Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diversity, Passion, and Toast in the Morning

Diversity is beautiful. I don't just mean sociological, ethnic, and economic diversity. In our rush to press for greater diversity, we've lost the diverse scope of the word's meaning. We have to keep adding categories under "Diverse," and are almost surprised each time: gender, race, sexual orientation...oh, and age too. Oh, and mental ability/disability too. Oh, and...

And stubborn versus willing people. And kind versus principled people. And spontaneous versus organized people. And, and, and.

The diverse diversity of people is beautiful. Brilliant.

It's only when we're different that we're perfect.

It's impossible for anyone to [attempt to] embody the entire scope of perfection. We need someone who will bring criminals to justice, and we need someone who will go to wrongdoers and help them learn to be better, and those two jobs can't be carried out fully by one person. You need someone who is perfectly passionate about justice and someone else perfectly passionate about mercy and together they can carve a better place for you and I.

Not that just people can't be merciful, or that merciful people can't strive to be just. But the actual vocations are, in some ways, mutually exclusive. Humans don't have the emotional or intellectual or moral capacity to look out perfectly for everyone on earth. So everyone looks out for a few people, and in the end we're all looked out for by someone.

Everyone has different passions. Everyone has something different that they're striving for.

I love nonwriters because without them, I wouldn't have denim or glass or computer circuits or toast in the morning. I hope the people who make those things love writers, because without us, they wouldn't have libraries full of stories.

I care about many social issues. I care about the environment, the beautiful natural world that we rely on for everything down to the air we breathe and yet we keep dumping toxins and waste into. I care about the mass number of people around the world who are forced to work in inhuman conditions for unlivable wages, many without choice--modern day slavery. I care about people suffering from mental illness and trying to just find a sense of normalcy in life. I care about people who are locked in a room and raped 10-20 times a day against their will so that someone else can make a profit.

I care about all those issues. I am fighting. But I know I can't solve all of them. Worse, I know that sometimes I have to choose which issue I am going to fight for. I can buy housewares from thrift stores and know I'm doing well by both the environment and the global slavery crisis, but sometimes I have to choose between an environmentally-friendly appliance upgrade and putting money towards freeing women enslaved to pimps in Southeast Asia or southeast Virginia.

That's why I'm not alone. That's why not everyone is like me--why, in fact, we are all so different. Because someone else out there is doing what I'm not. Together we'll work on solving the world's problems. We'll make progress, not because we're the same but because we're different, doing different things in a complex world.

I am a just person. But I am not a very kind person. It's my personality type (INTJ). I work on being kinder, but in the end, I'm glad there are naturally kind people out there doing what I'm not. And I'm also glad that I'm here, doing the just thing, to help balance out their kindness.

It takes two to make the world a better place. Actually, it takes seven billion. Isn't that why God created us all different?

Word count: 613.