The Beauty of Diversity


Diversity is the most beautiful thing in the world.  If you can suspend your judgements and look at the world through the perspective of diversity, you will be treated to a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns, habits, traditions, ideas, beliefs, and stories.  You will see a world that is complex beyond belief.  A world that no artist or musician or writer could even begin to describe.  Take away diversity and the world is a grey amalgam of people who look alike, think alike, and act alike.  Diversity makes the world interesting and challenging.

For some, diversity conjures up the idea of race.  Many people think of diversity only in terms of race or gender.  I remember when I used to facilitate leadership teams and project teams.  I would use the Myer Briggs Personality Inventory to balance out specific psychological characteristics for my teams.  My primary thought was that we needed a balance of viewpoints and ways of looking at problems.  The Myer Briggs rated people on 4 scales that included:  introversion versus extraversion, thinking versus feeling, perceiving versus judging and concrete orientation versus sensing orientation.  I wanted to ensure that I had a diversity of thinking styles and not just gender or ethnic diversity.

There are many kinds of diversity.  Scientists have shown that the concept of race is not very scientific.  I shall call the various skin colors in the human race as pigmentation diversity.  We can also have cultural or ethnic diversity, intellectual diversity, gender diversity and religious diversity.  Each of the aforementioned types of diversity can add flavor and spice to life, IF and that is the big issue IF.  IF, you are open minded to the differences in the human race, diversity can be a blessing.  However, diversity can be a two-edged sword.  By its very nature, diversity tends to be exclusive rather than inclusive.  Many people think that they are superior to others because of some attribute that they possess. 


Some types of diversity are more exclusionary than others.  Income diversity, political diversity, education diversity and pigmentation diversity have led many people to unsubstantiated feelings of superiority.  Rich people may feel that they are superior to poor people.  Light skinned people may feel superior to darker skinned people.  More educated people may feel superior to less educated people.  The beauty of diversity gets twisted around like a pretzel until it is no longer recognizable.  It is hard to grasp the fact that some people are opposed to diversity and prefer to live among people who are exactly like them.  For these humans, diversity is something that they would eliminate from their lives.  The concept that “variety is the spice of life” fails to inspire those who think that they may have to share the world with people who are different. 

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There are too many people who do not understand the distinction between the concepts of difference and deficit.  Diversity is always a difference.  A deficit is something that is inferior to something else.  Only fools make the claim that diversity and deficits are the same.  Rich people are not better than poor people.  Educated people are not more intelligent than less educated people.  Lighter skinned people are not superior to darker skinned people. 

The words better, intelligent and superior have no causal relationship to groups of people.  People have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities but none of these have been inextricably linked to color, gender, education, income, culture, religion, or numerous other aspects of diversity.  Of course there are some characteristics (particularly age) that can be linked to physical abilities but to assume that all younger people are better than all older people when it comes to physical abilities would be meaningless.  It would certainly not be a bias that anyone would choose to use for excluding older people from the human race.  I am thinking of the movie “Soylent Green” where older people were turned into food for the younger people when they were deemed too old to be useful to society. 


When it comes to diversity, only the Vulcans had it right.  Their IDIC principle stood for “Infinite Diversity through Infinite Combination.”  The history of humanity exhibits a love hate affair with diversity.  The world is divided up by culture, ethnicity, religion, tribes, clans, and castes.  “Mine is better than yours” could be the motto for the human race.  My god, my religion, my skin color, my beliefs.  Small wonder that so many tragedies are brought on by our small-minded beliefs. 

Never before in history have we seen such stupidity and narrow mindedness circling the globe.  Stupidity and intelligence are two very different things.  In the past four years, I have witnessed stupidity among many highly intelligent and accomplished individuals.  Stupidity is a lack of breadth and depth when looking at the world.  When one only sees the benefits of their own tribe and sees the differences of other tribes as a deficit that is stupidity.  Two major factors account for much of the misery facing humanity today.


