For much of the world, this week has brought quite a lot of conversation surrounding diversity and tolerance. While difficult to watch and participate in, these discussions can be crucial for each of us to have in some way or another, no matter our political ideals, personal experience, or ideas of our future. When we come together to listen and share with one another, we can truly grow.
Our world has changed dramatically, becoming closer and closer as time passes. We are exposed to the multitude of cultures, traditions, history, and realities of people across the world now more than ever before. We can access, learn from, and collaborate with one another, but we can also find the tensions and differences between us as well. Our newfound proximity can be seen as both a risk and an incredible opportunity. How we choose to view and utilise this is up to us.
What can we do right now?
Being honest. In many instances, when we come across uncomfortable conversations, events, or experiences, we tend to shut down and cover up. This can be helpful in certain situations, but often, sharing openly and honestly can be more beneficial in the long-term. We can all strive to be both respectful and honest in our actions and words.
Listening. There is constant information around us about the experiences and needs of people who are different from us, all we need to do now is to listen.
Asking questions and doing our own research. There are many ways to expose ourselves to people who are different from ourselves on a daily basis. For some of us, this may require changes in habits, but this can be done wherever we are.
Sharing. When we find information that was useful or interesting, we can share this with others who might need the same new perspectives we’ve been exposed to. Being mindful of our method and tone is generally useful to keep in mind here.
Look to our workplaces. In many ways, our businesses mirror what we think and feel about the world and what it needs. Do they need some shaking up?
Looking at our language. We can often get stuck in our habits, particularly with how we speak. Are we doing our best? Are we speaking with respect, intent, and integrity? This can be incredibly difficult, but well worth a tune-up.
Practicing empathy. No one has the exact same life experiences as we do, so it makes sense that there will be differences in opinion and perspective. This is an area where each of us can work on understanding the feelings, experiences, and thoughts of someone who is unlike us, in one way or another. When we practice empathy, we can widen our understanding of others and the world around us.
This week, we can remember that where we see difference, there will always be similarity, we may just need to dig a little deeper. When we can recognise our shared humanity, we can find shared values and goals. These are necessary aspects of our growth, together.
Have a wonderful week of asking, growing, and exploring.