Being one to celebrate diversity…..I enjoy many different flavors of ice cream, wouldn’t it be dreadful to only eat vanilla your entire life?! The squeals of joy that come forth from my two grand kids as I ask, “Who wants ice cream?” And we say together, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” This mantra came from my dad who grew up working in his parents ice cream parlor business…..not a bad place to work! When we think of ice cream, I don’t think I know of anyone who chooses the same flavor every time….the different flavors is what makes eating ice cream so pleasurable.
This thought leads me to think about relationships, both personal and in the business arena. Relationships are fragile at best….and I am not an expert in theory nor in practice let me make that clear from the start. I really am an observer of human behavior as I enjoy it very much as well I am a participator of course.
Let’s stay with the word diversity….dictionary.com defines it as: the state of being diverse; difference; unlikeness; variety; multiformity. The opposite of diversity would then simply be sameness or similarity. One thing I enjoy about people and relationships is no one person is the same….as me….or anyone else on the planet! Each person has a unique design, DNA, like a snowflake, no one person is the same as another and this in itself is to be celebrated!
Relationships are fragile…..would it be safe to say that if we understood how unique we are and the same is true of another….that would be a good place to begin accepting each other and again, celebrating the diversity in the relationship.
From my life experience I have seen a few interesting things with regards to relationships with the almost 5 decades I’ve lived on this big beautiful planet. Sadly, I have experienced and witnessed where people’s diversity caused hurt, pain, separation, disassociation, judgment etc.
When someone chooses a new flavor of ice cream….say a new church, a new business, a new product, a new career, a new car, a new hairstyle….whatever it may be….this is something we should all be celebrating! For example, I grew up attending church every Sunday morning. We started at a United Church, moved to a Free Methodist, then to a Free Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic etc. I think there may have been a Baptist in there as well. Back in that time…it was almost viewed a “sin” to change one’s church preferences; the Baptists didn’t associate with the Pentecostals and vice versa.
Moving ahead to our present time…..I ask myself has much changed? I can honestly say with joy, yes! Yet, there is still a ways to go
I still see where people disassociate with someone they were in relationship with simply due to a preference for things like: a new business, a new product, a new house, bank, church, school…..you get the picture. You will even find people “de-friending” people on face book for not being in the same business any longer or promoting what they believe is the “right” thing. My honest thoughts on this is summed up in 3 simple words “Get over yourself!” Seriously, the world is a big beautiful place for you and your flavor of ice cream that you enjoy and for others who may enjoy another flavor.
One of my favorite expressions is this: Unity in diversity is power! Isn’t that great! When we can not only accept that people are different from us, they may think different, go to a church that is different than ours or use a product different than the one we use…..but we can move forward to not only acceptance but celebration! One size truly does not fit all in this context.
Hey, I’m heading out for an ice cream cone….3 scoops…cause I think I want to taste 3 different flavors today
Enjoy this beautiful day and choose to celebrate the beauty in simplicity and in diversity….I know I am!
With great joy, Kristen