The first factor that is driving volatility and unrest in many parts of the world is the availability of low cost and relatively high-speed transportation.  We are now capable of mixing the world with one big stirring spoon.  People have been warned in the USA that in so many years, white people will no longer be the majority.  This is perceived as a threat.  Elsewhere in the world, countries are facing a dilution of their traditional populations due to both forced and chosen migrations.  People who have lived with the “same” neighbors for years are now threatened by people of different backgrounds.  In the US, we have seen a huge increase in “gated” communities.  “Let’s keep out anyone who is different!”  Data from one survey in 2015 showed nearly 11 million Americans living in gated communities.  This number has surely increased dramatically in the past seven years.  Borders may serve the same purpose.  A large number of American citizens supported Trump’s building a border wall with Mexico.

One pundit asked and answered the question: “Why does America have so many gated communities?”

“Gated Communities are mainly successful because millions of Americans tend to seek happiness in their way of life.  Many of them are willing to pay a high price to live their own American dream while isolating themselves into artificial perfection with people and rules they chose.”


The second factor driving much of the unrest in the world has been the availability of low-cost communication systems that are capable of both uniting and dividing cultures the world over.  The Internet and the cellphone are tools that can be used to improve the world.  They can be used to help people understand and appreciate the differences that exist in the world.  However, they can also be used to create greater animosity and divisiveness throughout the world.  People who are afraid of change and fear differences are much more likely to resort to media that allows them to join tribes of like-minded people.  Instead of becoming tools to improve civilization, the Internet and cellphones are used to destroy civilization.  By spreading misinformation, disinformation, and distortions, modern media has encouraged a negative rather than a positive view of diversity.   

Much of what I am saying is not new.  These characteristics of bigoty, ethnocentricity, xenophobia and racism have always been part of humanity.  When we mix fear and greed in the “melting pot”, and give pathways to these attributes, the result is violence and devastation. 


On a minor scale think of a sporting event where people adopt an “identify” based on some misguided loyalty or egoistic need to a particular team.  The Packer fans sit on one side of the football stadium while the Viking fans sit on the other side.  The Japanese sit on one side of the soccer stadium and the South Koreans sit on the other side.  The Indians sit on one side of the cricket stadium and the Pakistanis sit on the other side.  Each side cheers the scoring and plays of “their” team while booing the plays of the other team.  When things don’t go well for one side, the result may be violence off the field as well as on it.  Soccer has a well-deserved record of riots and hooliganism.  I tried to count the number of soccer riots and lost count.  Hardly any sport in the world has been immune from instances of violence and mayhem.  People don’t enjoy having their “identity” defiled by being part of a losing team. 

I mentioned that “sports” is a minor scale event compared to events concerning religion, culture, politics, or economics.  Just imagine the potential for violence when Muslims versus Christians or Communists versus Capitalists or Democrats versus Republicans.  The amazing thing is that the world is not less civilized than it currently is.  People in the USA today bemoan the divisiveness in politics as something seemingly new.  I submit it is not new but that it has become more evident with the Internet and media.  The media love to hype every event to the nth degree in hopes of selling more advertisement.  Due to the numerous channels of communication that distort and bias events according to the prejudices of the perceiver, we now have chasms of truth, glaciers of lies and mountains of deceitfulness.  Stupidity and intolerance are beyond the pandemic stage and have become endemic the world over.  We have more to fear from bigotry than we do from the Corona virus. 


How can we learn to see beauty in diversity?  How do we hope to overcome the ugliness that some people see in the differences that exist in the human race?  Can we convince people that a difference is not a deficit?  I think of words like tolerance, respect, understanding, open-mindedness, progressive, merciful, kindhearted, loving, and compassionate.  Is it too much to expect that we can show these later attributes to people who are different?  If we could only extend these thoughts to people who do not belong to our tribe, we could change the world.


“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior, and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war.  And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes and until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war.  And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.”  ― Haile Selassie I, Selected Speeches

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nancykkkkk
    Jan 27, 2022 @ 14:08:37

    John. Great article. Very thought-provoking. I believe we glom together with those like us, so we don’t have to examine our own biases. When we’re surrounded by those who look, think, and act like use, we get validated for standing still and we don’t get challenged to grow.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Jane Fritz
    Jan 27, 2022 @ 15:39:25

    Needless to say, John, I agree with every single solitary thing you said. Beautifully stated. If only … ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



  3. Wayne Woodman
    Jan 27, 2022 @ 15:51:47

    Thanks John for a great article which is both illuminating and dark together. I fully believe Selassie’s quote and not quite optimistic enough to believe it can happen. If a “Christian” can hate another for any reason what chance does anyone have? All religions are supposedly based on doing no harm to others and treating others as you would like to be treated but it doesn’t seem to work. When affluent people vacation we are looking for diversity but we don’t want it at home where it just might cause us to think and compare our lives, not good!



