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The overall issue of accepting those who are different than us has been around for a while now. We have always looked to find comfort and safety in perhaps those who define themselves similarly to you. When someone who perhaps does not same these same definitions or anything, we usually tend to push out and exclude them because we view them as a possible threat. The problem is that we have a fear of the strange or unknown. We have to learn to find ways in which we can accept those strange and unknown people/ideas to become a more united world.

The biggest example of having a fear of the unknown is the immigration crisis of the Southern border of the United States. The biggest number of people immigrating or coming from the other side is mainly Mexicans and South Americans. In a paper written by a young girl whose dad is undocumented, she talks about how her dad was to be deported back to Ecuador. Although he went to regular “check-ins” with immigration officials, we was to be deported. This girl talks about how or why people are so cruel. This man, her dad, had been living in New Haven to create a better life for him and his family. As he was about to be deported, he claimed sanctuary and now is living in a church. He can’t step a foot outside because if he does, he will be deported immediately. This is a big example of not accepting different people. Yes, I understand and know that it is wrong that he came into the U.S. illegally, but as many stories are heard, so many parents come here to find a better life not only for them, but also their family. They want only the best for them.

The basic word for fear of strangers is xenophobia. This applies generally to anyone who has a fear of anyone different from us. Through history, it’s seen that those who stick together tend to stay together and work as they are. When someone from the outside try to come in, we tend to push them away because we are afraid of what bad or disorder could come if the outsider is brought in. Sometimes, a group just doesn’t know how to react or even approach that different individual. But, at times, since they don’t know what they are dealing with, they will be rude in pushing them out. This is seen in so many different places such as work, school, and public places where people gather. We tend to try to find a group that defines similar to you and has many traits that you share or agree on.

The simplest way in which we can solve this problem is learning to accept other people’s differences. It sounds so simple and easy to accomplish, but sadly, not everyone thinks this is a great thing to do. The most basic thing we can do is treat everyone with the same degree of respect. Showing this to everyone allows you and them to feel good and a part of everyone with no differences. Another way is to talk and get to know others, Yes, it can be hard to start a conversation with just anyone, but a simple hello could change everything. Talking and getting to know these people, their beliefs and views helps you understand them more and be more accepting of them. Being open while talking and getting to know others is great. This allows you to share similarities and differences that you might have. It also opens the doors of possible friendships, work prospects and perhaps a wider understanding of the world.

Overall, there is an issue in accepting those different than us. It is a problem that has been around for years now. Slow;y, we have been trying to get rid of this issue, but it remains relevant. Being afraid of strangers and the unknown is valid. We don’t know what is to come or what could possibly happen. However, allowing yourself to open up to others is a good way to start. Also talking and getting to know others is great. It allows you to be more informed and perhaps have more knowledge about the unknown. Just being nice and talking to others is a great way in which you are taking in and not pushing out those different than us.







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July 23, 2019 7:02 pm

Hi Julissa, I am a teacher and I thank you so much for writing about this important issue. I have often thought about why we, as humans, are so afraid of “the other.” I have not done any research about this, but as you pointed out, I wonder if we humans are hardwired to be afraid of “the other” for protection? The other does not look like me. The other is not part of my community. The twist is that, with some education and experience, we humans can use our brains to reason our way out of this conundrum. We can use our brains to realize that the other looks or talks differently but our experience can inform us that there is no danger. We can also tell ourselves that the difference in skin or language does not reflect what is in someone’s heart. Thanks for starting this conversation.

January 8, 2019 5:45 pm

I think it’s very important to learn about these problems(as they have a bigger footprint on society every day) and educate others, and posting articles anywhere and everywhere is definitely a good step. Portraying different aspects of how we as humans have neglected those minority populations rather than one specific argument really helps prevent alienation of the overly opinionated readers you will come across. My only advice would be to strengthen each talking point by showing an opposing opinion that will help you prove your point, while also showing both sides of the argument clearly. For example, when talking about the father that is trapped in sanctuary, having a sentence pointing out the governmental/law side of the argument will give you the ability to not only prove the case even more, but also appeal to a reader’s sense of humanity. Readers can easily tell how much you care about the opposition that is faced by so many unheard voices around the world, and it comes across in your writing very clearly. This was an impactful piece to read and gave me something to think about.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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