Strength in Diversity

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.~ Maya Angelou

I had an interesting experience today. Someone was reviewing my resume and commented on how many things I’ve been involved with over the years. Also noted was the duration of time I’ve committed to various interests. I know that everyone’s interests change over time, but apparently my pattern doesn’t fit what this individual felt was average.

It was an odd feeling to have my life dissected this way. Trying to find a way to explain why some causes are nearer and dearer than others. I thought that I was just going with the ebb and flow of life. Apparently, I’m not. I’ve always been an avid reader and continue to read 3-7 books per week. I go though phases of genres, but you will rarely find me without a book nearby. I’m a professional student, pursuing knowledge just for the sake of knowing. I take up the banner of many causes.

I won’t dismiss that I share Autistic traits with my children. I don’t obsess over topics to the point of excluding other activities, but I do want to know as much as possible about my current interests. My knowledge is far from encyclopedic as I forget things when they are no longer useful. But, the reviewer though it odd that I can retrieve esoteric information when prompted. I feel like a science project right now.

At what point do we earn the label of “abnormal?” I really want to know how many people it takes to make that determination. I frequently read articles written by adults with Autism that they are tired of being told how weird they are or how they feel “abnormal” because of the way people treat them. After today, I can honestly say I relate.

We are so busy trying to label and containerized each person that we are forgetting that our differences are what make us diverse. This diversity is our creative force. It’s what generates new ideas, breaks new social ground and pushes each of us to be better people. Instead of fussing over our differences, let’s embrace them and use our collective strength to progress towards greater humantity.

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