by Efren Paredes, Jr.
February 4, 2007
Diversity lies at the very matrix of all creation. From the protons and neutrons that are the composition of molecules, the billions of cells that form the human body, to the many planets and stars that comprise our solar system, diversity teaches us the value of order, coalescence and balance.
The term "diversity" embodies the adage, "The sum is greater than its parts." It is a reminder that we live in a pluralistic society, and that we each possess unique qualities; the ingredients for a melting pot of greatness.
Diversity denotes change and progression. It recognizes the variations in all things and is a symbol of mutual respect and understanding. Its powerful influence opens eyes, and topples walls. It inspires us to read, critique and appreciate the world more closely.
Through diversity myriad ideas are borne. The formulation of the most important cures and solutions to society's ills have spawned from the minds of diverse people and thoughts. All great nations are governed by cabinets and councils comprised of individuals from various backgrounds and experiences.
Diversity is a concept with boundless possibilities. It is a universal principle that should be taught to every child from birth and made an indelible part of their lives. It nourishes critical thinking, stirs up excitement, and creates bonds.
When we are children we play with other children and make no distinction between our peers. We view them with a pure heart and recognize they are human like us. During this time our intentions and feelings about others are innocent and pure.
It isn't until our young fertile minds become polluted with prejudice and emphasis on the differences between people by the influences of others that we abandon our innocence and embrace destructive views of other human beings. We totally forget that we should share the earth we were given the opportunity to live on, and we should enjoy it together rather than try to hoard the gifts of life.
One of the most important events and examples of diversity that occurred in the nation's history was the abolishment of slavery. Slavery was one of the worst forms of cruelty and evils to manifest in the country. It destroyed lives and damaged the psyche of generations.
The end of slavery was the beginning of diverse changes that swept the country. If not for the end of slavery it would still be ravishing the country today and we would still live in a segregated society.
No civilized society can thrive without diversity. It will only become increasingly degenerate over time and be the cause of its own demise. There are societies who have plummeted into the annals of history due to their refusal to embrace diversity and celebrate the differences that are a natural part of our lives. Arrogance and false senses of superiority have torn to shreds the moral fabric of great nations.
I view the absence of diversity in our lives as akin to the absence of sustenance. It contravenes the very concept of animation and destroys the human spirit. The presence of diversity, on the other hand, represents a life-sustaining force and the perpetuity of life.
Diversity is essential for people to appreciate the contributions made by every human being in the world regardless of their origin, beliefs or way of life. Once properly understood and employed it can transform the entire world and renew its collective mind with progressive thoughts, thereby making it a better place.