Valuing Diversity and Using Respect (excerpt from B.O.U.N.C.E)
Valuing diversity, much like charity, should begin at home then spread abroad. Unfortunately, as a country, we appear to be barreling toward more chaos over color as character collides with community far too often. Recent murders by those who are supposed to protect, serve, and defend challenges the recorded murders of the many defenseless for media coverage. Respect for others is spotty, and seemingly, we can only come together when things go wrong……
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Specifically, what if everyone, and I do mean everyone, was exactly like you? Personally, I’m glad there’s only one me. The world dodged a major bullet because of that fact. How could we learn how to appreciate God’s versatility, His range, His universal care as it shows across the many cultures? It’s hair-raising and mind-boggling to try to comprehend the fact that for as many people that populate this earth how wonderfully, carefully, and uniquely we are each made in appearance, personality, skills, and values or beliefs. This society highlights differences in calamities and redefines it as individualism when otherwise convenient.
We have managed to make those who voice an opinion opposite the norm or majority to be classified as outrageous, eccentric, or outlandish. I have always believed there to be a difference between an individual bringing attention to an issue and an individual just bring an attention to him or herself. In situations of exclusion and inequality, it is a responsibility of the ‘included’ or some(one) from among them considered ‘equal to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. This is not an opportunity to cry or beg for some assistance but more about being a human and caring about other humans enough to respect them and see the God and the good in them like you would hope they see in you.
Do you recognize when someone or a group of people is not just disrespectful but completely disregarding of large segments of a population? Recognizing diversity should not include using stereotypes to justify hateful and harmful actions and words towards people who don’t share your same history, culture, or hue. The whole idea of treating people the way they want to be treated sometimes get lost on some, especially the short-sighted or the ignorant because of the inability to switch spots with some and the unwillingness to in other situations. It may not always be possible, but we have to be willing to grow past the examples we see and be the example even if no one immediately stands with us. If we did treat, talk to, and consider others the way we want others to treat, talk to, and consider us, some of the crime rates, bullying, and mental health numbers might not look as grim and menacing. – excerpt from the Social Wellness chapter of ‘B.O.U.N.C.E: Be Outstanding Understand Nothing Comes Easy’