Unlike the small community, where every person lives in the illusion of having the same ideals, beliefs, and values as everyone else, in the larger context of plural communities-be it in country, continent, or globe we live in the illusion of absolute difference. So, fearing the possibility that the interaction will change us, we magnify the threat involved in engaging with that which differs from us. Change is stressful, and costly, because it requires learning to navigate the unfamiliar. In the end, you cannot work with anyone who is different, and problems that could be resolved if we allowed everyone to contribute the best of themselves begin to look intractable.

Hafsat Abiola
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