Nature welcomes everyone


By Deb Fall

Darke County Parks

I want to tell you about an amazing seminar I attended in Sandusky, Ohio, the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) Conference & Trade Show. I took several classes from educated instructors and enjoyed every one of them, but I had two favorite classes. Both classes touched on human biases and how they affect the workplace and our lives.

One of the definitions in the dictionary states that bias is prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. For example, You may have a favorite college basketball team and feel bias towards their rivals. Go Bucks!

We all have biases, even if we don’t think so, because we are all bringing something different to the table. It’s quite normal to have different views from others but it’s not ok to be disrespectful. People have their own views according to their life experiences, upbringing, morals, and values. These stories shape who we are and what we believe and don’t believe in, but our opinions and biases can change as we experience new events and different people in our lives.

A person who disfavors the LGBTQ community may find himself with a gay grandchild and his mindset then changes. He no longer harbors his bias– he sees his successful and kind grandchild who has a different sexual choice from his own. It’s ok to disagree with someone’s choice for yourself, but we don’t get to choose the life path of others. We each get to live our own life. We get to do what makes us the most productive and happy in society. We should not have to live by others’ life choices to be admired.

People gravitate to people of their likeness, it’s a primitive response. Elephants walk with elephants and bees fly with bees. There is nothing erroneous with this as long as we appreciate the differences of others.

A few other ways biases are formed are through social media sites and news outlets. There are over 128 social media sites and over 3,000 news outlets. There are also 4,000 different religions/faiths that exist in the world today. Hinduism is the oldest religion. Judaism is the first religion to believe in God. Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Just like the Islam religion, Christianity and many different branches, there are many dimensions of diversity. When we shut ourselves off from certain groups of people we risk the opportunity for personal enhancement. Hearts are very capable of growing and blooming.

Nature welcomes everyone, no biases there! Enjoy a walk on a trail or visit the animals at the Darke County Parks. Here you will find respect amongst the staff, respect for yourself, and nature. Come and enjoy the parks and become a part of our community. We are here – unbiased – for all of you!

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