Diversity: Our Building Block and Our Weakest Link

Diversity

Unless you are an American Indian or the descendant of an American Indian then you have the bloodline of an Immigrant. I am not and American Indian or descendant. I am the son of an Immigrant. I am at the same time an American. I was born here and have lived here my entire life. I have the flag of the United States hanging in my home and I have had friends die for this country in war.

I say all that because the fact is that the foundation of this country was built with the bricks of Diversity. If we truly opened the books of US history we would find contributions made by people of every race, color and creed. If you believe that God created the earth and the humans that inhabit this planet you must believe he created us all the same. If you believe in evolution, then we all evolved from the same place. The bottom line is that no matter the external visual of what is seen by the eye we are all human. Yet in that humanity we find the need to see what is only on the outside not on the inside. We judge and label people by how they look before we take one second to get to know them.

I was blessed in my youth to have lived in an upper middle class town outside of Boston. I was also fortunate enough to have had parents that gave us the opportunity to see the world outside of our town, not only through travel but by bringing the outside to us. When I was in High School in the 1970’s my parents sponsored a METCO student. He was an African-American student bused to my high school from Boston. He brought to me a view of a different way of life, a different vision of the world from his prospective and he brought me a teammate and friend. We were also fortunate enough to have sponsored ASF students from Spain and Mexico. These connections helped us see a vision from other countries with differing languages and cultures. The time spent in my youth with this diversity molded my beliefs that the world is made up of nothing more and nothing less than humans.

Yet despite, or maybe because of, the shrinking of the world and the ability to connect with people of diverse languages, religions, cultures and world visions we continue to fight the acceptance of others. In 2014 we put up fences around our boarders. We have a racially driven fight in the streets near a major US city. We continue to fight a never-ending religious battle throughout the Middle East. And we can’t stop fighting long enough to respect the dead from airline crash.

The hands, blood, sweat and tears of all kinds of humans built not only this country but this world. When we decide to open the doors to the opportunities diversity can give us we will have the power to do or fix anything. It will be a challenge because the walls we have put around ourselves are high. The first step, as with any struggle is to look in the mirror and accept we have a problem, only then can we find a way to fix it. With the connections I have made with people from England, Lebanon, Australia, India and many more places I know there is a want to fix this issue. We just need to realize that diversity, once the strength of what build us, is now our weakest link with the ability to tear it all down. As humans we can not let that happen.

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6 thoughts on “Diversity: Our Building Block and Our Weakest Link

  1. jimmylsc

    Diversity has never been the strength of this country. Assimilation has been our strength. In the past people who came here wanted to join us in what we had because it was better than what they left. It was the primary reason for coming here.

    Today, people coming here want to remake us into what they left. Why come here if they want what they left? And, why are still praising diversity?

    Maybe you are, but I am not!

    Jimmy Collins

    1. Jimmy
      I still believe we can learn from people not exactly like us. My mind stays open to all new ideas. It is your choice as too whether you praise or do not praise diversity. And I respect that difference in how we see the world.

      Tom

  2. jimmylsc

    Tom, I agree that diversity of talents strengthens any organization or community of people. Having many points of view stimulates and expands our thinking and creativity.

    However, diversity of cultures encourages tribal behavior which is destructive to organizations and communities.

    Jimmy

    1. Jimmy

      Culture is part of a person. And honestly culture in America is different from place to place. The culture in the South is different than that of the Northeast or West Coast. That doesn’t make us tribal.

      Tom

      1. jimmylsc

        Tom, I also respect different point of view, but I don’t respect people who want to destroy the foundations of this constitutional republic. In my lifetime I have seen an erosion from good to worse and the erosion is gaining speed.
        Jimmy

  3. Jimmy,
    I have no interest in destroying the foundation of our country. My hope is for a strong united country that will lead the world into the future. My father came here from England and had to get a special exemption to fight in the Pacific in WWII, where he won a Bronze Star. He also taught me to treat all people with respect and to respect our differences. We all came from different cultures for different reasons. Until we figure out how to overcome things like what is happening in Missouri we will struggle with keeping our foundation in place.

    Thank you for the respectful discussion.
    Tom

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