This week, Kent and I discuss the benefit of embracing diversity. The current trend in this country seems to be widening the chasm. I consider myself to be an optimist. I don’t see the world as delineated by black and white but as varying shades of gray. Each with their own benefits and problems. All worth trying to understand.
Yet, when considering America and the world in general, it seems that we are more interested in preserving differences that separate us than embracing the opportunity to learn and grow.
The vitriol of every election season seems to increase with every cycle, but that is more reflective of the speed, availability, and unfiltered variety of information, or disinformation, sources. A glance at any daily headline on the “news” organizations which proliferate in our increasingly connected world show everything from a pending indictment of Hillary Clinton, a similar claim for Donald Trump, or that President Obama has a secret agreement with Islam to usher in Sharia law.
All of which is not only untrue but illustrative of the growing divide between us vs. them. Our concept of diversity has been reduced to posters on school walls or slogans on the side of public transportation.
We don’t embrace diversity. We classify it, create meaningless slogans, codify it into the law, and then hope for the best.
Some wax nostalgically of an earlier time in this country when we embraced our differences. I think the fog of memory distorts this. It wasn’t so much we embraced our differences as it was we lived surrounded by those similar enough to ourselves to ignore it.
Once the variety of religions, ethnicities, languages, and cultures began to change, or emerge from the shadows, suddenly we thought ourselves in a war for preservation.
Our misguided concept that this is a Christian nation challenged by our changing world.
You cannot legislate understanding without education. You cannot foster rational, reasoned discourse without listening to other perspectives.
Despite my usual optimism, I am at a loss to see positive change if we consider diversity a thing and not the basis for a path that would lead to a great America and better world. There is always hope, but we need to open our eyes and minds to find it.