As I sit here in an airport, awaiting a connection, I’m acutely aware that it takes all kinds. What I mean is, that in this country we have all kinds. Tall, short, fat, thin, well dressed, frighteningly dressed, well-behaved children, children running amuck, people on cell phones, people with laptops, black, white, brown, red hair, blond hair, black hair, high heels, flip flops, baseball caps, and yes, even a man dressed as Santa complete with an elf and two reindeer. Yes, coming to the aiport reminds me, more than any other place, that we have all kinds here.
It almost brings me out of my comfort zone, not just because I don’t like crowds, but because we, by our human nature, are not comfortable amongst differences. As I think to my last post of loving one another regardless of any difference, the airport is the critical venue in which to put this into place. For example, finding the toddler without pants on amusing instead of irresponsible (the parents, that is…), finding the differences in languages intriguing instead of frustrating, and at this time of the year, embracing the families traveling together for the holidays despite their lack of understanding of how to travel.
I heard an article on NPR the other day about whether or not this country is ready for a black president (Barack Obama) or a woman president (Hillary Rodham Clinton). It seems to me that it would be an absolute shame to negate either. Not Senators Obama or Clinton directly, but a person of color or a female. We are a country of immense diversity, perhaps more than any other country in the world. Yet, our leaders in government and business remain predominately wealthy, white men. Don’t get me wrong, our country was founded by a bunch of white men, of this I’m quite aware. But in our age of vast diversity and continually colorful population, what does it say to the world that we do not choose to put minorities (women included) into our highest levels of office? Does it say that we put less value in the abilities and character of these men and women? Does it say that we don’t believe that they are right for the job? Does it say that we are still stuck in a 200 year old belief that rich, white men are the best for the job?
Shall we not look to the history of our world colleagues and their leaders as examples? Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel provide us with examples of female leadership in countries of world power. We have finally broken the glass ceiling as Congresswoman Pelosi will take reign of the Speaker’s chair in January (where consequently, they will have to build a new bathroom for women…). We have seen exemplary leadership in Gen. Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, ascending the the position of Secretary of State (not to mention Madeline Albright, a female immigrant holding the post). So I pose the question, if not now, when? When will the time come for the U.S. to stand up and realize that it takes all kinds. If we are truly a representative government, than we must have upper echelons of power that represent the demographics of our country.
It takes all kinds.