United in Diversity


“…our interests can no longer be separated from those of our neighbors. Either we all loose, or we all win” Martin Schulz said in his acceptance speech after he was elected president of the European Parliament.
European Union has to face a challenge. In an era of super mobility and super diversity, how do people develop the capacity to live with difference?
History has shown a hardening of attitudes towards ‘others’ in difficult times. But nowadays things are worst, we live under difficult times of economic crisis. It is very easy to transfer the responsibilities to others, especially when they have different characteristics. But, European Union from its establishment has tried to show that can overcome the difficulties like these. It is a challenge and if we want to succeed, all citizens of EU should work for this aim.
In 2000 the European Union used the motto “United in diversity” for first time. This is one of the most important achievements of our European Family. It signifies how Europeans have come together, in the form of the EU, to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by the continent’s many different cultures, traditions and languages.
The EU gives to every citizen the opportunity to travel, to exchange opinions, ideas and products free through the Europe. We – as members of the project “European Youth Voice” – have the opportunity to participate in seminars where are gathering people from different countries to discuss a variety of topics.
Try to recall in your mind when the dialogue we have done a positive ending. How many times have you been impressed of things you learnt about different cultures and habits? How many times have you felt that the commons you have with a person of another country in a discussion, are more than the differences?
You should probably have felt this feeling at least one time. But only when you approach the different opinion with an attempt to understand. Only when you really want to learn something new, without trying to prove that you are superior.
Maybe the secret of living in diversity and being united is here. It is hidden in your intentions, when you are in the same place with a person with some differences. And really think about the differences, how many they are? Except the language, which is the most important (we can solve it with a joint speaking engagement of an international language like English).
When you share things always you loose something. The “profit” you gain is bigger. You are becoming more human, as you are speaking and trying to understand humans. Do not forget that is not all economy, some things cannot be counted. So how about living in diversity?

Vasileiou Angelos

*The image I created for this article is inspired from the 5 Olympic Circles. The letters are being united with different colors, which symbolizes our attempt to be united peaceful like when the Olympic Games take part.

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