Globalization has exposed us to diversity. The increasingly free movement of ideas, cultures and individuals across borders has seen people confront different, sometimes conflicting ideas, views, habits and customs.
Diversity comes in many forms: gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, culture, socioeconomic background, etc. All of these contribute to an individual’s unique experience of the world.
Valuing diversity means respecting human worth. A system is strengthened when it recognizes and appreciates the varied backgrounds of those it serves.
Diversity is needed to bring together the brightest minds to create solutions to business, economic, and social challenges. This is a call to leadership; the type of leadership which is evidenced by one’s ability to learn from others, develop a shared vision, and build cultural bridges.
Diversity provides more to learn from each other and thus makes the whole stronger. The most urgent task is to create societies where people interact in meaningful ways.
The people of Kenya need to view diversity as what makes them who they are and not a threat to who they are.
By Kenyans having understood the importance of embracing diversity, it will provide then with a platform to discuss concrete ideas regarding their priority agendas and influence their daily practice by allowing them to learn from and be inspired by each other.
Diversity and inclusion works hand in hand so that there is dual focus that ensures not only inclusion but also strengthening the skills and behaviors needed to fully accept and promote differences in the society. Some differences are more obvious than others, such as ethnicity, religion or language.
In order for Kenyans to view and utilize diversity to their advantage, they need to deliberately equip themselves with relevant skills and competencies that will not only be beneficial for an individual but to the society as a whole. Diversity means bring people together. It means creating opportunities that are shared harmoniously and this in return brings about togetherness.
Here are some more reasons why diversity is an important aspect in Kenya:
Bringing together people of various backgrounds with different life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others may not have ever considered or been aware of. Everyone has their own way of viewing a problem, shaped by the individual experiences that they have had.
If one experiences diversity in their every day life, they will have regular exposure to people, cultures, traditions, and practices that are unlike their own. They will learn the skills to communicate and interact with communities and concepts that they are unfamiliar with and gain a worldlier view.
Hearing about another’s experience can shed light on a life different than your own and provide you a new perspective. When one compares their struggles, priorities, and values, they can really begin to comprehend where an individual is coming from and understand his or her actions and behaviors. Perhaps talking to someone new will change one’s mindset and priorities, or at least make one appreciate another’s motivations and hardships.
Promoting diversity is the first step to not just “tolerance,” but true acceptance. Through growing contact with, exposure to, and communication between new people with unique ideas, individuals may see that they may have more in common than they thought. Or, they may still be remarkably different, and that is okay, too! Increasing familiarity with these differences can alter perspectives, facilitate acceptance, and diminish the misconceptions and prejudices that fuel discrimination.
The original article was published by Amp Global Youth