You’re surrounded by words, they’re everywhere! In our daily lives, much of our understanding of the world comes from combining different words into sentences, then sentences into meaning – meaning gained from structures and incentives. In this article series, we’ll elegantly run through 7 of the most interesting words people are encountered by, using, listening to and subconsciously making familiar. But should they be familiar, if they aren’t consciously so?
In times of rapid information sharing, the word “diversity” has gained a substantial amount of exposure. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, diversity is:
“1: the condition of having or being composed of differing elements: variety; especially: the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization <programs intended to promote diversity in schools>
2: an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities: an instance of being diverse <a diversity of opinion>”
Exposure to differing elements of various kinds, is basically what everyone with access to an internet connection goes through every day. Several information channels, structures, political and national interests, social and economic subjects shared and spread with accompanying hashtags, and much more. Each day, millions of people worldwide keep themselves updated by using these channels and although they aren’t stating the obvious, we are all exposed to a broad variety of data. Diversity.
But it’s not only exposure to different data. It’s how you process it. Think about it.
Depending on your own mindset in that specific moment when you are dealing with one sort of input, one set of data, your response decides the outcome. Now, if you have had a great day so far, and thought about a lot of positive things, then the data by which you are approached or are approaching, is very much likely to be great. A cup of coffee is perfect if it’s morning and you can’t blink properly. Some sort of data on biochemistry is also quite useful if you’re working within that field, or have an interest in things related to the subject. Even if you met someone interesting who works with biochemistry, this meeting itself could have created a positive association in your mind, making you want to know more about this newly found interest.
Now, imagine that you had a not-great meeting, it could have been better yet for reasons, wasn’t. After such an experience, reading anything on great meetings, awesome teamwork and advice on how to get your point across in meetings isn’t going to be well received. Why? Because you had a negative experience right before having access to this other perspective, this article describing the diversity of perspectives which can be used when dealing with people and meetings. This diversity isn’t as attractive as it should be and you aren’t enjoying the variation in perspectives – nobody is, when they’re pissed off.
But back to the subject.
This diversity, by which we are surrounded all the time, in all aspects and through several layers of interests processing data and formatting it as to conveniently suit given requirements, is beautiful. Suddenly, you can actually compare how various channels reason in questions of interest to many people, as are international relations, to give a discrete suggestion. Depending on the news agency, the overall political atmosphere, the specific journalist or reporter working on the case – one simple incident could be described in hundreds of ways and claiming objectivity. Therefore, indirectly being exposed to only one of these channels may turn out to be not too great, and the understanding for the world will as a consequence become short-sighted and caught in its description. Rather than being described from the occasion itself, with no irrelevant additions or highly relevant subtractions.
What does this really tell us anyways?
It tells us that, with great diversity also comes great responsibility – to gain analytical skills. No, not the kind of dead boring, numerical, statistics class kind, but rather a simple awareness of what is going on at that given moment. If you are seeking information on a certain topic, you could easily Google away a couple of hours of scholarly studies, scientific blogs, news articles and newbie thoughts delivered in variously appealing ways. Yet, you won’t necessarily be gaining any actual knowledge, rather either confirming your already gained previous standpoint, or acknowledging a source as unreliable. At the end of the day, it all depends on your worldview, and how much you consider yourself to know.
So hi there, what’s up with diversity then?
In terms of the sort of diversity directly involving people with various interests, nationalities, religious beliefs, culinary culture, music preference, sub-cultures and so on – there’s so much to gain from such meetings. Placing yourself in a new environment does that, it makes you see those things which you took for granted, or as a “universal truth”. These meetings might work as an eye-opener, at times they might be a little scary, sometimes even requiring you to have a good look at your views and perspectives and broadening them.
People are so diverse. There are about as many different combinations of skills, ideas and concepts as there are individuals currently living on this planet. A small fraction of those people are destructive and plain mean, but the vast majority consists of awesome, fun, kind, friendly and fantastic dudes and dudettes simply wishing to make sense of this world and where they belong. That’s completely normal, and as much as everyone would at times like to belong fully to one group, the uniqueness each of these people bring with their values and ideas is something to truly admire.
Diversity is fantastic and it better be staying right here, available to anyone who wants to reach out for it. Regardless of which subject we speak, diversity has a place there since it at least invites to various views on one subject. Naturally, it is then up to every single person to decide whether they would like to do anything in particular with that variation, but as long as everyone has a choice that is all that matters. You are surrounded by a diverse diversity, and the more aware you become, the more knowledge and creative inspiration you will be able to acquire.
This is the second article in our article series “7 words and why they should matter to you”. Did you check out the one on “Impossible”? Stay tuned for next Thursday when we’ll reveal the third word and why it’s so very important.