The Unity of Diversity
Balancing unity and diversity in a complex world seems like a contradiction, but it is actually a very easy task. It simply means that all different cultures stay true to their heritage, but unite in an agreement to be different and a desire to learn from one another. Most people will agree with this to an extent. They will usually stop short when it comes to interracial and interreligious romance and will stop even shorter with the thought of their children in such a relationship. Just about every culture has problems with these ideas.
The opposition to race mixing is loud and strong from numerous ethnic groups. The main fears seem to be that the parties in question might lose appreciation for their heritage and have children who will belong to neither culture. However, there is no reason why either person in an interracial relationship has to lose one bit of their heritage. Again, the trick is to simply appreciate and learn from each other’s differences and be united by the basic human characteristics in us all. Contrary to having no cultural heritage, their children will have two heritages to complement one another. As for “watering down” a race, well, a “pure race” didn’t work for the Nazis decades ago and it won’t work for us today.
The issue of interreligious romance is even more controversial. Many religions teach that we must all accept particular beliefs to save our souls. So, how could a relationship work between two with different beliefs? For some religious fundamentalists, there may be no way around this. However, most religions have a progressive movement growing within them. These more liberal-minded factions believe that their faith is there to give them personal strength, not be a weapon against others. They question the teaching that people of other faiths will be doomed for all eternity. For if that were true, whole nations of people would be condemned. Besides, if one’s faith is truly strong, it will not be altered by marrying someone of a different faith or no faith at all. As for their children, they will have two beliefs to choose from or blend together.
Some conservatives may cringe at such so called “idealism,” but the only alternative is some form of “separate but equal” segregation. Also, we should not sabotage this message by thinking that it is only for United States citizens. Part of the balance is understanding that we are all of one Earth, and two continents in the world should be no more polarized than two states in a country. When we accept this, we will accept all intercultural relationships and we will have truly succeeded in balancing unity and diversity in a complex world.