Diversity Educates

by Edmund Celis, June 29, 2016.
It's ok to be different, you give life flavor!
Art by Edmund Celis.

From the books we peruse to the people we meet, differences help broaden our knowledge.

Immersing ourselves in different cultures and practices helps us discover and learn new ways of thinking, but more importantly, it can help us recognize that we share more similarities with one another than our differences. We become familiar with the unknown.

Diversity shows us alternative ways of thinking and expression that enables us to better understand life. We formulate ideas and relate them to our experiences, and the more experiences we have, the more informed our decisions can be. We can avoid faulty arguments or beliefs given a diverse experience. For instance, when writing an essay, if you include many sources of evidence, both competing and concurring, then the stronger and more balanced the argument can be. Learning about the different cultures in the world and the differing environments helps us compare circumstances and make better decisions in how we live.

Even at the most fundamental level, genetic diversity is constantly at work to prevent static genes from being taken advantage of by microbes.

This is called the “Red Queen Hypothesis” by Leigh Van Valen in 1973, as described in this Indiana University article.

Diversity is simply a part of life.

Down to the atoms of our body, all things are made up of the same things. It is just the arrangement of the atoms that results in these surface differences we see.

The mind is amazing at finding differences and labeling things. It is of course, in part, what has enabled our species to have evolved in such a way. However, the mind can also make diversity a problem.

We have been conditioned to fear what the mind does not know and possibly label it as ‘bad’ because it is something that we have never confronted before.

There is a possibility of death according to the mind and thus, the mind thinks that the unknown cannot be trusted and must be eliminated if possible. This is what fuels violence. Our fear for our own survival.

However, in this modern civilization we live in, there are less and less reasons to settle differences violently. There should be no reason at all actually. As Noam Chomsky said, “You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it.”

As we become more informed however, we can realize that many of our fears are false and created by the mind. As the well known acronym for FEAR shows, it is really “False Evidence Appearing Real,” and the more knowledge one learns about an issue, fear dissolves and the true reality can be experienced.

The more information the mind takes in about a certain topic, the more refined conclusions can be and the actions that follow. It is like a mathematical equation consisting of many unknown variables, and the more variables that are discovered, the closer one is at solving the puzzle.

When we look at ourselves and one another, it is important to not just look at the surface level of the mind but also remember to feel the internal level of being that we all share with one another and all things of this life.

The internal being is infinitely more important than what we see on the surface. The judgments we make on the outside are mainly constructed from the fear that the mind creates. Acknowledging this is an important step for living in peace with everything on this Earth.

So now, you can try to appreciate the difference in opinion, color of skin, topic of study, type of food, genre of music, etc, without fear because you know that it is all temporary and essentially not its appearance. Not everything will go your way in life, but you can face each new situation with your presence and learn to make the unfamiliar a friend. Everything is there for a reason. If you are awake, you can sense this and help it guide you to a path of love, or sense of oneness.

And if you are fully present, you can recognize that you would not be here without that which you find negative, or that which you see as different.

As Isaac Newton established in the Third Law of Motion, there is an equal and opposite force to every applied force. My article, “Everything is connected via atoms”, can help you realize this even more.

In a sense, we are all stardust from way back when the universe was forming and we have made it to this form.

What an amazing realization! To be alive right now is your purpose. To breathe, to feel your inner energy, to know who you really are. Everything else is secondary, especially the thoughts created by your mind.

But once you have realized this, look outward and appreciate all that is. Love it as one. When there is love, all differences vanish and what is left is for you to experience now!

Here is an audio of the article as well.

Please check out my article "Adversity Opens Doorways to Enlightenment", which reflects on my experiences of hardship.

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