How to connect diversity. Bridging Social Gaps in people of different backgrounds. Celebrate.
Diversity and Commonality, Sympathy and Empathy
Diversity is divinity. The uniqueness in all of us is worth noting. Knowing diversity is the first step toward connecting diversity. We have so much in common to bridge the gap it is a shame if we do not take advantage of diversity and commonality.
Think about this: We say "I feel so sorry for her". That is sympathy. Empathy has us saying "I feel you pain" and meaning it. Too many times a hand stretching across diversity is one of sympathy. And we hear, "I do not want you pity". and "I tried to help but he would not take it".
Well let us jump out of that circular garbage that prevents real bridges from being built.
This sign was cast aside by vandals, who then pray painted their sign on some beautiful cliff faces.
Let us tackle the gender gap first.
There is a difference between men and women and indeed little boys and little girls. If you ask for proof of that, you are too young to be reading this. ;-) It is a wonderful gap and I caution against bridging it completely. Sometimes it is best to give some sacred territory to the other side. Even if it is just in our minds or even totally individual.
While I am big and burly and "manly", I am super sensitive. While my wife is very feminine and petite she is not so sensitive. In our house she is the tough guy and I am the and I am the the submissive one when it comes to our relationship. But as it comes to our small child I am the tough guy and she the submissive one. The kitchen used to be all mine, now it is all hers. Things are dynamic. I used to be the stay and home and her the principle breadwinner, now it is closer to reversed. She shops for what she wants and I shop for what I want. And we both enjoy what the other brought home.
So that gap here has been bridged, well enough. And yet still when dealing with issues her domain is much more about feeling and mine much more result oriented. Those are our domains. And while it is not easy we respect that. And in essence that is not bridging a gap it is maintaining a healthy one.
So in the above illustration I hope we see that the real bridge builder is respect. This is key in all aspects.
All I am asking for is just a little respect
Respect your self
Do you respect yourself?
Race, Culture and Ethnicity
This gap is becoming less and less. Not more and more as some scream. Most those claiming it is worse were not here and cognizant 50 years ago. I do not care what anyone quips. A descendant of a slave is now President of the United States. That is not how it could be in 1967. Now there is still bias everywhere. There are still loud obnoxious idiots spewing racist crap. Get over it that is not a reflection of society as a whole at all. In fact it is the new frontier in bridging gaps. Did you ever think, how you could help bridge the gap between the intellectual neanderthals and people who are normal?
I am quite certain that color blindness is a completely stupid notion. Why would you want to be blind to a persons identity? Why would you want to put blinders on when seeing an ethnic cultural tradition? Equality does not equate to sameness.
We need to see a man for who he is and respect that. There is no respect when we see a man and think him just the same as all others. That is the antithesis of equality. Why don't we all just get numbers instead of names and all wear the exact same clothes?
Bridging the gap in this area is only achieved by celebrating and embracing diversity. While we are to look for things in common we must not desire to be common.
Do we want to see everyone just like this?
Look at our school systems. If you came here from nowhere and saw it you would just scratch you head and ask why? Why are they separated by age? It makes no rational sense, except for ease of administration and age bias. And it beats it into our culture from a very early age. With my children we ended up holding one back and sending one forward. The one forward has a Masters from the American University in DC and the one back has two degrees from Berekely. My son 3.6 years old who is starting to read and gets his numbers and is in preschool lost his buddy who is 5 and had to go to kindergarten who cannot get through the alphabet and has trouble counting to ten. What insanity. Here is a cool piece from Friar Jude Siciliano:
I heard about the reintroduction of one-room school houses in some rural areas that have limited education budgets. One side effect of such schools is that they break down artificial barriers that exist by age. Normally-separated older children can care for younger ones by teaching them, buttoning their jackets, playing with them at recess, etc. One teacher gave an example of a tough younger boy who had conflict issues at home. He was assigned to the care of a younger boy and the teacher said he was very nurturing, "One of the most caring examples I have ever seen among kids."
And do not even get me started on How our media suggests we should all look young and have abs to die for. Age is not bad simply because we do not look young. I spend a great deal of time with "hot" twenty somethings. I would not go back there for the world. And they definitely discriminate against me because of my age. That seemingly is appropriate these days. Well that is a whole other article.
Strange how a bridge in one case can be a barrier in another
Common types of gaps
Exclusivity in a club is banned in most instances. But not in most churches. Strange isn't it. Oh do not get me wrong, in most USA white bread religious centers of worship all are welcome to come but really not welcome to stay unless you adopt the initiation to get into the club. Now why in the world would Mormons have parts of a church where only so and so's could go? Why would a Muslim not want a Christian sitting next to him? Why would a Catholic church not give communion to a baptized Baptist?
Religious gaps are just astounding. I used to go to a Buddhist temple and enjoy the atmosphere and tradition. The service was all in Vietnamese. And they knew me to be Christian. Yet I was welcomed and treated respectfully. I often wonder why. When I should not even ask that question.