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Diversity: the one commonality among us

Chances are, if we walk down almost any street in Harrison County, we’ll come across someone who is like us. Not exactly like us, but pretty close.
Because of the lack of diversity in our community, it’s extremely easy to become comfortable and safe in our shells and close our minds and ourselves to the rest of the world.
Perhaps that’s why I get so uneasy in large cities.
Anytime my family and I have visited places like Chicago or St. Louis, my guard goes up and I prepare for the worst. I put money in two different places on my person in case we get mugged. Hotel keys are put in two different places, too. It’s not uncommon to hear three or four different dialects, which makes me wonder if those people are talking about me.
Rather than walk with my head up, searching for eye contact, my stare is through people, almost hoping for no interaction at all.
Why? Few, if any, people in those cities are like me. I can only do diversity in small doses before I feel like the walls are closing in.
That’s where events like World on the Square can help everyone, including myself.
How many other communities Corydon’s size can say that in a four-hour period they had folks from more than 20 nationalities and who knows how many different religions in a one-block area? Around the world in 80 days? How about around the world in 80 seconds?
And to think WOTS ‘ now in its eighth year ‘ came about due to the narrow-minded Ku Klux Klan’s visit to Corydon in 2000.
Buddhist monks on hand never tried to sell their religion to anyone. Perhaps some of their collectibles, but not their religion.
A homosexual male I talked to didn’t ask me ‘ or any other guy ‘ out on a date.
As a Christian, I don’t believe what Buddhists believe, and I don’t agree with homosexuality, but as a human being, I can at least do my part to understand those who don’t share the same beliefs as me.
WOTS isn’t about trying to convert anyone, and it’s not about celebrating a particular religion, culture, race or belief. It’s about getting everyone to understand that we are all different but we are also the same.
We need to continue to learn more about the world and hopefully understand the cultures of people who are living either in our own backyards or in a completely different hemisphere.
After all, diversity is the one true thing we all, as humans, have in common.