Communication technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 100 years, and this also means that cultures across the globe have come closer to each other. Cultural diversity is a reality in today’s world which we can afford to ignore only at our own peril. Whether you are studying, working or even staying in your neighbourhood, you’ll most likely run into people from different races, ethnic groups and cultures than ever before.

While most people are open to cultural differences and keep the window of curiosity open to learning about other cultures, there are sadly groups of people who refuse to acknowledge cultures that are different from theirs. This is where their minds become polluted with fear, suspicion and in worst cases, scenarios, rage.

When we learn to accept cultural differences for what they are, we learn to respect, accept and even assimilate with other cultures. When we learn about people from different cultures, we learn interpersonal communication, broaden our horizons and communicate on a personal level. Listening and learning about other people will help you understand another perspective or point of view. While you might not necessarily agree with everything that the opposite party says, it also does not mean that you need to vocally disavow everything said by them and get into a fight with them. The end result is that you have a cooler, calmer and more accepting mind.

Acknowledging that different geographies and cultures can co-exist side by side is the first step that your mind can take to be a happier mind. Make it a habit to look at the positives of different cultures, and you’ll find yourself a more enriched person who knows about the different people, customs, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and religions that make up this world.

Food is another aspect of different cultures that people quickly bond over. Food can be a starting point for you to learn about a new culture. From food, you can move to clothes and language and learn more.

Sometimes, you might not have the luxury of meeting people from other cultures but let that not deter you from knowing about them. Pick a book from your library and read about the cultures that interest you or read online or watch a video on reputed websites about them.

As a growing teenager, it is important that you learn to be accepting of different cultures because if you’re not, you could end up becoming narrow-minded. This could just be the beginning of a long line of problems.

It is equally the responsibility of parents and guardians to sit down with children and talk to them about the importance of cultural diversity. Teens are still forming their opinions about the world, and at this stage, it is important that someone talks to them about the values of being accepting. A tolerant and accepting person is much more at peace in his mind than someone who is fed on the fuel of mistrust, hatred and bigotry.