Our school is made up of individuals. All unique – however, we are not really that different – we share so much in common.
We are mainly white British children who speak English. We all have a home to go to at night and are well fed and happy.
Some people that we meet in school or outside of school don’t always seem to be like us – this may be because they speak a different language, have a different skin colour, a different culture and beliefs. Sometimes these differences between people set us apart – make us uncertain, and sometimes even afraid.
When we meet someone who is different – we can sometimes set an evaluative value upon ourselves versus the different person we see. In the past (and still today), people can translate this into an ‘we are better than you’ attitude or a ‘you are worse than us”‘ sense of superiority. When we can group these differences and assign them to a whole group of people, we can then sometimes put down a whole group of people based on their differences.
When we start to put people into categories and feel they are inferior to ourselves – we stop seeing these people as people – and the many similarities we share. In the past, some people have stopped seeing the human person and make decisions about a person or a race of people based on their differences.
I find this attitude scary. I love the differences between people – it is what makes us interesting. I love differences – as it is when we come up against something different (what we don’t know or don’t expect) – is when we can learn.
As a school we are all about learning – so we celebrate differences and the learning it can offer us. We also believe we are all equal – and we are determined to celebrate the diversity of our school, our locality, the UK ad the world.
If we see or hear anyone being unkind to another person based on a perceived difference – remember to stand up for them.
Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler in WW 11 – he is best remembered for the quotation/poem:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Remember also – that the differences we see are all about perception – and our perception can not be trusted!
For example – which way is this cat spinning?