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The 'Absolute' Importance of Celebrating Diversity

Op-ed

If all the characters of the famous Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling were exactly like Ron, from professors to students to elves, goblins, deatheaters, and hyppogryfs, how exactly would you feel when you read the series? Hundreds of creatures with the same ideas, same feelings, same strengths, and weaknesses. Will the series have the same impact on you as it has now? Actually, will Voldemort be a villain or a joke?

Now imagine the same for the real world. What if everybody had white skin, hair as yellow as a crow's foot, and lips like Taylor Swift? Or maybe, what if everyone shared the same background, same experiences, and had absolutely nothing unusual to share? Do you think anybody would go farther than the stone age if their minds were identical?

By chance, a question on the internet provided more coverage on diversity than a dictionary definition:

What do we mean by diversity?

Diversity is about what makes each of us unique, including our backgrounds, personality, life experiences, and beliefs; all of the things that make us who we are. It is a combination of our differences that shape our view of the world, our perspective, and our approach.

This word, for me, is a multitude of clashing colors, like the big bang. Eventually, the colors seep into one another, blend but never mix to form one basic color. It's like dropping various colors of ink into cold water. They slowly explore the waters with their ribbony arms and discover their fellow pigments with permanent embraces.

Diversity is also like a clear night sky in the Atacama Desert, with nebulae, stars, moons, planets, meteors, and comets all teaming up to make the universe a scientific mystery still.

Human beings are the most magnificent creatures in existence, and what contributes most to their magnificence is the brain. Human psychology is one of the key reasons why the word diversity even came into being. It's the reason why Newton discovered gravity, Einstein devised the theory of relativity, Nikola Tesla patented the rotating magnetic field, Anne Frank journaled, and so on. That's the reason why our opinions and perspectives vary. Your brain responds differently to the same situations. A statement that offends others may cause you to self-reflect, a picture that unsettles your brother may be your true definition of art, and a strict teacher may be a thrill for you to break.

A well-known example of this is abuse. Not all who go through dysfunctional atmospheres for an unhealthy amount of time decide to steal, vandalize, or kill. Abuse can make one vulnerable and another spiteful, one will become sensitive, the other immune, one will secure their position as a victim, the other will escape, a third may even plan to return for revenge and a fourth could be stubborn enough to think nothing of the matter whatsoever.

Here I must add the obvious statement that diversity is important. That is so because it keeps the world going, gives life to the word modern, and shapes history.

But here's the catch. You cannot call anything important by just letting it sit there and acknowledge its existence from time to time. We celebrate the birthdays of many deceased,

like Abraham Lincoln,

or Michael Jackson. That's because they were important. We give their examples, idolize them, appreciate their services, and try to spread their message.

Diversity may not look like a concrete person moonwalking on your front porch, but that doesn't make it any less remarkable. It's not a law to wait for something to drop out of existence to appreciate its services, like in Sylvia Plath's case, and although diversity will never die (I do hope not), there is a Mariana Trench - deep importance to its acceptance and celebration. This brings us to yet another heading.

What contributes to the creation of diversity?

Also known as the three types of diversity.

  1. Internal diversity is not about your intestines (like what Jeff, from my friend Dahmer, says to the only black kid in class: "Your palms are less black. You think your insides are the same color as mine? Are my stomach and your stomach the same color?") Internal diversity regards race, ethnicity, age, national origin, sexual orientation, cultural identity, gender identity, physical ability, and mental ability.

  2. External diversity includes the characteristics of an individual which he acquires as he grows up. It is influenced heavily by other people, his surroundings, and the conditions he grows up facing. Of course, these characteristics can also change over time as the person grows and becomes more opinionated. External diversity can include personal interests, education, appearance, citizenship, religious beliefs, location, familial status, life experiences, etc.

  3. Worldview Diversity: Our worldviews are made from the merging of our external and internal diversity, and we all have distinct worldviews we align ourselves with. Again, this type of diversity changes over time as well, depending on education, exposure, and change of the world. Worldviews are like the Le Chatelier's principle, concepts, but unlike this chemistry principle which has one concept, our worldviews are separate perceptions and concepts of the world, which makes things simply fascinating. The sharing of worldviews can cause a lot of conspiracy, disagreement, offense, but it also causes enlightenment, consideration, and the unfolding of new spectacles to look and observe the world through. Some examples of worldviews include political beliefs, Moral Compass, Outlook on life, and Epistemology.

