What does diversity mean to you? This seems like such a buzz word and one that was part of a discussion we had today. It sometimes feels taboo to discuss, yet sounds popular to say we welcome and accept diversity. But what does this mean?
When I was at Cal Poly, I was part of the Ethnic Diversity committee, trying to bring diversity to our predominantly Caucasian campus. Diversity was about race and affirmative action and equal opportunity and making sure that we were open and accepting and inviting others and making them feel welcome and a part of “us”.
I think the definition of diversity has broadened over the years and includes not only race and ethnicity, but also sexual orientation, life experience, beauty, knowledge base, body image, abilities, socioeconomic levels, language, religious beliefs, age, popularity, geography, neighborhoods where we live and more.
I think we need to be aware of our differences and at the same time acknowledge how we are all more alike than we are different and to focus our energy on our connections and commonalities versus our diversity. I think we need to find ways to connect through our love for one another and by being curious about each other. I think we need to be good listeners and always be kind to everyone, especially those who are different than us. We can change the world and make everyone feel welcome and invite them to come sit with us and share lunch, a cup of coffee, or conversation.
Be curious. Be kind. Be loving. It doesn’t cost a thing and that’s how we can celebrate our diversity and oneness. One Love, BeLoveRs. We can change the world, together. Let’s hold hands.