There's this ad, this holiday season, for Amazon which shows a Catholic priest and a Muslim imam, sharing a cup of tea at the priest's place, then both getting up and grimacing at their painful knees. Then, after the imam leaves, they both get the idea of ordering some sort of knee brace/pad combo for the other (off Amazon, of course), and the commercial ends showing them both putting on the things and then kneeling down at their respective places of worship.
It's a lovely commercial, and it shows that, hey, maybe despite some outward differences, we all get creaky joints when we get older.
That's probably the biggest thing I've learned from my job. Goodness knows we get kids from every imaginable background -- that's Scarborough for ya -- and it's always interesting to learn about their lives, where they come from, and what their families do. But the thing that always strikes me is about how similar we all are.
Parents want the best for their kids. Kids want to be happy and pursue their interests. Kids and parents butt heads occasionally. Teenagers are funny, weird creatures, discovering themselves (and, hey, each other from time to time). Kids sure as hell mix-and-match amongst themselves, culturally speaking, more than their parents probably know about (or want). Consequently, a lot of teenagers behave one way with their family, and another way amongst their friends.
White kids have it the easiest, of course. I occasionally say to brown kids, "You should really try having white parents sometime. It's way easier. They'd say, 'Oh, you want to be a garbageman? Well, honey, just be the best garbageman you can be.'" They inevitably laugh, roll their eyes, and say, "Yeah, that would never happen with us."
In the end, I often wonder what sort of attitude I'd have towards non-white people if I'd have stayed in rural southwestern Ontario. Would I be as open-minded? I'm not sure. I doubt it, to be honest. Kinda stings to say that, but hey, I think that's just the reality of the situation.