  4. Wayne Woodman
    Jan 27, 2022 @ 15:53:18

    Reblogged this on Musings and Wonderings and commented:
    Another great post from John Persico on the theme of diversity.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. James McClurg
    Jan 29, 2022 @ 23:31:39

    I will undoubtedly have a dissenting opinion on this matter. But perhaps if diversity is truly appreciated in this discourse, then my opinion will be respected.

    I grew up in Southern California (I moved to San Diego from Puerto Rico when I was 6) and had my formative years in the 90s and 2000s in Southern California. I absolutely adored the diversity of cultures that I experienced in my formative years having had an extremely broad and eclectic group of friends. My circle of friends was basically the international crowd and I delighted in experiencing and learning about the uniqueness and excellence of other cultures. Furthermore, I had the luxury of experiencing cinema in an era that was post-racism in the cultural zeitgeist. There was generally a color blindness in the production of films and television series with phenotype of the actor/actress being secondary to the quality of acting and the excellence with which characters were written.

    Given this background, I am thoroughly appalled and disgusted by the contemporary weaponization of diversity and I am alarmed at how many people have been suckered into misunderstanding what is happening in the name of “diversity” and “inclusivity.” How grown adults are unable to understand basic Trojan Horse tactics and Divide and Rule tactics is utterly shameful. At least in California we HAD diversity and we HAD inclusivity. Now we have deranged politics and reprehensible social engineering. What is being done is being done not for the sake of inclusivity but for the sake of a new “metric” of pseudo-legitimacy which ultimately is designed to facilitate the agendas of the oligarchic “elite.” An “elite” which giddily stomp on the collective face of humanity and forces the caustic and reprehensible upon hapless and servile civilizations. And we are collectively goaded into accepted increasingly deviant and totalitarian “new normals” lest we be shunned for being “intolerant.”

    This new rhetoric is of “inclusivity” and “diversity” is one that merely champions oligarchic agendas while having the audacity of pretending to be grassroots popular opinion. Any meaningful discussion of these topics which cannot honestly address propaganda, psychological warfare, social engineering, sociocultural warfare, and indoctrination which is being amply and aggressively shoved down the collective throats of humanity is merely ignoring the raging and trumpeting elephant in our collective living room.

    Personally, I have become extremely intolerant of weaponized diversity and psychological warfare campaigns. If we cannot collectively stand against what is being done and make a stark distinction between authentic diversity and its weaponized and destructive counterpart, we are merely aiding the fomenting of divisions and the engineering of a predictable harsh backlash which will be all-encompassing in its wrath. This backlash will make no distinction between the weaponized and the authentic/organic as is the intent of this psychological warfare campaign. When the “diversity” that is being championed is so reprehensible and overtly criminal, there will be a very predictable response to this assault on the sensibilities of societies.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Dr. John Persico Jr.
      Jan 30, 2022 @ 04:32:45

      James, you have a point. Any concept or idea or ideology can be misused. My point is that we need to individually see the beauty in diversity but not as a political position but as something aesthetic and helpful to life. Karen and I were thinking about my idea of greyness and we wondered if there was only one note in music what it would be like. I am not for governments telling me what to respect or what to do but in any society there are rules and protocols that must be followed for it to be called civilized. People get the government they deserve is one trope I used to like. Not sure that is always true and often sad. Thanks for commenting, John



      • James McClurg
        Jan 30, 2022 @ 05:24:59

        If this is the purely the sense in which it is being discussed then I agree with your stance on diversity. Diversity is something I have historically reveled in and greatly appreciated.

        In this era I have been dismayed at how the virtues and strengths of the past are coopted for political purposes and twisted into a social ills. One treads with trepidation as too often that which gives life and vitality is commandeered for dark ends.

        Looking forward to catching up on your previous posts.



        • Dr. John Persico Jr.
          Jan 30, 2022 @ 08:29:26

          Thanks James, I hope you enjoy some of my other posts. Lord knows, I have about 900 up. Some you will like, some you will probably hate. I write to help provoke thinking. I do not believe I have the “ultimate” truth on anything or that the ultimate truth even exists. John



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