Friday, July 28, 2017

Autism Answer: Diversity Matters

 [dih-vur-si-tee, dahy-]
noun, plural diversities.
1.the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness:
diversity of opinion.
2.variety; multiformity.
3.the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.:
diversity in the workplace.
4.a point of difference.
*Definition borrowed from

Diversity matters. 

Diversity is valuable and rewarding. Diversity is necessary for a sustainable world.

It also challenges us. It, quite rightly, can trigger nervousness and fear. That's okay. It's not wrong to feel nervous or unsure, but we are safer when we are aware of ourselves and our reasons in those moments. Diversity and difference stretches, reveals, and shows us things we are unlikely, and often unable, to understand on our own. This is an important place to be; where new perspectives and possibilities live. Often we will choose to walk away; often we will choose to change and stay. Let that nervousness wake you up, don't let it make your decisions for you. 

Seek diversity! Go out of your way to find it! In your films, friends, and books. Don't be afraid of seeking it on purpose. It feels weird at first to seek, specifically, a film from another culture. It feels like you're being prejudice or creepy almost, when you ask for books or blogs written by people you will likely label incorrectly because, right now, you don't know them well enough to know how to ask. It almost feels inappropriate in the beginning, to go looking for stories about things you don't like.

Do it anyway! Watch foreign films, read books written by writers with opposite-than-you views of the world, make friends with people you are inconvenienced by. Do it all with an open mind. 

Often, you won't stay friends, or you won't fall in love with the films, or you won't feel compelled to share the content, or you won't be captivated and changed by the books. But sometimes, you will.

It's for the sometimes that we need diversity. Because the sometimes becomes us. We teach our children and loved ones from the sometimes. Sometimes is memorable. And so we are inclined to share it.
We humans are a fantastic balance of different and same. We are unique, we crave different sensory stimulus and we work with different abilities and we believe in different reasons. But we are also very much the same. Love, acceptance, freedom, food, shelter. We crave these. In different ways, and different types, but we are all pretty much the same under, under, under it all. 

This is fascinating stuff! This is sustainable and necessary to appreciate and explore! 

Diversity matters, friends. 

Seek it! Appreciate it! Don't be mad at yourself when you fear it, but don't let the fear do more than wake your awareness. Fear is not useless, friends! It's a tool. Use it well! 

Make a new friend, seek a unique story, explore a culture you catch yourself judging without experiencing. Get to know something new! 

It's important.
It matters. 

Have a fantastic and diverse weekend, friends!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)