Do you ever look at the world and wonder how we’ll ever experience peace? I often do. I’m always so disheartened by the hatred going around. I feel like a lot of it will eventually blow over, like how the US fought against Germany, Italy, and Japan in WWII and now we have pretty good relationships with them. But what really leaves me feeling hopeless and frustrated is ethnic hatred. I just don’t see any way around it. You can’t change feelings of hatred that are based solely on ethnicity. People can’t change their ethnicity. If someone hates Americans, there is nothing I can do to get them to like me, even if I’m nothing like any other Americans. After thinking this for years I was reading along in my International Relations textbook when I came across this quote:
“Experience in Western Europe shows that education over time can overcome ethnic animosities between traditionally hostile nations, such as France and Germany. After World War II, governments rewrote the textbooks for a new generation. Previously, each state’s textbooks had glorified its past deeds, played down its misdeeds, and portrayed its traditional enemies in unflattering terms. In a continent-wide project, new textbooks, that gave a more objective and fair rendition were created. This project helped pave the way for European integration in subsequent decades” (123)
Education is the answer! Education is what can turn the world around and show it how to improve. It can teach people to think outside the box and not be limited by cultural traditions that might hold them back. I think deep down I knew this, but lacked hope that it really could be that effective. That I really could make that big of a difference as a teacher.
This example also reveals the deep responsibility I have. Not only can I have an impact for good, but I can also reinforce cultural prejudices. However, my hope is that by going into this field, I can contribute to a better world. I can help create a more peaceful place where we understand and respect each other rather than blindly hate and criticize.