July 20

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 10:22 AM

Intolerance and xenophobia are learned behaviours. They are a result of the environment in which we are raised and the language, beliefs and actions that occur around us. We take on these same beliefs as part of the inculcation of being raised by the "village" we belong to. From this we learn what is right and what is wrong and what is good and what is evil. We learn what gives us an advantage or what does not in terms of our own behaviours as well. The exposures are not just from our parents or relatives, but through the schools, churches and other institutions and the society at large that we "belong" to. From the books and magazines we read, to the movies we watch, to the media (social and mainstream) we consume it all affects what we believe and how we behave. The good news is that learned behaviour and attitudes can be changed; although often more difficult as we get older. The bad news is that it takes time. The attitudes and beliefs that a society holds spans several generations at a time (often 3 - 4) and so it takes time for these attitudes and behaviours to change even if everyone agreed to do so. Part of the problem is not everyone is in agreement to do so and there isn't general agreement as to what it should be changed to. Generally, people believe that more tolerance is necessary, but most believe that others must change to be more tolerant, and not themselves. Fortunately, Mahatma Gandhi provides guidance for us all at this crossroads, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world," or become the change you wish to see in others.

The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves. We become like our friends.  Matthew Kelly

Who and what we surround ourselves with is who and what we become. In the midst of good people, it is easy to be good. in the midst of bad people, it is easy to be bad.  Karen Marie

If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who support us, it will challenge us to be more and do more and share more.  If you can surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift anyone can hope for.  Tony Robbins