in case you’ve ever wondered, I’m white with pale strawberry blond hair and blue eyes.  English-Irish ancestry.  Some of my great uncles married Japanese women after WWII.  One of my great aunts married a Greek man.  My aunt married a Native and has 3 boys.  My cousin has 3 children with her African-American husband.  My sister and her Hispanic husband have a sweet baby boy.  My future brother-in-law is Indian/British.  My husband is British/Portuguese in ancestry.  It took me awhile to write all that because when I see them, I see just my family.  But as I read through Facebook, watch the news, etc, all you hear about is race relations and most of it is bad.  But I met if you have a big family reunion, three or four generations, cousins and everyone, you’ll find that your family probably has some of those people…you know, the ones you suspect are the ones at fault for that thing that happened over there with those people.  You’ll find that family and love triumphs hair textures/colors, eye position, or a tendency to sunburn on a cloudy day.  Accents, a new addition to the potluck table, and somebody who shows you a very different concept of stylish can be fun!  

A Buddhist, a Wiccan, a Catholic, a Baptist, and an agnostic….what do they have in common?  My sixteenth birthday party!  Yeah, those were the beliefs of me and my best girlfriends at 16; I was the Baptist.  Omg, a Christian associating with those people???  Yeah.  We had a blast.  Rented movies, ate pizza and candy till we were nearly sick, pillow fight…it rocked!  They knew my beliefs, that I went to church, listened to KLTY on the radio, prayed…and I knew theirs.  They also knew I loved them.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if every Christian had great friends who they truelly loved who weren’t Christians?  People you don’t try to shove the Bible down their throats, but who can watch you live for Christ and feel ok to ask you about your beliefs?  Maybe you’ll convert them, maybe you’ll just plant the seed, but they can never say a Christian never showed them the love we’re commanded to bestow.  (The only Muslim at school was a great friend but wasn’t invited to the party due to being a boy and we were having a slumber party.  But I didn’t want anyone to think we shouldn’t carry the message of love to Muslims…)

I’ve touched on race and religion, the two biggies.  But diversity goes so far beyond those parameters.  Age, weight, personality, location, health, and every other amazing aspect of a person can be used to classify people.  And classifications hurt…hurt causes bad behavior…bad behavior reinforces classifications…and the cycle goes on.  Instead, the next time you see a person, use this classification.  Are they sharing this planet with me?  If yes, show them the love Christ commands, the love of your fellow beings,  the Golden a Rule, however you want to say it.  If no, call the X-files…