One of the things I think is great about living in a city like Las Vegas is all the diversity that is there. I know that everyone doesn't always agree with this, but I like the fact that everybody doesn't look like me. No, to the Panora haters I'm not referring to the fact that everybody there is related, so of course they look like each other. In Vegas, everywhere you go there is a different culture or religion or nationality. I like that.
I especially like that little Matthew has already been exposed to more cultures, ethnic groups, and languages than I had been in 30 years. I especially notice it in our neighborhood. We will take Matthew outside and there are always a group of kids playing in the street, or the grassy area. The best part is that even where we live there is a lot of diversity. Matthew is going to have a chance to be friends with people of different races, religions, sexual orientations, or culture that I even thought possible growing up in Iowa. Who knows what he will end up using that experience to do, but it is nice to know that he has been exposed to many different things. His options are literally wide open.
I want Matthew to grow up knowing that difference is good. I hope he doesn't just accept differences, but cherishes the differences that make everyone unique. I too often hear people talk about tolerance and acceptance, but for Matthew that will not be good enough. I want him to KNOW that unique is good.
I watch the news or read the paper and see the different cultural clashes going on throughout the nation. It's sad to think that so much bloodshed occurs all over the world over differences in religion, language, or culture. I personally do not think that it is the right of one group of people to impose their will over another group just because they can, but it appears to be happening every day. I know that this type of conflict has occurred as long as Man has inhabited the earth, but when will the fanaticism stop?
I hope Matthew grows up with the tools necessary to make a difference in how these perceptions are accepted, or rather not accepted, around the world. The greatest gift any generation is to leave the world better than when that generation arrived, I fear for Matthew and others of his generation, this is an improbable scenario. I just hope that we leave his generation something that is even near salvageable.
For Matthew I hope that growing up in the community melting-pot that surrounds our home gives him the opportunity to make the kind of difference that we seem to be blowing today. It’s an optimistic view, but that’s how I see it.