Living Diversity In These Troubled Times
As we grow every day, we discover that we are different from other people. These differences can come in various forms, which is why we have to live in diversity. Living diversity is also one of the values that guide our behavior as AIESECers.
What is Living Diversity?
Living Diversity is understanding everyone is unique and accepting their differences. These differences can range from age, race, financial status, gender, culture, sexuality, religion, physical capabilities, etc. This value requires you to extend your worldview beyond things that can be accepted readily. Although it has to start from the personal level, organizations and countries should adopt this culture.
What Consequences Result From Not Living In Diversity?
Many adverse events have happened because people have failed to understand and respect these individual differences. They are:
Wars have been happening for centuries because of a lack of understanding between people of different races, cultures, or beliefs. A recent one is an Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as the two states have failed to settle their differences. The violence in this war has killed many people, destroyed commercial buildings, and threatened global peace.
The World Wars even had more impact on the world and weakened many economies for years. Therefore, we need to accept that the beliefs of our people are different from other cultures. This is one significant way we can achieve world peace.
Discrimination over physical abilities
You are respecting the dignity of an individual when you acknowledge that everyone has different physical capabilities. For example, not stigmatizing people who have terminal illnesses will help them to feel accepted in society. It is important to not discriminate against people that cannot perform a physical function like other people. This will promote healthy relationships in the community.
There has been a lot against the LGBTQ(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer) community because of their sexual orientation. They face a lot of violence and misunderstanding because many people do not live in diversity. It is up to you as an individual to be intentional about avoiding homophobia. This month is Pride month, and it is an excellent way for you to create awareness and stop misinformation around you.
You can make a personal decision to reduce racism by speaking up when you see it happen around you. Racism has prevented individuals from expanding their worldview and treating others with dignity. It has also sparked global rage, like in the case of George Floyd. It is up to every one of us to make a difference and stop racism.
Myopic world view
The lack of the value of diversity has led to myopic world views. It is wrong to think that your culture and beliefs are better than other cultures and religions. This will limit personal development as you might not be able to learn from other people. In essence, you should always stay open-minded and respect the beliefs of other individuals.
Gender inequality stems from the belief that one gender is better than the other. Over the years, some systems have tried to oppress women while some women have turned to men hating. You become intentional about living diversity when you acknowledge that every gender deserves equal rights. Men and women are different, and it is essential to respect their strengths and weaknesses. If everyone did this, the rate of rape and domestic violence would reduce drastically.
This is seeing some religions as inferior to one’s own and not respecting the beliefs of other faiths. Religious discrimination has led to violence and disunity in many developing countries. It is up to you as an individual to be informed about other religions and respect them. It can help you form healthy relationships and expand your worldview.