Northern New Mexico's Community Network

Think Globally, Act Locally to Promote Tolerance
by Louise Pocock

Raza unica, miran mi color, el color de la tierra. We can only find unity through diversity and diversity through unity. In our world today, it is frustrating for the youth to grow up and find truth. When we look, it is almost always clouded by prejudice and hatred, and the tender young heart is hardened before it can fully opened. It seems this world often loses sight of what is important. We are a beautiful race, capable of so much we just need to work harder to come together.

I have huge plans and ideas for this life that I have been blessed with, I want to change the world. It starts, however, with my community. I live in the Penasco valley in the shadow of the Jicarita. My community is beautiful, but weak. I recently worked on a project called, Honoring the Elders, when we asked them how the community had changed, they told us stories of the old times when people would come from all the valles to go to a dance, and they told us that when planting and harvesting came around, the whole valle would get together and move from one person's field to another. They noted that now everyone keeps to themselves, and neighbors don't even really talk anymore. I think we can learn from the words of these elders, our community is weak, people don't interact, and the saddest thing of all, is that this has led to the infestation of drug and alcohol abuse in our homes. Not just substance abuse, but abuse of all kinds.

Our community is very unique in the sense that we have three cultures living, for the most part, in harmony in the same valle. We have the Native Americans, the Hispanic and the Angics, and, although there is differences we have learned from one another in a good way. I am very proud of where I have grown up, of the soil that holds my blood and my roots, and whenever I travel I always tell people about the beautiful people and land in my community and all the amazing talent that we have.

I think the way to strengthen my community, and the world, is to accentuate its individuality and its creativity. We have had several open mics at the local theater and it is so beautiful to see all these people of different races and ages coming together and sharing their talent. It was really a beautiful evening and it gave me, as a young person, so much encouragement and strength to continue my goals. We must strengthen and take care of ourselves in order to strengthen and take care of our land and our community.

Tolerance is the ability to acknowledge the differences of others. You don't need to disagree or agree with them, you simply need to acknowledge and respect that they have their opinions and their own truths. Tolerance is the only way to live together on this earth. All you have to do is to look outside to see tolerance and diversity, look at how many species live side by side, tolerating one another. These differences that every individual embodies are incredibly important, they make this world beautiful and unique.

This world has so much to offer. What makes me sad is how little, I and people in general, know about the world we live in, all of the different cultures and ways of life. I think a way to teach tolerance is to educate people about all the cultures in the world and to show them how beautiful the differences of others are.

I think that truth is an individual thing. Everyone needs to find their own. Hatred, prejudice, racism, sexism, fear, and anything along those lines is not truth, and I don't think we can tolerate things like this, but we must be diplomatic about how we combat these things. I believe that practicing what you preach is the most effective way to have your message heard and understood. If you practice kindness and tolerance people will believe in it.

This idea of practicing what you preach relates directly to act locally think globally. I want to spread tolerance and understanding throughout the world, but I must start with myself and my practices. In my community I must show compassion, I must work to help my neighbors, to build up and strengthen my community and the people who live in it. When you live a good life and you stand for something, you serve as an example, your ideas and habits will spread. Look at people like Gandhi and King, they practiced what they preached and people respected and followed them for that. Even if you didn't agree with them you had to admire and respect them.

I have much hope for the world that I live in. Yes there is so many things that you can find wrong, but there is also much to be proud of and much to look forward to. We need to bridge the gaps between generations, races, religions and cultures. Young children are the key, they need to be instilled with the ideas of respect and tolerance for one another. There is no right or wrong way, simply different ways, this idea must always be kept in mind when dealing with life.

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