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Understanding the Diversity in Our Society

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As a man, I have gone through countless situations in my life that have bolstered my commitment to being unique and diverse. I believe we can do more to modify feelings of diversity in our society. Also, we can improve our thinking in our unique independently.

These are not simple processes but can happen with much effort and persistence. A basic difference between diverse and unique is that diverse consists of different elements, as in various, while unique (is not comparable) is one of its kind, unequalled, or unparalleled. 

Whether someone has anxiety issues, problems with bipolar or dealing with various forms of schizophrenia, we are unique human beings. Doctors, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and the average layperson tend to group everyone having a mental health condition in a pile. Of course, let us not put the particular list together, either. No characteristics are given to our specific aspects of us.

Unfortunately, others say it means a lack of understanding that each individual is unique and recognises our differences (diversity). However, these references lack a description of a person’s outward appearance or our personal likes and/or preferences.

Instead, it uses and contains simple criteria for being different. It means people can be similar internally or externally but still be one-of-a-kind or unique.

Overall my objective is to try to explain what being unique means and what diverse signifies, point out the differences between the two and how it affects our culture as a whole. Diversity shows its hand in various fashions.

Something as easy as colour can magnify contrasts amongst various people and the contrasts of various things. Consider the colour RED and what it symbolises in three certain religions. It’s dignity and fortune in Buddhism, temptation and repentance in Christianity and joy and life in Judaism. This represents religious diversity.

Every human being is a unique person. No single individual is a representative of a certain group or culture. Yes, there is a Pope that leads Catholics, and a Grand Rabbi for the Jews is as close as it gets. Both are merely human beings, but they are unique in their way.

A comprehensive list of individual characteristics that make us unique. These traits include age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion. We also have special insides as we have different chemical makeups.

In addition, we all possess exclusive lip prints, footprints and fingerprints. This is why detectives and police departments can tell who we are.

Some people and organizations look at diversity as a list of assorted groups and having an individual from each group represented. Whether we want to admit the majority of us do this. Remember when we were younger, we chose sides for a game and ensured we had a person from each type of group. Race or ethnic groups were commonplace.

Progress only comes when we understand that practising diversity is not enough; we must alter these thoughts and perceptions into positive acts. Also, we need to accomplish more than tolerate differences; it’s about creating a culture that welcomes everyone’s uniqueness and respects each other’s ideas, perspectives and beliefs.

It is said that: “We are not united in similarities, but diversity, and that makes us unique“. Another quote from Ola Joseph, a Nigerian-born author and speaker, states: “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” Both statements highlight that our diversity makes us unique. Therefore, it is a good idea to be diverse in our thinking and how we treat others because we are all unique.

Bernardo Feldman wrote a chapter titled Cultural Identity and Diversity in Organizations: Bridging the Gap Between Group Differences and Individual Uniqueness in one of his books. He states that we can often be diverse at a group level, but no two persons are alike on the individual level, so each is unique. During the chapter, he tries to prove this idea.

The words unique and diverse are not mutually exclusive. Often they overlap, and one gets applied to the other. Similar these words are, but they are not the same.

In this article, I opened a dictionary and various websites to learn about these terms and share this with my readers. I wish we all learned something relating to either word or both. The diversity here is that we logged in a slightly different fashion with separate passwords and wanted to educate ourselves,  but the reason for each of us is unique.

Howard Diamond is a New York state-certified peer specialist from Long Island.


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