How to Celebrate Diversity

To celebrate diversity, you have to realize that two people thinking differently are capable of achieving more, and better than two people with similar brains. Acknowledging differences and working together alongside them opens every possible opportunity for you. In the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey, he summarises the importance of diversity with: Diversity = Creative Sparks = Opportunity.

You want success? Respect differences, jump into the big circle of diversity to create your big splash. We all feel important, we all want everyone to have that same important opinion of us, we want to be remembered. To be remembered, you have to respect differences, you have to work alongside everyone, you have to build a flexible team that welcomes everyone. That's how you celebrate diversity.

Celebration of diversity may be hard in some instances. For example, you can respect religious beliefs and racial differences while at the same time looking down at people with different political beliefs. Again, in the same book, the writer lays down an activity that decides which fruit you are based on your skills. You could be a grape, banana, orange, or melon and you would be stupid to decide which fruit is best because they're all different. You can't compare orange juice to a banana shake; It's as absurd as comparing a donkey with a pickle. Furthermore, you may prefer one fruit over the other, but one can't deny a fruit salad as the best variety of fruits to serve everyone.

We've all read books with phrases like :'Eternal good for all humanity to come', 'The greater good', 'Making the world a better place' but with no definite way to actually make them a reality. It's true that everyone has their own answer to this, but if there was one universal way to make this world a better place, a community based on brotherhood with the good that remains to influence our future generations, it would be the acceptance of every individual's differences.

Then the questions arise: if it was so easy to figure out, and if it indeed is a solution, why can't it be applied? Why has it not been applied yet? Why do people not regard it? Really, there are many factors contributing to that. Human nature is so complex that there is no single, undeniable answer to anything unless it's maths, physics, or chemistry.

I'll answer only one here. How can people completely embrace diversity as a strength in society? We can definitely spread our message, inform people of all the opportunities they miss, but one of the best ways to spread it is to the younger generation. They're not as rigid in their beliefs as the elders. When your children, your siblings, or the teens around you have their nature developed around respecting other opinions and personalities, they're bound to rub off on their classmates.

You have to take care of one thing before influencing your companions though. Influencing yourself. Makes sense? You have to change yourself according to the message you will spread among others. You have to be a living example of how beneficial it is to work as a team with anyone and everyone. The whole world is your team, a place in which you cooperate with others and gain their cooperation with you, a place where you share your best ideas to gain the best ideas of others, and a place where you respect, defend and encourage others and gain the same in return.

This poem best sums up what would happen if people let petty differences get in the way of cooperation and unity.

The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance, in bleak and bitter cold,

Each one possessed a stick of wood, or so the story's told.

Their dying fire in need of logs, the first man held his back,

For the faces 'round the fire, he noticed one was black.

The next man looking 'cross the way saw one not of his church,

and couldn't bring himself to give the fire his stick of birch.

The third one sat in tattered clothes, he gave his coat a hitch,

Why should his log be put to use to warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store,

And how to keep what he earned from the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man's face bespoke revenge as the fire passed from sight,

For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white.

The last man of this forlorn group did naught except for gain,

Giving only to those who gave was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death's still hand was proof of human sin,

They didn't die from the cold without- they died from the cold within.

So, would you rather cherish your inner ice and keep it from melting or let it melt, flow and sustain the fullest image of life? Will you, from now, be just as unique as you feel and admire others' beauty, or will you regard change as a threat? Do you wish to lead a meaningful life, a life as meaningful to others as it is to you, or will you lock yourself up in the gates of your own kingdom?

Javeria Zahid
1,000+ pageviews

Javeria is an O Levels student and is working on crazy novellas currently. She writes for fun and prefers humorous perspectives to influence the minds of her readers. Javeria encourages creativity, mischievous actions, risky experiences, self- motivation, eating and petting cats!