If you could build a championship football team in any way you wanted, would you have Tom Brady at every position? No, you wouldn’t. Even though he is the best player in the history of football, teams require different skills at every position to win. Do you know another name for different skills? Diversity.
Study after study shows that teams in the workplace also benefit from diversity. More viewpoints, more experience, and more competition lead to better outcomes. “Group think” is the killer of great team output. If everyone thinks the same in a team, the group members all agree a certain idea is the best, but often times its baseless and fails to deliver.
The same applies for societies. That is why the USA has been so successful. We allow for the freedom to be unique and diverse. But this doesn’t come naturally. It must be fought for and preserved.
Unfortunately, the opposite comes naturally. Our instinct is to be afraid of things that are different. If its not like us it could be a threat. In today’s age, we have the capacity to be rational, and overcome this primitive fear.
We must realize that diversity helps everyone. It helps the economy to be innovative. It helps the arts to be expressive. It helps people allow others to live their lives free from unfair ridicule.
The hard part about diversity is spreading the message. The instinctive fear is real, and its hard to open people’s eyes. Those who believe their gut is so right, to trust a primitive instinct blindly, usually aren’t open to rational argument. So, like in my opening anecdote, I try to find simple ways to describe diversity’s benefits.
So I implore you, please try to convince people diversity helps everyone. People different from you, whether gay, another religion, another skin color, another gender preference, actually bring more skills to the championship football team of life. A team that you are on, no matter who you are.
Encourage diversity. Support it when you see it. Foster it in your friends and family.
I had no idea what to write for this Listserv, I always wanted to be picked, but when the time came, this I felt was the most constructive way I could use this opportunity, even though I’m probably preaching to the choir.
My second candidate was to just write a few jokes. I try everyday to make other people’s lives a little brighter. Have a positive outlook. You control your own happiness. Be thankful. Everyday make an effort to leave the day with more positivity put into the world.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
San Diego, CA