Pubdate: Wed, 11 Apr 2001
Source: Montgomery Gazette (MD)
Copyright: 2001 Gazette Newspapers
Author: David E. L'Heureux


I recently listened to a program on possible legalization of the sale and 
use of marijuana in this country. Some arguments in favor of its use were 
that studies made in several European countries that legalized its sale 
show no increase in use.

Why can't people in the United States realize and understand that every 
race, culture and society is different and they all have differing needs? 
Even in this country there are vast differences between various groups of 
people, whether they have been in this country for generations or recently 
migrated here.

People of other cultures have different values and customs, and the way 
they look at and interpret things are different. What works for one group 
can be different from what works for another group. Ethnic, cultural, 
racial, religious and societal norms are not the same among all people in 
the world.

I heard of a situation where assistance was being provided in a country and 
while people of one religious belief readily accepted it, those of another 
religious belief rejected it, despite their continued hardships in doing so.

We do not seem to understand the diversity among people of the world and 
the fact that unless and until we understand these differences, what we try 
to impose on others will not work to their good, but to our detriment. 
Until we do recognize these differences, study and analyze them, and 
understand why they there are differences, we will not be able to help 
people in other parts of the world and they will not be able to help us.

Wake up Americans and recognize that people are different, and that 
difference needs to be understood before we can "do for others" or even do 
for ourselves through others.

David E. L'Heureux, Rockville
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