My world used to look a lot like me.
Grandparents or Great-grandparents from northern or western Europe.
Even if I never came close to the seats of power, I could relate to the people in charge or making the decisions because they looked like me and came from similar backgrounds.
My world (and yours’) doesn’t look like that anymore.
To say nothing of places like New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles where, in 10 minutes, the world can walk by you, even in the most rural or isolated parts of our country Asians, Eastern Europeans, Hispanics, Muslims, Sikhs and others are moving in next door. This was brought home to me several years ago when my wife and I were driving across the country. We stopped for the night in a small town in the middle of Nevada. We asked the clerk who checked us into the motel in which we would spend the night for a recommendation of a place to eat. Her recommendation? Las Aguilas. A small restaurant, filled when we walked in, run by a Mexican family.
All this was brought home to me (again!) as I watched the PBS program The New Deciders.
The program highlighted different ethnic communities and how they are stepping forward to make their voices heard, and how they are taking part in, influencing and changing the political process. The program provided a powerful reminder of the transformation and great experiment which is taking place in our country. An experiment which, if it continues to succeed, may provide a model for the rest of the world. And, a transformation which is both exciting and sometimes unsettling.
Unsettling because my world no longer looks like me.