Expat · Writing Memoir

Celebrating similarities

Celebrating diversity similarities

Post TEDxDoiSuthep, my friends and I were discussing the overused bumper sticker of a phrase: Celebrate Diversity. And then it was brought up, Why don’t we celebrate similarities? Afterall, the news already does a nausating job of pointing out cultural differences and all the valid reasons why we have wars and conflicts. Why not get into a tenderizing discussion on how we all want security, love, chocolate, and grow old and die?

I suppose it is not sexy enough.

There is an exercise in discovering whether or not you are the type of person who focuses on similarities or differences. Basically it involves three quarters or any coin would do. Two are heads and one is tails. Are your eyes drawn to the different coin or that two are alike? Since the children’s TV program, Sesame Street had this “which one of these things is not like the other” segment, I have to admit, I’m see the tail.

Yes, I’m blaming a TV show. Diversity is an interesting word isn’t it? Can I loathe it because I’m told to celebrate it? Now I understand that on a biological level, diversity makes for way better looking kids but sometimes I think we need to stop celebrating how different everyone is. I mean, I can see how diverse we all look. I don’t think, Oh, he’s got two ears like me.

I think about all the shapes, sizes, textures, colors of hair, eyes, legs, whatever. Everyone is so different and isn’t that beautiful? No! This is how wars are waged. You are not the same as me. You don’t look like me so you must not have any feelings or some other whacked sub-human thought process.

I realize we’ve come a long way and celebrating or lionizing spicy variety is a big step from putting other folks down. And say, genocide. But I think in this series of evolution growth spurts, we need to keep pushing forward and start to shift our minds towards similarities. Science gets it. And we all appreciate science, don’t we?

So let’s get on the scientific bandwagon and yeehaw our way over to something that will do a better job of bringing us all together. Because differences don’t bring us together, sameness does. Hello! We have tennis clubs, drama clubs, AA, and golf clubs now that I think about it, but the point is we form organizations around the same passions we have.

Something that struck me at the conference was the video about the Virtual Choir 2,000 Voices Strong. I have always believed that politics won’t bring together like art and Eric Whitacre’s project was case and point, and club. Anger and upsetness makes for riots and protests but creativity and love makes for music, theatre, sculpting, writing and rainbows.

The Virtual Choir is about people contributing to a piece of music, their voices and talents. This all over the world participation prompted Virtual Choir 2.0 and is amazing to hear and see. On a different note, this makes me think of when you are at a concert and you watch everyone swim to the same songs. I always look around in awe and think, Yeahhh Baby!

People coming together. Celebrating similarities.

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