Today, Kathy, Ian, my mom and I went to Agnes Scott to attend a Diwali dinner sponsored by the campus South Asian society. It was okay, although I had to deal with Ian's diminishing temperament when the food was late in coming to the hall.
While we were sitting there, eating our meal and bopping along to the Bollywood videos they played during the meal, I was struck with a thought. When I was about Ian's age, I had none of the cultural exposure that he has had in his life. There were no South Asians around us, nor were there any Hispanics in our neighborhood that I was aware of. The neighborhoods were almost entirely white.
I didn't get much in the way of cultural enlightenment in those early days; it wasn't until I was in high school that I had much exposure to any "other" culture aside from African-Americans. After I moved to Florida, however, I truly got a sense of the diversity of the world's people. I learned about them, spent time with them, and learned to appreciate them. I grew up on the trailing edge of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, and I'm grateful that I have learned to love my fellow man regardless of where they come from.
I hope and pray that Ian can continue that trend and see the world as something other than a racial battlefield. I think he's off to a good start, though. Have a beautiful Diwali, and love all around you.