This is a guest post by Ashley Lynn
The world has always been such an incredible and diverse place. It’s becoming smaller and closer constantly, and it’s easy to find yourself face to face with someone of a new and different background.
From both experiences in my own country, the United States, to my time living in a foreign country, I’ve seen the best, and also unfortunately the worst, of ways people interpret and react to a culture different from their own.
It can be startling and even uncomfortable at times, but there are ways to get yourself in a great mindset for these kinds of situations whether you are going on a trip abroad or for your everyday life. This way, you can see differences from a whole new perspective!
1. Open your mind
This is the best first step. Without doing this, it’s hard to continue on.
Simply start off by realizing and respecting that not everyone was brought up and taught the same as you were. It’s not a bad thing at all!
Even still, there are some people who believe very strongly in their own ways, and they are not very accepting of differences. This just leads to negative experiences, which I believe nobody truly wants.
Overall, many potentially negative experiences can be completely avoided by starting with this.
You can be one more person leading the way to acceptance and tolerance of everyone!
2. Learning is always a great idea
Once you have opened your mind and have a great new perspective, it’s time to start bringing knowledge in!
You can start learning other languages, visiting museums and historical landmarks, visiting a variety of ethnic restaurants (try something new!), reading news and articles from other countries, and talking to people on social media from different countries and backgrounds (or find a Pen Pal if that’s your thing!).
These are just some of the ways to start learning more and expanding your cultural knowledge.
There are tons of ways to learn in our day, and it is extremely beneficial to utilize them! Personally, I have found that speaking even a small amount of someone else’s language or acknowledging something special from their culture can make a great first impression and continue to nourish a relationship!
3. Travel far and wide
Of course, this is the way to really get yourself out in the world.
Sure, the internet can connect you to basically anyone who is anywhere, but actually going somewhere in person and soaking in the culture is a whole different experience.
Typically traveling is already exciting and positive on its own, but when you’re prepared for the sometimes vast differences you may face, it will make the time spent far more comfortable and enjoyable for all.
Plus, you get to bring back all of the amazing new information you have learned! Sharing it with others will help immensely as well. It will only help to spread tolerance and acceptance further!
Of course, not everyone can just hop on a plane right away and go to the other side of the world. If you need to start small, that is okay! Every step is progress.
By utilizing this information, you can help to create a pathway to a more positive and accepting world. Your knowledge and choices do matter.
So get out there, enjoy the world, and make a positive impact!
What is one thing you have done recently or plan to do to demonstrate cultural awareness and tolerance?
About the Author:Ashley Lynn is a freelance writer, blogger, and artist at www.alynnarts.com/. When she isn’t writing or creating artwork, she spends time with her two Chihuahuas, out in nature, or simply exploring. You can also find her on Instagram and LinkedIn.