Monday, December 28, 2015

Too Much Diversity?

Is there such a thing as too much diversity? What does it mean to be non-diverse anyway? I don't think it means falling into a certain stereotype . . . like a white, Christian, heterosexual, married man with children (and that would be me). However, as a society, we've tried to conform so much to an ideal or a set of socially acceptable stereotypes that many attempts to embrace or show respect to others outside of those ideals is viewed as liberal and exclusive. Diversity in my opinion is simply allowing and accepting what is different, even if you don't agree with it. It doesn't mean you have to condone it or change your own benevolent behaviors. So I embrace diversity and non-diversity alike (whatever the latter means). And please don't call me milquetoast. I have a set of personal beliefs and standards that I follow thoughtfully . . . and respectfully.

While I'm on this topic, I'd also like to make a small attempt at addressing the topic of the majority vs. the minority. I was recently with my wife (a white, Christian, heterosexual woman) in a place surrounded by people who were visibly different than me. I made the innocent, but ignorant comment, "Now I know what it feels like to be a minority." She stopped in her tracks and replied firmly, "You will NEVER know what it feels like to be a minority." I stopped too and pondered what she said. As respectful and diverse as I might be in my words and actions, it is true that I fall into a stereotypical category that is privileged and high on the pecking order of society. All the more reason for me to be humble, respectful of diversity and inclusive. Please join me, regardless of your sexual preference, religion, marital status, age, gender, race or favorite sports team. 

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