Oh! I can’t tell you how happy I was to find something to write about for the letter X! I won’t lie, it’s been stressing me out. I was all over the place … from x-rays to x-men to “X marks the spot”. Then I was thinking of being cheeky and heading down the road of Xtreme sports or some other misspelling. I have a confession to make though … I even considering kind of cheating. I asked a good friend of mine, who is a blogger and author, to write a guest post for me about a funny experience he had with x-rays and strip searches. And then … a light bulb moment! But before I get to the light bulb … please feel free to head over and check out my friend’s blog … I would never have even thought about starting a blog if it weren’t for him. I read his work for years and threw ideas at him for topics, before deciding to give it a go myself and he has been supportive and interested in my progress in to this foreign territory. Speaking of foreign … that’s a nice intro into today’s topic: Xenophobia. Lets start by defining the word:
- dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.
Unfortunately this is something that exists in most countries. I put it down to a fear of the unknown or a dislike of anything that is different, in this case different cultures. I see it as an irrational dislike. It reminds me of being a child … you know, when mum or dad would put something on the table for dinner and you’d say “I don’t like it” even when you hadn’t even tried it yet. Or when you are grocery shopping and you see your favourite cookies available from several different brands but you steer towards the one you always stick with … not game to venture beyond the norm and sample something different because you’re comfortable or you’re sure that your usual is the best anyway!
So, what’s the answer to Xenophobia? Easy. Travel and an open mind. By getting out there and seeing the world. Experience other cultures and get to know people from other countries. And if you are unable to travel far or not beyond your borders at all for some reason – just get out and mingle with foreign visitors, or those who have immigrated, in your own backyard. The world is a small place now. There are countless opportunities to learn first hand. It’s all about getting out of your own cultural bubble and trying out someone else’s. Don’t just take my word for it. Mark Twain, who was clearly a better writer than I, summed it up perfectly in one of my favourite quotes:
This post is part of my contribution to the A-Z Challenge for April 2016
Click here for a list and links to all my challenge posts!