Think about the last time you really felt excited about what you were doing…the last time you felt like you were recharging your batteries and creating an experience you’d remember forever.
Chances are, you weren’t slogging through your morning routine (coffee, shower, brush teeth…rinse, lather, repeat), folding yet another load of laundry, or even (re)binge watching your favourite show on Netflix. Instead, you were probably doing and learning something new, or spending time with friends and family whose company you value and enjoy.
That’s a good way to look at the larger idea of embracing inclusion and diversity.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with familiarity. We all feel that spark of connection when we meet someone who grew up in our hometown, and we all love the warmth and comfort of confiding to a friend whose known us since we were in kindergarten.
But wouldn’t life get a little boring if that’s all that was out there?
As we journey through life, we grown and evolve. Part of that is meeting new people, many of whom will have very different life experiences than our own…people who have a story to tell and an entire life’s worth of experiences to share.
And there’s where the thrill of it comes in.
Friends who grew up in different countries or in families from different countries can be one another’s guides in experiencing everything from new holiday traditions to exotic foods to different languages. Getting to know someone of a different religion means learning the rich and beautiful customs of another faith. People from different racial or ethnic communities can give each other a peek at the challenges, hopes, dreams and passions that drive their lives.
Diversity makes life interesting. Learning from people with different life experiences than our own opens our eyes and minds and souls. I think it keeps us young, or at least young at heart.
And diversity is also what makes our community strong.