GIVE: By the Spirit -Restore the Gap of The Changing Community

GIVE … by the Spirit™ Guest Contributor — Grace Ste. Croix

Restore the Gap of The Changing Community

© 2011 Grace Ste. Croix

January 26, 2011

As globalization takes its course, it is apparent that the world is becoming a smaller place. As we integrate more with one another, there is a vastness of cultures living in very small areas. What was once a place predominantly one religion or creed is now, many. The unknown breeds fear, which in turn breeds skepticism of these new people coming from different lands. They may not know our way of living, they may do things differently, and hold different values dear to them. Let’s end the discontent of change and see this in a new light.

Many people from around the world come to the west looking for change. We can all agree that change in general can be scary, whether we are starting a new job, having a baby, or even moving. Now, imagine wanting more for your family, or at the very least, something different. You move to a different country and in a very short time, must learn a completely new language, research on the predominant religion, and understand local customs. All this and trying to hold on to your values and who you are from the old country.

How can we, as citizens, make this transition easier for all of us? The first step would be to learn about the new cultures that are coming into your neighborhood. A quick stop at the library will inform you of a country and people you never would have seen before.

Read every holy book. The Bible, Quran, and the Torah are just a few of the many holy books out there. Keep an open mind and an open heart when you read these sacred texts, and ask questions to avoid confusion of the dialogue.

If you feel as though new comers need help in English, by all means, volunteer at the local library to teach English. Help the new comers with reading, local customs, and everyday language that you would not learn through a course. Make them feel comfortable by asking them about their culture. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to be invited for a nice authentic cuisine from their country. You will be happy you went! Not only are you trying something new, but you are expanding your recipe book.

Every country has healthy and delicious dishes. Take the time to invite the newcomer and their family to your favorite restaurants, watch your favorite sports teams, or share your best known hotspots in the city. If they are going to feel at home, they must know what home is, and who better to show them, then a native of the area!

Even though the world has gotten smaller, it does not have to get more confusing. With a little education and an open heart, we can get to know the philosophies, ideals and religions of others. We do not have to believe it ourselves, but as long as those ideals do not harm others, we can respect it. Christians, remember to be Christ like with your new comers, as Jesus hailed from the most multicultural countries in the world, Israel.

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