One of my favorite phrases for the past few years has been, “There are worlds I know nothing about.” I am not referring to bizarre science fiction or to what happens on other planets in other galaxies. I don’t need to cross the ocean to be mystified. Within five miles of my house are worlds with which I’m utterly unacquainted.
Do you know what Goths are? (Hint: black clothes, black makeup, pierced body parts.) What do you know about the glam metal crowd? Have you ever been in a shop with a name like Voodoo Alley to see what the kids in your neighborhood are messing around with when they are not in church? Maybe you think you hit the cutting edge of the known world when you meet a Harley-Davidson biker who is also a Christian.
Not far from my home, I discovered a full-sized Mexican grocery store that had two whole cow heads in the meat cooler. That is not something the Aldridge family has ever had on our shopping list. I also found a Vietnamese video store nearby. Did you think that English-speaking Americans are the only folks who pass the time watching movies in the evening?
As I was growing up, I thought North Augusta, South Carolina, was the capital of the world. If I was even aware of people in England, it was they who drove on the wrong side of the road. If people spoke differently than I did, it was they who had the accent. As far as I was concerned, I spoke the right way.
Thank God I began to grow up, no longer assuming everyone else ought to conform to my cultural standards.
Pay attention to the world and the people around you. Listen. Look. Learn. The result will be a better world for all of us.