In the world we live in today, it’s tempting to try and force people into cookie-cutter boxes based on their race, gender or sexual orientation. But, we must remind ourselves that every person has their own unique set of circumstances, experiences, and perspective on the world. Only by embracing those differences can we truly harness the potential of our diverse communities.
Our differences should never be what holds us back, but instead be what propel us forward. There is infinite diversity in Mother Nature, celebrated in the myriad of flora and fauna that abound in her tender loving care. It’s a distinct irony that her most brilliant children, human beings, are so enigmatic that they often defy Nature’s beauty and order to enact their own wholly imperfect idea of order. What we may consider to be organization in our society is often what, in fact, breeds chaos among humanity’s ranks. It seems as if humankind was always meant to contrast the rhythms, ebbs, and flows of Creation. Perhaps, humankind was intended as a counterpoint to the harmonies and melodies of the creatures that sing and roam the earth.
It’s important to remember that we’re all human; so, we have the same basic needs and wants in life. Then, there are other things that make us different, and these differences should be celebrated, not feared. After all, the diversity in nature is what makes it so beautiful. Yes, finding similarities between people rather than differences helps us to build strong relationships and find common ground with those around us. But, embracing diversity also helps drive our understanding of one another, in the process allowing us to learn new things about ourselves as well as others. You never know what you’ll find until you dig deep within yourself and embrace the differences between you and those around you.
After all, according to many legends, we were put on this earth for a great purpose. Some would say we are meant to be caretakers of not just the physical realms of land, sea, and air, but also the spiritual realms of higher reasoning. In these realms, we should cherish the differences among our own kind in the same way we appreciate the variety in other aspects of nature. Yet, there is the stark reality that the caretakers are far outnumbered by the sheep. The shepherds, though some are quite well intended, have been inept at realizing the order that Nature intended. Many scribes over the millennia have recorded their observations concerning humankind’s necessity to rebel. Of course, rebellion itself is not a bad thing if it’s intended towards productive goals.
One of the most productive goals we can pursue as individuals is to create a more inclusive, tolerant world. We all have the ability to be allies and take steps to make a difference that will continue long after our time on Earth has come to an end. For example, take inspiration from how people with disabilities are using their differences to change lives, save lives, and make the world a better place for everyone.
Indeed, we all have vastly different lives, from our professional paths to what kind of TV programs we watch. We’re always looking for different ways to express ourselves and find new inspirations. This is often difficult to do when you’re a part of a global workforce in an era where everything is available at your fingertips, including other people. But, there are some things that can bring a diverse group of people together. For example, we all have dreams and aspirations beyond work, such as getting married or buying our own house. It goes without saying that we should support each other’s success outside of work as well as within it! After all, our work lives and personal lives aren’t mutually exclusive; they’re two sides of one coin!
Our differences matter because they are what make life interesting. Diversity makes for better experiences, better customer service, and a more vibrant world in general. Whether it be a difference in physical ability or appearance or in thought processes, differences should be embraced, not shied away from. There’s no reason that embracing diversity would limit you or others around you. At worst, we could all end up frustrated if we deny ourselves opportunities because of a difference between us and another person. Why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy one person’s food if another is allergic? Why shouldn’t you be able to give feedback on two different aspects of something, even if your college degree isn’t in that field?
In a world that continues to celebrate similarities more than ever, online communities are becoming exclusive cliques more than inclusive venues for discussion and collaboration. We should be using our readily available modes of connection to embrace our differences, not shun them. In fact, we have become more polarizing as a society as a whole, refusing to cross lines with people who are different than us in any way. It’s particularly shameful how society has come to expect different things from people based on their gender or race.
The reality is that many of these divides based on often inconsequential differences are unjustified. It’s hard for members of certain communities, or even entire countries, to break through into the global community if they don’t know how they can work effectively together with others. But, we can move forward and better humanity if we start embracing our differences and use them as strengths instead of weaknesses. Let’s embrace our differences and use them to drive us forward by celebrating infinite diversity among all those we deal with every day.