240 Celebrating Diversity

The Pacific Northwest is blessed. We enjoy diversity every day.

I feel grateful to live in a world of diversity. Saidi invited me to Kampala (Uganda) many years back, and although it was not a time I could travel, I started to investigate. I looked at pictures of the city, the airport, the people. It would be a beautiful place to visit one day… and I would definitely stand out! I am very white. The people of Kampala are not.

Passengers screened on arrival in Entebe Airport in Uganda February 14 2020 Courtesy news.com.au
Mostly Black Passengers screened on arrival in Entebe Airport in Uganda February 14 2020 Courtesy news.com.au

What was exceptionally striking in the photos was the airport. Because of Nyasha and Shante’s travels, I have been blessed with a lot of time at the Seattle hub. People arrive and depart from all over the world, and diversity in skin color and language are obvious. Most of the times at the airport, the medley of people has not declared a majority. But the photos of the Ugandan airport showed a sea of similarity. Because I have only known International Airports, I noticed!

In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 photo, Shizu Sugiura holds a "End of the Line" sign to help travelers in a security line that wraps around behind her at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in Seattle. When it comes to counting passengers, Sea-Tac is the fastest growing of the top 20 airports in the United States, which is putting a strain on services and creating long lines at the security check points. A record 4 million passengers passed through the airport in June. When the numbers are counted for July, they’ll likely top June’s record and August is always a busy month of the year. The picture shows the diversity of races at the Sea-TAC Airport. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
In this Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 photo, Shizu Sugiura holds a “End of the Line” sign to help travelers in a security line that wraps around behind her at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in Seattle. When it comes to counting passengers, Sea-Tac is the fastest growing of the top 20 airports in the United States, which is putting a strain on services and creating long lines at the security check points. A record 4 million passengers passed through the airport in June. When the numbers are counted for July, they’ll likely top June’s record and August is always a busy month of the year. The picture shows the diversity of races at the Sea-TAC Airport. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The Pacific Northwest is blessed. We enjoy diversity every day. It could simply be the foods we choose, with restaurants in a wide variety of cultural spins and choices (like vegan), or schools and colleges that are taught in languages other than English. The area has spaces of acceptance for a wide range of individuality, whether a person was born to or later chose their approach to the world.

The spiritual and religious variety is vast. With such a creative Source, the demand to reach every individual internally requires options. We have a wide variety of churches and groups for Divine inspiration. Since many people find their connection in nature, experiencing the depth of God outdoors, our region is perfect. We have it all, mountains to hike, waves to surf, snow to ski.

I appreciate this life, this region, and the move toward expansive acceptance. I know that we can continue to grow (and that we still need to), and that thought delights me as well. Thank you to all those who have come before us, who have led the way, fought for the rights and diversity that we live. I am blessed by your work. We all are!

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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