Every single person on this earth has a cultural heritage. Yes, even ‘American’ is considered its own thing. I believe that the key reason for the establishment of all traditions and practices, even religions, stems from the need to adapt and survive on a certain region’s available resources (i.e. the use of rice as a staple food in
Asia). Further along, some cultures were also created to help leaders
control their subjects (i.e. the Caste system). Today, our major cities are
filled with thousands of cultural centers that promote the upkeep of major
traditions and heritage education. I personally
spent most of my childhood splashing around the Jewish Community Center pool
and roasting kosher weenies at my synagogue. However, I have a cynical
prediction that the efforts of these organizations may, in the end, all be in
The world is becoming more secular and uniform every day. In my experience, many children of Jewish orthodox parents either compromise by joining conservative or reform temples later in life, or drop their practice entirely. They may progressively indulge in the occasional bacon strip, go to shul (link) only for Yom Kippur, or stop wearing their kippa in public. And I’m sure this is not limited to the Jewish community. Some take this as a tragedy, but I can’t help but think, “So what?”
Just the other week, I called my mother out after she let slip a very snide comment about my brother’s girlfriend, who happens to be black. For the next 30 minutes, I went head-on with her, my aunt, uncle, and grandparents as they pitched arguments across our after-dinner tea about affirmative action, the race of most
prison inmates, and the ‘black’ mentality. I was able to shoot each one of them
down, in both English and Russian. (I give a more descriptive narration of my
family dinners in my wonderful essay Nag like a Jew)
I go so far as to say that we are taught to promote the ‘No Place for Hate’ policy because it is thus far the only thing we can do to attempt peaceful coexistence. We tolerate those different from us instead of hating them, and I agree, it’s a very effective method for the most part. We are encouraged to embrace our differences. However, I believe the true recipe for world peace can only be achieved when there are no longer any differences. There will always be people like my grandmother, who, no matter how many times I prove her wrong, will always clutch her bag tighter when she passes a black guy in the street. This inherent lack of trust of those not part of our own race or background is what I believe makes world peace impossible while there is such an expansive variety of cultures. Luckily, the only thing she carries under her arm is a purse, while some carry a gun *cough* Zimmerman case *cough*.
I believe the growing integral uniformity in the world, such as the one shown in my above example, is actually helping push this universal goal along. I know this sounds very Brave New World, but I am convinced that with the spread of uniformity comes a growing mutual understanding, aka, our ever-desired world peace. It may take thousands of years, but I believe a day may come when the original races of the world no longer exist, and all of earth’s inhabitants are part of a single culture, a single mind, a mind for progress through unity. The world will fall into step with itself over time, no genocidal ethnic cleansing required.
I take life with a pinch of salt and conclude this essay on the dark note that I believe there is currently no other plausible, satisfying recipe for world peace other than the lack of conflicting interests between people. In that case, is forgetting your heritage really all that bad?
It may take thousands of years, but I believe a day may come when the original races of the world no longer exist, and all of earth’s inhabitants are part of a single culture, a single mind, a mind for progress through unity.