Diversity Is Not a Dirty Word

Acknowledging different traditions and beliefs

By Kat Avila, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: December 24, 2015

Diversity Is Not a Dirty Word

When was "diversity" ever a dirty word? The month of December contains a number of different holidays and traditions. I don't think you have to be an ESL teacher working with immigrants from all over the world as I do. You only have to live here in Southern California. Open your eyes, and listen with your ears.

Yet there are some who would like to sweep all our differences under the rug. When I introduce the holidays of December, Christmas is only one of several American celebrations I talk about. And Christmas is celebrated by many, including myself, as a secular holiday. It's a nod to the Winter Solstice, a gift-giving end-of-the-year celebration, and a preface to New Year's.

As President Obama has stressed over and over, we are a nation of immigrants. Eurocentrism would have some believing that the traditions and beliefs of indigenous and non-Christians are somehow inferior, evil, or even un-American. Such a humbug position if there ever was one!

However you celebrate the season, Happy Holidays to you! For me, this season is one of the most somber. A promising 4th grader I was tutoring recently lost his life to a speeding vehicle. A week later, my mom passed on. This is part of the cycle of life. Death doesn't take a vacation.

But I am alive, and you are alive. Let's appreciate this moment, "tolerate" our differences, and move forward in spirit and knowledge together.

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