John McCollum is a brave buckeye. Mr. McCollum grew up in a white neighborhood, went to a white school, and was always surrounded by people who looked like him. He recalls when he was young his family avoided places in his city that were diverse. Mr. McCollum now is the co-founder and Executive Director of Asia’s Hope, a great charity helping people across the world. Part of Mr. McCollum’s job is communicating across cultures because he works with orphaned or abandoned children to find them a place to live, so he interacts with many people and their cultures in the process.
Mr. McCollum thinks the problem between cultures in Columbus is that people don’t like to talk to other people who are different than them. People avoid people with different cultures even though we all have similarities. If you are afraid to meet people who are different than you and give them a chance, we will never bridge the gap we see between cultures today.
The solution is simple, says Mr. McCollum. Go hang out with people from different cultures. Be friends with people who are different from you. You can get to know people who are different than you by asking what they eat, what they do every day for a living, or what their favorite hobby is. You never know, it might be interesting and you might try it out and like it! If you do so you may learn something new and make a great friend!
John McCollum is a wise man. He makes our world a better place by helping those less fortunate and working to repair the gaps built in our communities because of our differences. If we all act with the same great heart that Mr. McCollum has, our community will flourish and prosper, and be a welcoming environment for all.