While enjoying and reveling — throughout his life — in our fundamental human similarity, which coexists alongside, within, and wholly part of our uniqueness, individuality, and diversity, he also observed and experienced the ugliness of racism and other forms of hate and fear in action. People afraid of, and harming — with words, fists and worse — other people, because they looked, dressed, talked, ate, behaved, or believed differently.
It became clear to him that most who lashed out in fear, at those who were different, were mostly ignorant, unfamiliar and uncomfortable with those unlike themselves. The rest were just run-of-the-mill bullies; insecure, needing some way to feel better, superior to others, selecting some easy, obvious difference to target and label them as inferior, worthy of hate (fear).
Over the years, he observed racism, hate and fear ebbing mostly as the result of two things — education and exposure — learning about, and experiencing others who are different. You can’t continue hate a person for simply being different from you, if you spend time with them, get to know them, share some experiences, and realize they are fundamentally the same as you are!
So the idea of launching an organization to CELEBRATE OUR BEAUTIFUL DIFFERENCES, WHILE ALSO ENJOYING OUR COMMONALITIES, was born early in 2016. As the year progressed, with a bitter, acrimonious presidential election unraveling the fabric of American society, words and acts of fear, hate and racism increased. It became harder to explain the hateful words and violence to our children, to calm and protect them, to teach them tolerance, and for them to maintain their self-esteem and confidence.
Then the election came, delivering an unexpected winner, which — as the result of his hateful words spewed during that awful campaign — seemed to be a vindication, approval, even an endorsement of HATE! Of course, many who voted for him are not racist, misogynist, or xenophobic, citing many other reasons for their vote, but they had to overlook, and ignore those traits in their candidate in order to vote for him, which makes it appear to be an endorsement of them…
In any case, on the surface, and certainly in the minds of most children, it seems as if the country has elected a president who only cares about those like himself, and hates those who are different. This is an unacceptable, awful situation to be in for one day, let alone a four year presidential term! Not a positive example for the greatest country on earth to be setting for the rest of the world. At this moment, many American children and parents are deeply afraid of what will happen in the days ahead…
Clearly, the time to launch our organization is NOW.
Hate comes from fear; fear from ignorance. Education replaces ignorance, fear, and hate.
Thus, the Beautifully Different mission is comprised of the Three E’s:
1. EDUCATION — to Erase Ignorance, Replace Fear & Hate, with Knowledge.
2. EXPOSURE — to Our Differences, to Create Understanding & Build Tolerance.
3. EVENTS — to Build Familiarity & Comfort with, and Appreciation of, our Sameness & Uniqueness.
Subscribe to this blog too! Enter email in form at top right of this post (or after post on mobile devices) to receive notifications of new posts.
Stay beautiful and different!
— bd —