Without noticing it, we are all diverse. Every experience we have is different to someone else, even when we go through the same event, our perspective, our past, our genetics and parenting mean we feel that event differently. This is not something to be brushed over, but something to be valued and looked for whether you’re recruiting staff, building community groups or steering groups, because we need a variety of people to make society work.
Everyone is different. The days of ‘single white female’ is over and it’s time that we stopped letting pigeonholing define us. Our childhood, our gender, our sexual orientation, race, religion, education, illness, relationships, working history, friendship groups, culture, places visited or missed - each of these things creates something unique. I can’t experience the same thing as someone else and feel identical about it.
This means that in our own way we are all diverse, we are all different and we all have something to offer. It was when I heard a recent radio advert for the recruitment of judges in the judiciary system requesting diversity, I realised just how important it is. We can all offer our own experiences of life, whatever they are, and there is no-one else who can share that with you. Yes there will be similarities, but no two people will ever feel the same.
Living in a remote suburb I find that the school gates can be where the heart of the community lies. Judgements between parents, checking out the cars driven, the children in tow, those that wait for the bell and those that drop and run, each of those parents is different. There are parents who have one child, and those that have several, including those from different relationships.
There are single parents who are dog lovers, same sex parents who are sports fanatics and heterosexual parents who have had a mixture of eduction, bad childhood and adult trauma. All of these people should be treated equally, but none of them as the same - none of them need the same things and none can offer the same as each other. We need to stand up and build on this diversity, cherish it.
When I walk through the doors at work I’m met with people from part-time to full-time, university and beyond educated, to those who left school without a single qualification. Those who go home to a house full of extended family, to those who go home alone.
Throw into the equation politics, lifestyle choices, favourite foods, holidays, exercise (or not) and socialising and relaxing hobbies, everyone really is diverse. And that’s exciting, because it means they can all bring something different to the table. Whether that’s in the home, the community or the workplace, how amazing that every single person is different. As someone with bpd is taken me trying to copy everyone, realising that’s impossible, to see how wonderful it is.
Don’t assume that because your office is full of younger people or older people that they are all the same. Diversity lies within everyone, we just need to take more time to find it and use it to benefit everyone. There’s a superhero in everyone of us, we just need to find it.