One of many things my father told before sending me off to college was this: “It’s important that you find your (black) community, your comfort zone and support system. But with that said, I also want you to experience different cultures and people who may not look like you or pray like you. The world is an amazing and colorful place and you have to step out of your comfort zone to experience it.”
Today, I have three beautiful godchildren: African-American, Asian American, and Mexican-American. All of them are the children of amazing people I met in college, amazing people who I not only consider to be friends, but family. People I never would have come to know and love had I not taken my father’s advice.
We live in a political environment and world that is scaring us into not seeing the beauty in people who might be considered “different” from us or the “other”. In some places we call them “immigrants” and in others we call them “gay”, in some places we call them “Muslim” and in others we call them “homeless” and so on.
We’ve been played into giving in to our fears and prejudices, and in so doing, we’ve surrendered to injustice and hate, isolationism and xenophobia etc. Truth be told, the world is a beautiful place, blessed with beautiful people, but you will never experience it until you open up your heart and mind like my father asked me to, and you challenge and encourage others to do the same.
Sincerely, Kwapi Vengesayi
Kwapi Vengesayi is an Amazon four-time bestselling author and all his books are Available on Amazon.