Real Diversity

Diverse Family

Thought for the Week

“Modern writers have suggested,” G.K. Chesterton argues (and it’s hard to believe he wrote this almost 120 years ago), that because of its lack of diversity, “the family is a bad institution.” G.K. ChestertonAnd yet ironically, he goes on, “they are dismayed and terrified by the largeness and variety of the family.”

Seeking diversity (the ultimate human adventure), many move away from their provincial town or suburb to some throbbing metropolis. And there, amid the smorgasbord of ethnicities and cultures, hip deep in the goulash of hobbies, fancies and obsessions, “(they) succumb to the strange delusion that they are stepping into a world which is larger and more varied.” When, in truth, they are able to accomplish the opposite: to find a whole group of people exactly like themselves! And in doing so, they come more and more to believe there is something wrong with anyone who is not like them.

If you want real diversity, Chesterton insists, “climb down a chimney into any house at random, and get on as well as possible with the people inside. (For) that is essentially what each one of us did on the day that he was born.”

If you want to learn tolerance, talk to “that guy” across the hall. Or “that woman” in the next cubicle. Or “that couple” in the front pew. Or simply sit down and wait for your family to come home! For we find the greatest challenge to our preferences and prejudices among those we choose not to be with.

Who don’t you get? Who are you uncomfortable with? Meet them for coffee, or tea, or whatever “weird” thing they prefer. Then listen to them, really listen. You don’t have to agree with them. But listen. And try to understand. Because understanding trumps agreement any day. What are you waiting for?

The ultimate adventure awaits!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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35 Responses to Real Diversity

  1. Anonymous says:

    nice one!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this post, Mitch! Society puts are high premium on diversity but so often won’t hear diverse views.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. sooo, when are you available?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dougdial says:

    YES! Absolutely and amen!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ejstoo says:

    But then you miss the special group of people who do not have a chimney 😉 Sorry, little tired right now…it’s the only thing that popped into my head 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Excellent advice, thank you (and G.K. Chesterton, too).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. José Manuel says:

    Thanks a lot, so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Todd R says:

    Yep. Our culture claims to prize individualism, but it’s not true in many cases.
    Do you know the source for the GK stuff? I’d love to read more of what he said about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Understanding trumps agreement any day.” – It’s a lot more interesting, too. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Another post of wise advice, Mitch! I’m another who appreciates the point: “Understanding trumps agreement.” Makes life much more interesting to mix it up a bit. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded, similarly-experienced people is like eating plain vanilla ice cream–it’s okay but not nearly as delicious/interesting as adding hot fudge, nuts, and cherries to the mix!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Belynda Womack says:

    Hey Mitch!
    I told Belynda that I get two postings from you ever day…
    Mitch must have some following…
    Belynda said, “Yeah, He’s one of the guys, famous you know”.
    One of those guys? Wow
    Keep it up Mitch!
    Warren Womack
    Portland, Oregon

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Chesterton’s wisdom has proven to be timeless. And the flaws of society are almost as changeless. Do you think we will ever learn?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting for an Aussie to read this the day after the news of the shooting in Buffalo hits our TVs. Seems that misguided youth was not on board with diversity. In Australia, we took in so many displaced persons after WWII, and then Vietnam, and then from the early 70s embraced a concept called multiculturism that we are now quite the melting pot. Although of course more recent arrivals gravitate to the suburbs where they already have family, friends, or job opportunities, and you will find pockets of resentment towards newcomers, on the whole, our acceptance and tolerance is high. I’ve been part of large work teams that are a veritable United Nations!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Meeting new people have always been a scary experience for me. Sometimes I may end up being too honest or give off an impression that I’m being too forward…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Real Diversity – Entertainment

  16. Ann Coleman says:

    So true! I get so tired of people defining diversity as simply hanging out with people who have a different color of skin. That’s easy…the difficult thing is to hang out with people who have very different values from us, and people who make us uneasy and uncomfortable. Or, as you suggest, just being open to get to know ANYONE. That’s how we grow and learn that maybe, just maybe, we’re not so different after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Margy says:

    Moving to the ‘Alt-Middle’ – ZDoggMD explains why and how quite clearly in a number of his videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve become a big fan of Chesterton’s essays in the last year or two. Although he wrote, as you mentioned, over 100 years ago, sometimes it sounds like he could have written his essays last week.
    Despite all of our advances in technology and society, “there is nothing new under the sun.” It seems like we’re always having the same cultural debates, even if we change the jargon every few years to make it sound new.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. When we agree, it’s great, but even when we don’t, as you said, we can still listen and understand. If we all agreed on everything, how boring that would be!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Call Me Mr. Sunshine | Mitch Teemley

  21. Neal Saye says:

    Trump is evil personified.

    Like

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