BY DAVID NINOMIYA
If you think about society, you must wonder. Why are people so mean to each other, and seriously, why can't we all "just get along"? That is a tough question to ask, and it probably can't be summarized effectively in just a few paragraphs, but I will try my best to do so.
When you are raised, you are brought up to think that your culture, your city or town is the best. You way of life, your country is great. Your school is great, your religion is the true religion. You family is special, and that you are special. That all changes once we start making contact with other people. Especially those who are different.
You start meeting people of different cultures, from different backgrounds, with a different race and different religion. Then there are all these messages that surround you telling you that this person is just as good as you. How can that be? Your culture and way of life is supreme. How can this person's country be as good, or better than mine? Why is this sacrilegious person's faith on the same level as mines, since I believe in the only true faith.
There is the whole compromise thing. Understanding that even though someone is different, they are no less a person than you are. That's a really hard thing to swallow though. Especially if you feel so strongly about your religious or political or cultural beliefs, as you were led to believe growing up.
These cultural differences is supposed to be celebrated as a great thing, to celebrate diversity and such. However, to a lot of people, while they may not hate the opposing culture, they still feel, at least a little bit, that theirs is superior. And so it's not overt, extreme racism or nationalism that causes tensions between differing cultures. It's just those little feelings of "I was raised this way, and everyone told me my way is best, so that's the way it is for my culture, religion, nationality, etc."
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