Reaching out to the difference – Bruny Surin

Immigration is a subject that divides more and more people on the planet. Although humanity has demonstrated its fear and rejection of difference several times in its history, social networks have trivialized this practice, and hate speeches seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate.

Bruny Surin

Having immigrated to Canada myself at the age of six, I find this polarization extremely sad. I often hear that newcomers come to take advantage of our country, our comfort, our jobs. Yet, just like me over 40
years ago, like all of us to some extent, they are looking for a better life, not having had the incredible opportunity to live in a safe or stable country.

In my opinion, it is essential to try to understand each other and to be open to differences. It is not because a person comes from another place and that his food, his customs and his culture are different that he does not deserve our respect and our attention.

The argument goes both ways, of course, because an immigrant who tries to get to know his host country and its inhabitants better will find it easier to integrate, find a job and create empathy.

Like me, now a proud Canadian who has represented the country all over the world, all immigrants have something to contribute.

Over the years, I have made friends from all backgrounds. Americans, Jews, Senegalese, Vietnamese, Quebecers, Haitians, Thais and Moroccans form a tight woven network, where poutine and hockey rub shoulders with curries and baguettes. All these new discoveries, new knowledge and wealth have made me stronger.

I may be naive, but I am convinced that by reaching out, we can increase this wealth tenfold and live in an even more harmonious, even more stimulating country.

Go get it!