Diversity without divisions

One hundred eighteen. That’s the number of nationalities represented at the university where I was an undergraduate student. In one day, I might have the opportunity to speak any one of the five languages I know—or perhaps all of them! Diversity was something we lived on a daily basis. In my case, it was also something I learned I had to approach from a spiritual basis.

There is a fundamental notion built into the concept of diversity—that diversity means divisions. Now, I did love the way the diversity of our student body helped me understand that there is more than just my way of thinking and my way of seeing. But at some point early on in my time at university, I realized that while it’s important to appreciate uniqueness and individuality, and even to celebrate them, the way we talked about diversity was often subtly divisive. For example, even though as fellow students we shared a deep appreciation for each other’s cultural and national backgrounds, there seemed to be an expectation that when we worked together on group projects, there would be not just a variety of perspectives, but conflicting perspectives. 

Forgiving hate, finding healing
February 19, 2018

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