A New Beginning

Although I have written in the past and have been a frequent public speaker, I am nervous to start this blogging adventure. Putting my thoughts and ideas out in the public domain is a bit intimidating. Before we go any farther, know that I do not like to think of myself as an expert. I am not perfect. I have flaws and limitations like everyone else. I have more to learn. However, I believe I have a meaningful story to share.

I grew up in a very homogeneous suburban community near Cincinnati, Ohio. Like most Midwesterners, I was raised to be nice and I was really nice to everyone. But it wasn’t until my college years that I realized being nice didn’t cut it. It wasn’t until I left my hometown that I slowly and methodically discovered that there was a whole world that I had been taught not to see – a world full of beautiful differences. I also realized that these newly discovered cultural differences required more knowledge and skills to navigate than just me being nice.

This dawning awareness about culture and diversity eventually became the focal point of my undergraduate work. I spent a lot of time studying psychology, family dynamics, American history, white privilege, sexuality, racism, homophobia, civil rights, and other topics related to diversity. Outside the classroom, I formed life-long friendships that crossed color, ethnicity, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and geography.

I continued to learn as much as I could about differences, specifically the intersection of cultural awareness and family life. I reflected on my own upbringing and kept asking the question, “How can families raise children who are culturally aware and respectful of differences?” I was interested in finding a way to prevent my own lack of awareness from being repeated. Instead of noticing a world full of differences for the first time at the age of 20, why not help children and families see these differences all along?

My personal journey has been incredibly rewarding. A lot of moments have been life changing… sort of like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, going from seeing the world in black, white, and hues of gray to seeing the world full of rich and brilliant colors. It has also been challenging and difficult at times. I have had to learn to do a lot of listening and questioning. I have had to learn that it’s okay to be uncomfortable. And I have had to admit that I was wrong. A lot.

I would like to share my journey with you. I will share stories and observations, as well as encourage you to read some things, watch some videos, and do some self-reflection. I plan to ask you a lot of questions along the way. Will you please join me?

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By |2017-06-08T02:20:36-05:00May 29th, 2017|Tags: , , , |10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Larry Duff May 30, 2017 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    I am really looking forward to reading and hearing your thoughts and opinions. I have always respected and appreciated your ideas and interests.

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    • Laura Stanton May 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Dear Larry,
      Thank you for your kind words and for always being supportive!

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  2. Kim Newton June 4, 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

    Hearing “that it’s okay to be uncomfortable” really gives me hope as I begin to make changes and grow into the person that I want to be! Thank you for helping us on our journey! All aboard!!!

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    • Laura Stanton June 4, 2017 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Kim- Being uncomfortable means you’re challenging yourself to move beyond your comfort zone. All of us need to do this more often in order to grow. Embrace discomfort! 🙂

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  3. Rick June 6, 2017 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Love the beginning of the new journey forward! Good view from the Wizard of departing the black and white scenes to the colorful. My first thought is how we navigate a world with many people still in Kansas. Some haven’t the opportunity to experience much outside of their isolated home with its isolated ideologies. Many others with the exposure to the world. All of which will interact in society, schools, work places, communities, governments and more. I look forward to reading your experiences and perspectives over the years!

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    • Laura Stanton June 6, 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      I love your comment that many people are “still in Kansas” (in reference to The Wizard of Oz). You’re absolutely right. The question is how to encourage people to leave the comfort of “Kansas”.

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  4. Melody Weast June 7, 2017 at 7:30 am - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever been in Kansas or took my daughter there,so to speak.I’ve had my experiences with diversity,different cultures. But,I was young..I went to different countries very young, and learned that one culture is not the only show in town, and we’ll never agree on everything. But,we have to always do the right thing,and do no harm. Interested in learning more.

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    • Laura Stanton June 10, 2017 at 1:50 am - Reply

      Thanks Melody! You were fortunate to learn about different cultures and visit different countries when you were younger. I certainly believe exposure to differences is an important part in embracing and respecting diversity.

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  5. David June 8, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    I look forward to learning more about you through your posts, Laura.

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