Diversity usually isn’t a popular concept in a patriarchy. In general, patriarchies value individual success over action taken for a collective good. Sadly, this can make people in a patriarchy somewhat self-focused. I think it was Ben-Hur who said, “You’re either with me or against me.” And of course, it’s easiest to assume that the ones like you will be with you, which also makes it easiest to assume that the ones not like you will be against you. It’s an effective governing strategy, too. Fear of “the other” makes people easier to manipulate.
Yet I believe Ms. Deming has it right. If we step away from the fear of the different and really listen to each other, we’re going to find that underneath it all we absolutely do have a lot in common. We all love, and care, and cry, and laugh. We are all human, all citizens of our beautiful planet Earth, and we all need each other to survive.
In fact, it is our diversity that offers the key to our survival. The beauty of diversity is, well, diversity: What I lack, someone else will have, whether a skill, a belief, or an asset. They balance me, just as what I bring will surely balance someone else. The truth is that our differences are what give strength and resiliency to the greater whole that is our species.
Just as yin balances yang, or the feminine principle balances the masculine principle, it is in a flourishing culture of diversity that we find the greatest opportunity for reclaiming balance and surviving. And the more we reach out and listen to each other, the sooner we will understand this truth.
Seek Balance: Is there someone in your life who you fear or distrust? Can you imagine a conversation with them? What might you say?