A week that should represent lifestyles

By Kelli Christiansen

We are coming to the end of a week. No joke, right, but this was no ordinary week…or shouldn’t have been. People laid out some big plans and big ideas to make sure this week would be special. This week of Unity in Diversity.

Now, I have nothing against a week that has as its purpose to bring all people together to form a specific bond. I think it’s a great idea. But isn’t it a little strange that we need to propose a special week to make this happen? Shouldn’t unity be something we strive for everyday? It should be something that just happens—not something that we all have to make a big production of.

I mean, heck,I think we all have enough problems relating to people who are like us. You’ve seen this: two people walking down an empty hall, and then, surprisingly, something outside grabs the attention of the one hall-walker so that he must stare out the window. Maybe it was the UFO that was seen by Stevenson Towers, I don’t know. But anyway, he can’t even smile at this person. She just walks by. They can’t even seem to become unified in this one simple manner.

So, instead of only striving for unity during this one week, why not practice it all the time? It’s not that difficult to do. You can’t get hurt. Try it out:

“Hello,” she said as she smiled to the stranger.

“Hi,” he replied, silently thinking to himself that she must be friendly.

See? That wasn’t so bad. No bruises. No scrapes. Just the satisfaction that maybe you brightened up somebody’s day by letting him know that you recognize his existence. (Oh, stop! It could too happen!) And, as a bonus: you helped bridge the diversity gap that has grown on campus. WOW! I know you’re excited now.

Another thing. It’s sad that this week is only that. A week when we are all supposed to be nice and friendly and learn to grow side by side. And then, come Monday—Unity in What? What in Diversity? When was it? What is it?—it’s all forgotten.

Don’t forget! There is no reason for prejudice. We’re all here for the same basic reasons. We all can think and feel and laugh and cry. We all hate to be stereotyped. We all go to the bathroom after we wake up in the morning.

So, why retain senseless prejudices? It does no good to pretend to let them go for a week. This is something that needs to change forever. This is something that should’ve changed twenty years ago. There’s no reason for these unfounded ill feelings to still exist. There’s no reason why they should re-surface come Monday morning.

So, say hi to someone you don’t know. And I don’t care if he’s white or black or yellow or purple or any other color. Bringing people together can start with you. Today, tomorrow and everyday after that.

I’m not saying that you should run up to the first person you see in the hall who you’ve never seen before and plant a juicy kiss on their face, but you could smile at least. I dare you.

Well, I know some of your are waiting for a point so here it is: do it. Greet someone in the hall and show them you at least recognize that he’s another person, another human being. Then think to yourself that, when it really gets down to it, you two are a lot alike. And maybe, sometime, if we all start to realize this, a week called Unity in Diversity won’t be needed to bring us together. We’ll already be together.