Coming from an extremely conservative country like Colombia, but also having had the blessing to interact with a wide array of people from different backgrounds (not only while living abroad, but inside Colombia itself), DIVERSITY has always been an striking topic to me.
..."In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king"...
- and this is how I feel about my capacity to embrace diversity.
I am absolutely sure that my understanding of it is surely way above the average of my closest circle of influence (of course my elders, my husband, some of my friends) - and I remind you, coming from a highly conservative, narrow minded society this is nothing to be proud of. Yet in terms what it takes to understand that those "labels" (woman, man, entrepreneur, employee, poor, rich, gay, straight, smart, gorgeous, Latin, African, young, old ...) literally do no exist and that they are a mere creation and reinforcement of our human nature, totally implies a deeper level of consciousness that at time I (we) do not have.
Recently I read this article that shows through sharing the findings of a series of researches that there is something called "LOOPING EFFECTS", nothing else that all those categories that we use to believe, accept and put ourselves in, and what it`s scariest, categories that because we believe we belong to them, define our behavior. Here is also a sense of the in a nutshell:
"You won't find a legitimation of our self-categories in neurobiology. If biology is the measure of all things, then many of the categories we use to group ourselves into kinds of person — man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, professor, cheerleader — are, in fact, unreal. You don't find them in nature as it is apart from our attitudes and beliefs about that nature. At the same time, what could be more real than the way we experience ourselves as being?"
Next time you believe that you perform very good in diversity management, because you "accept" someone "different", please consider yourself a complete mediocre. Are you conscious enough to see that there are NO differences?
Also, have you realized how many things you have or have not done just because you are from the country you are, from the profession you are, from the gender you are, from the skin color you are? I did a quick refection for myself and results where scary. My motivation and highest challenge/goal at this point though is how to be a mother capable enough to transmit to her kids such a vision.
Ps. Today 26th of July national marches for gay rights (sadly, not yet for gay "pride"). Being consequent with what I just wrote, I wish homosexual activism would turn to pass a message of awareness to "LOOPING EFFECTS" rather than an "ACCEPT ME" speech.
(for Colombians, aren´t these "city" posters just too cool? specially from such highly conservative cities as Manizales, Pasto and Barranquilla)
Ps2. I love Benetton ads, even if being again consequent with what I just wrote does ass do not exist at all, since they rather stress even more the categories.