Unrecognized isolation

By Cora Bishoppetty
On October 18, 2019

Cora Bishoppetty, photographer

As an outsider to San Angelo, Texas, I have ob­served several different aspects of this city. One thing I have espe­cially noticed is the lack of re­ligious variety. This absence of diversity seems to have an effect on the ways people act to­wards each other, especially when people are not of the same beliefs. This close-minded at­titude and old-fashioned behavior can lead to isolation, potential conflicts and unnecessary internal battles.

I have several friends who are not of the majority religion in this region and they have told me how isolating it can be in San Angelo. The lack of variety can be isolating because you become surrounded by the ev­er-lingering question of, “Why aren’t you one of us?” That question marks the first check off this unwritten, closed-minded list. It confines and restricts people from fully expressing themselves and growing spiritually as a per­son. You become silenced and fatigued by the constant attempts of being converted to that person’s religion. This makes a person lose faith in their strong-minded beliefs due to the closing walls of ignorance.

Times are changing, and San Angelo has to stop resisting. Resistance only leads to a steep downhill slope and climbing back up will take a century. However, this problem has a solution. For once, become the listener and learn from the opposing side and you might just find out they are not at all that different from you. Educate yourself, read and become more aware about others and their beliefs. Walk in the other person’s shoes and under­stand their viewpoint. You may not agree with everything they say, but you can still respect them as a human being. At the end of the day, we are all the same. Embrace the diversity, for it is beautiful. Once you do, a more unified world awaits.

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