to see. So we shall not let our memories pass away with tune and forget how truly valuable peace, security, and happiness are. We must not forget what it means to be an American, or how at any moment our lives could be forever changed by one simple act.

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