Diversity is a very elastic term. The idea of what diversity is continues to develop in and of itself, ever expanding. Diversity is used to explain the differences between people’s race, sexuality, gender, age, socioeconomic status, environment, ethnicity, field of study, etc. It is these differences in individuals that we, as a human race, can recognize and value.
Appreciate and seek diversity in both professional and personal spheres! It is so necessary to encourage the expression of thoughts from people who think differently from you. How else are you supposed to learn about the world around you if you don’t ask the opinions of those of differing life experiences? Every peer, student, faculty member, person, deserves to be treated and ideas valued equally. Being supportive of your peers from all backgrounds and ways of life creates an inspiring environment that promotes equality and the brightest ideas.
Asking questions and listening to what people have to say is a great way to encourage diversity. Not only should you be asking others questions but yourself. Constantly ask yourself about your pre-conceived biases and if those are affecting how you are treating another human being.
Reflecting on your own background and values allows you to know what you think and how those thoughts affect your perceptions of others. Reflection is so important and appears often throughout blogs online. Sitting down for a few minutes a day to think about who you are, where you are going and where you are coming from builds you into someone who is tolerant and supportive of others!
Treat people how you want to be treated, even if they don’t treat you with the same amount of respect. People believe different things and live different ways. What is normal for you could be completely foreign to them and vice versa. Recognize that people are different and treat them equally and with care, no matter what.
Put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable and push you to talk to others that differ from who you are usually around. Get to know people who are from different backgrounds, cultures, or belief systems and your knowledge and acceptance of the world will expand. Sitting down and talking to someone about your differing thoughts and ideas creates unity and a safe space for the both of you.
Diversity is needed. Diversity is encouraged. Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and promote equality.