Melting Pot vs. Salad Bowl

By: Alyssa Cimino

Last century our society was described as a melting pot, having various groups assimilating to become a part of the greater American Culture.

Today, our society has become a salad bowl, with fewer cultures blending together.  More and more cultures are clinging to their individual identities, hindering social growth and acceptance of others.  By only adhering to our own culture rather than recognizing some of the wonderful aspects of those around us, we are stifling our potential.

Many issues of racial and cultural divide still exist.  People are judged and evaluated by their race, culture or religion.  This tremendous flaw in our world needs to be changed. We are lucky to attend a school like Penn State. However, it does not always mean that tolerance comes easily.

It is true that this range of cultures, religions, and ethnicities can be positive; it also opens the door to more conflicts and issues.  We should be referred to as a salad bowl. It often led to disputes that were racial, religiously or gender-based. Change has to start somewhere.

If we went to school only hanging out with people who looked, acted and sounded just like me that would be contributing to the problem, not improving it. This does not promote social growth for our communities and society as a whole today.

Our mission today should be to foster and encourage understanding.  We will be the change that we want to see for our community.  This means getting involved in clubs that promote and encourage cultural understanding and consciousness.

The problem today is taboo, everyone saw it but too often people did not want to talk about it, acknowledge it, or do anything about it. The idea is to become more outspoken about being socially mindful.

We cannot live the life of a bystander and expect the world to change.  By promoting social growth, acceptance, and understanding, we will be the change we wish to see in the world.



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