My first best friend was a girl named Michelle who lived across the street. We hung out every day pretending, playing or whatever pre-kindergarteners do. One of my favorite memories from that time is picking tomatoes off the vines in their backyard, shaking salt on them and eating them right there in the garden. Once school started, I made some other friends too. Nick and I hung out a lot, becoming probably my second best friend. He was overweight and it caused some health problems for him and he’d miss school often. I remember visiting him the first time he got back from the hospital after I had met him. I met Austin because we got off the bus right near each other, so we hung out a lot. His brother had a dirt bike and that was pretty awesome to a first grader. Austin wore a hearing aid and his parents were deaf. They had this TTY machine that streamed text typed from phone calls. It blew my young mind.We moved about 5 times throughout my school years, so I grew up around all types of kids. My favorite people that I met and hung out with throughout my adolescence were a mix of guys and girls with a range of backgrounds. They came from married or divorced parents, had varied religions, varied family backgrounds and incomes.As a late-teen and early adult, I worked in the hospitality and gambling industries. You meet people of all walks of life in those industries. I’ve become quite friendly with people who I would never have guessed were felons. I’ve been on teams with people that run the gamut of gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, income and criminal history. I’ve spent a good deal of time around people that I liked and people that I disliked from every category possible. What I have learned in my experience is that when it comes to people, there are no rules. There are certainly trends, but they tend more towards the social groups that people choose to be a part of. I know that not everyone gets exposed to such a wide range of people in their daily life, but we all have regular access to the internet. We should be using it to lead by example. We should be learning more about people and unlearning our prejudices. A simple Google search for “college professor” or “drug addict” will yield results of people from every gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and so on. We also need to keep sharing the stories of discrimination in our industry. Not too long ago I was ignorant to the level that people will go to in order to single out women as not belonging in the web industry. We need to hear these things so that we can fix them. Education is the primary tool for battling discrimination. Share stories, learn about people and keep building this tool that will help others do the same.