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Power of Diversity; A Better Idea
“But, I also have a better idea. And, it is about our diversity. And its the power of the diversity, the power of the 4,000 of you and all of the people that are on the staff tower and lining the glass, the power of us as a diverse group. The power that we come from all walks of life, that we come from all parts of this country, that we come from all races, we come from all backgrounds, gender, all makeup, all upbringing. power of diversity comes together and makes us that much more powerful. That’s a much better idea than small thinking and horrible ideas.” From a September 28, 2017 speech by Jay Silveria, United States Air Force Three Star General, Lieutenant General and Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy
Delivered in less than six-minutes on Friday, I found this to be is of the most powerful, impactful, far-reaching, and meaningful speeches I have ever heard spoken against racism as well as people of different skin color gender, background, makeup and upbringing. The General’s bottom line, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect then you need to get out.”
That is Power of Diversity
I have now listened to the General’s speech no less than 10 times. I am amazed and inspired by how well he articulates not only the resolve but the solution to all facets of discrimination in humanity. For explicit clarity regarding resolve I repeat his bottom line message. If you can’t treat others with dignity and respect you need to get out. As for the solution, what “we should have is a civil discourse and talk about these issues; that’s a better idea.” It is that latter message I wish to address.
A civil discourse and conversation among the all the diverse facets and sectional differences that represent these United States is essential. And further to exclude anyone that represents a different point of view in the the conversation will not work. If anyone is excluded, whatever might get discussed and seen as a solution will not be sustainable. The power of diversity must allow for all voices to be heard, considered and appreciated. It is the ONLY way one or more folks who represent a single thought or opinion can come to understanding another’s and to then find a solution that will work for all.
There is not a person on earth that does not hold some particular bias toward another, although they may not be conscious of it act or use it to discriminate towards another. Additionally, we must learn to recognize, it is not possible, at least it does not work for a person to deny they may be bias or is displaying a bias toward another if another person feels they are not being treated equally is being discriminated against. If one feels someone believes or feels they are impacted by someone’s bias that must be considered as genuine and be respected. When one can do that the power of diversity is massive and boundless.
The human characteristic of possessing biases is another important aspect of diversity. To the extent people are able to appreciate their biases and are willing to consider and respect another person’s experience of bias, only then can they ever come to understand other’s opinions, beliefs and actions toward them.
“Race, gender, socioeconomic background and disciplinary training are all important, but only inasmuch as they are ciphers for the kinds of life experiences that produce cognitive diversity. Further, because we can’t know in advance which of those diverse backgrounds, educational experiences or intellectual tendencies might produce a breakthrough, said Page, ‘we should think of our differences as forms of talent. To leverage that talent requires patience and practice.” from:
“Why we shouldn’t underestimate power of diversity.” published at Ideas.Ted.Com