As I was floating through Disneyland’s famous attraction “”It’s a Small World”” this weekend, the message it proudly sung — of awareness of all that we have in common as the key to cultural unity and a more perfect world — hit me as overly simplistic and not at all realistic.
After experiencing the entire ride, I was convinced it was a very poor attempt to brainwash people into cultural appreciation and unity.
The ride began by displaying the cultural pride of many different ethnic groups through the media of song, dance and dress. It was evident that the intent of the first part of the ride was to build up one’s cultural pride by the fact that the different ethnic groups were displayed separately from each other.
Yet as we floated through the ride, the focus shifted. By the end, there was a massive display of cultural integration and a show of superficial unity that was supposedly achieved by the awareness of all our similarities, making it a “”small world after all.””
What bothered me most about the ride was the message that was played over and over: “”There’s so much that we share, that it’s time we’re aware, it’s a small world after all.””
This overly simplistic message — that cultural unity is easily achievable once we all have an awareness of how much we all have in common and that it is a small world in which we’ll all live happily ever after — is merely a false build-up with a hard fall once the realities of the world are taken into account.
Thus I rate the “”Small World”” exhibit as a poor attempt to brainwash people to become more peace loving, nonviolent and tolerant. It failed to dig beneath the surface to discover and address the true roots as to why there is so much racially motivated violence in our world.
Why was an African-American tow truck driver beaten within an inch of his life in my hometown of Concord,California? Why did a person or group of people on our campus deface the property of the MEChA student organization with messages of hate last week? Why did the Cincinnati police shoot an unarmed 19-year-old African-American student to death last week?
The list of hate crimes and police brutality is endless, yet there doesn’t seem to be any clear or easy answer to the question of why there is hate in our world.
The question that’s been gnawing at me is: How does this hate form?
I offer this idea: Many times hate stems from ignorance of others’ lifestyles and cultures. Because of this ignorance, attitudes toward others who are perceived to be different by either skin color or culture, for instance, are then formed by judgments based solely on stereotypes.
I see ignorance as the foundation of hate, and our society’s silence in stamping it out is the spark by which hate spreads.
Since I was extremely disappointed that the “”It’s a Small World”” exhibit didn’t probe very deeply, and instead just glossed the realities of our world over with a happy tune and an unrealistic and unattainable happy ending to bringing our world together, I decided I would try to create a recipe by which our society can form a more perfect world.
The following is a recipe for a perfect world:
First step — Dissolve all ignorance, judgmental attitudes, hate, intolerance and violence into four cups of water.
Second step — Heat large cauldron on stove.
Third step — Pour polluted water into hot cauldron.
Fourth step — Turn stove up to highest level and let polluted water boil.
Fifth step — Let cauldron boil until water bubbles and simmers over.
Sixth step — Turn stove off and pour the now-pure water into a large bowl.
Seventh step — Mix in:
a) one tablespoon desire to learn about others’ cultures and ways of life
b) one tablespoon understanding of others’ cultures, lifestyle choices and beliefs
c) one tablespoon respect for others’ cultures and lifestyle and religious choices
d) one tablespoon acceptance of others’ cultures and lifestyles and religious choices
e) one tablespoon loving spirit for humanity.
Eighth step — Pour purifying concoction into pitcher.
Ninth step — Serve to all of your friends and family.
Drink this potion three times a day for reinforcement of the perfect world.
Product disclaimer: I do not pretend to know the perfect recipe to cure the ills of the world. My only intention in creating this recipe is to start a dialogue of what we, as a community, want our world to be like and how we think we can achieve those ideals. So the question remains: What is your recipe for a perfect world?