Diversity is beautiful!
As a mother of culturally diverse children, this is one message that I want to unabashedly proclaim.
And every once in a while, I have a conversation on a podcast about this topic that is truly something special. That’s exactly how I felt about the conversation I had with Rodney Campbell and Keith Richardson on the More In Common Podcast.
It was a thoughtful, profound, and real conversation talking about children, diversity, perspective, and the things that really matter. We talked about things that more people should discuss and I walked away from it a better person.
If you have time to listen, I highly recommend it! But if you aren’t able to take the time, here are some of my favorite takeaways from the conversation.
Choose to See Color
I know that this statement goes against every tradition and cultural norm we have been taught. This is because someone, somewhere in our history believed that spreading the belief “we don’t see color” would somehow put us all on the same playing field.
Maybe their intentions were good, but I believe that person was misguided.
Because our world is full of beautifully diverse people whose lives and heritage enrich our experience and bring unique perspectives to our planet.
And because when we stop seeing color, we fail to recognize the beauty, diversity, and identity of others. A person’s color is an important part of who they are and when we fail to see their color, we’re not honoring them for who they really are.
Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
No matter what the color of our skin, our value is the same.
Because of my children, this message is very dear to my heart and I want to shout it to the world.
I will never know what it’s like to walk in my children’s shoes, or anyone else’s shoes for that matter. But I love, value, and respect them and their heritage.
I see their color, I love their color, and I will always honor them for being exactly who they are.
Take the Time to Know People
Diversity is about recognizing the value in the stories of the people around you.
All too often we move through life with our heads down, barreling through our experiences, intently focused on reaching our final destination.
While being focused is a good habit to get into, what we focus on may need to change.
When we’re so focused on our destination, we fail to see all the beautiful people along the way.
When you focus on the people who make up your journey, you become less worried about your destination and more connected to humanity.
Take the time to talk to a stranger.
When you take the time to have a conversation with someone new, you will realize how connected we really are as human beings.
You will also learn to truly see people for who they are without judgement.
While the idea of talking to strangers may be scary for some, it’s not as hard a you might think.
You can connect with someone no matter where you are. You just need the courage to speak.
Be Proud of Who You Are
Diversity is not about everyone being the same. It’s about celebrating our uniqueness while recognizing our value is the same.
We have to stop comparing ourselves or trying to be someone we’re not. In comparison, one person will always be diminished. And most often in comparing, we diminish ourselves.
While it’s always good to improve yourself, just strive to be the best you that you can be.
You can begin by embracing your own uniqueness and diversity.
You’re not meant to be another person—you were meant to be you.
Own that and truly embrace who you are.
You don’t need to change who you are. You need to change the way you see yourself.
And above all, stop comparing yourself to others who have achieved the seemingly impossible, especially when what they have achieved isn’t even something you really want!
We all need to stop putting ourselves down for not accomplishing those things that aren’t even in our realm of desire.
You can do anything you want to. So figure out what you want and don’t put any limits on yourself.
Diversity isn’t a catchphrase—it’s our world. It’s seeing the beautiful color of the people around us, listening to others and sharing our own stories, embracing our own uniqueness, and recognizing that there is incredible value in each of us.
That’s what diversity means to me.