I have always prided myself on being a "libertarian." Hell, I even am a card carrying member of the party. (Don't hold that against me.). I always was, and still am, a big proponent of minority rights, LGBT rights and many other social causes that veer well left of center. This was my definition of Diversity. I live in Venice Beach and am surrounded by "progressives," and I can identify with their ideas.
But as I have been planning this little trip of mine, I have had to rework how Diverse I really am. My wife and I are going to Bali (predominantly Hindu) and Sumatra (predominantly Muslim.) I thought about it for a while and literally, with the exception of a N.Y. Taxi driver, I don't think I have spent 30 minutes talking to someone who I knew was Hindu or Muslim. It is not that I did not want to, but simply that I have lived and worked in areas which have been very homogeneous. I am not ashamed of this, but cognizant of it now.
So for the first time, I will be working with people who I know nothing about. I don't understand their faith, their customs, or the way they view the universe. But I can ask "Why?" and that is my chance to connect with other people.
I realized I will be spending Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in a Muslim country. I am not very religious but still, when I hear the word "Muslim," I have images and emotions formed over 44 years of my environment as a Jewish American.
Is "MY" View "THE" View?
Is what I have formulated as "MY" Truth about "Muslims", "THE" Truth about Muslims?
Of course not, and this is the opportunity to get the hell out of my comfort zone and actually learn something about people I know nothing about. I am excited.