Yes, Diversity matters! Recently this has been a major issue in US and also in other parts of the world. We often hear or read about racial, color, caste, religion, gender, ideology based discrimination. Everyone seems to be wanting to live, and work and surround themselves by like minded people of same color, race, caste or religion. I find this to be so unnatural behavior.
Let me elaborate on this. We find diversity in nature everywhere. Imagine a world where there are only one species of trees, or animals, or birds. How boring it would be to live in such a world. Imagine if we have to wear same clothes everyday, won’t it be boring for us ( especially girls who are so much into buying new clothes, always!) Imagine, if we have to eat the same food everyday. I can go on repeating more and more examples, but the context is how in the world can we dislike diversity among people in our lives? Isn’t that strange?
I know there are many reasons for us to avoid embracing people from any particular affiliation ( like color, race etc). They include mostly societal rules, familial expectations, or any prior experiences about them we might have had. But let’s look at this from the prism of transparency. Do we really care about what other people tell us to do? Do we really listen to any of our family members when they tell us to act in a particular way? No, we do not listen. That’s what majority of us will do. Then why should we hate or avoid other people who are not like us, just under the assumption that our family or friends told us to or they might be doing so. Why should we lose the friendship of anyone just on the grounds that he/she doesn’t look like us, or doesn’t eat the same food?
Let us think what we miss when we stay within the same group of people. Just like a pond of water stinks after sometime when there is no inflow/outflow of fresh stream, similarly we not only get bored in the same group of people, thoughts, ideas, but also start missing out the opportunity to learn, know, share new ideas/opportunities from/with new people. Isn’t that sad that we miss learning a new skill or music or even food, just because the other person is not like us.
In India ( from where I come from), even though the country is diverse, with hundreds of languages, cuisine, cultures etc, but the society is complex enough to propel us to stick with our own people, culture etc. For a south Indian to be friendly or even get married with a north Indian, is very difficult. People have written books and made movies out of this (For ex:Two States) complexity. We Indians, are so much obsessed with our tradition that we simply abhor or ignore that there are other people in this world. Not only in marriages, but people from few communities do not allow people from other communities to live in the same apartment or even locality. This is way absurd!
I won’t get into the realm of caste based discrimination ( especially India) as this is too complex and too political to deal with. Similar can be said of color or race based discrimination in USA, Australia or some European countries. And similar discrimination happens in middle eastern countries on the basis of religion. We all know this is so wrong, yet these things keep on happening even in the 21st century. Just like Black lives matter, we need to widen the horizon to diversity matters!
Recent studies have shown that companies or groups with diversity progress more quickly. This might be attributed to the fact that diversity welcomes new ideas & allows everyone to learn and adopt. As we know, adaptability is one of the key skillset needed to survive in this world. If we try to hide ourselves in our own comfort zones, we might never develop the skill of adaptability. Also, diversity with transparency in leadership is motivational for the team, and that company which embraces this lasts long as well. This is because everyone in the group will have fair chance to climb the ladder of leadership and will stay inspired to work and contribute to the organization. On the contrary, nepotism or discrimination based organizations ( favoring only a particular group to excel) doesn’t last long. We all know what happened to Nazi Germany, who relied on the false notion of Aryan superiority. While, those countries which do not have any familial tradition in politics or business, have prospered and developed more ( Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden and Denmark fare the best in this respect).
After all, just like a bunch of flowers makes a beautiful bouquet. Just like a delicious “thali” (ask an Indian what a Thali is) is made up of different kind of foods ( sweet, salty, spicy etc), so as the world comes with different colors, body structures and nature. Even a rainbow is made of 7 colors! We are conditioned to assess the beauty by fairness, fitness by six packs or slim figure, status by family, community or religion. We are forced to believe some people from a particular community are good at math or business or acting. All this is false, period! We are all same, unique, equal. Maybe we might not be born with the same financial resources, or in an educated family, or in a developed country, but we all come with the same inner strength, confidence, and motivation to achieve whatever we want in life. Nature does not differentiate us on basis of any external differences. We just need to remember this.
People call America as the melting pot, while some call India as a bowl of salad. Whatever it may be, a pot or a bowl, the key factor which makes a good dish is the proper mixing of ingredients with each other. The different ingredients should nicely mix & blend with each other to make the dish delicious. On a similar note, all of us with our unique diversity should mix and blend for the progress of humanity.
I hope the world becomes more acceptable for diversity& inclusion. #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #DiversityMatters #Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam ( The world is one family)