On the several occasions I have gone to New York, I have always been deeply struck by the diversity of the people – every nation and language under the sun is represented, accompanied by every conceivable skin colour and tone. And such a wealth of human experience! I wonder about all these people, their lives, their personal story and all it contains.
It leaves me in awe at the sheer diversity of mankind in all it’s facets. As an inveterate ‘people-watcher’, this realisation never fails to strike me.
And it is for this very reason that much of what I read online disturbs me very greatly indeed.
In this present day there is a strong move away from divergence and diversity and toward uniformity of thought. And that is rarely a good thing because it stifles creativity, thinking, prudence and the emergence of new and good ideas. When we appreciate and share the experiences of others, we learn, if we are open to doing so. We change and we grow as a result.
When we simply follow the crowd, we generally accept without questioning, without thinking – and that has often led humanity into all sorts of problems.
‘Different thinking’ produces solutions and productive ways forward, on the other hand. At the very least, that ‘different thinking’ gives us a variety of options to consider – accepting some whilst discarding others.
Diversity and divergence allow – and encourage – us to learn; going with the crowd dampens down the greatest skill we have .. the ability to think for ourselves and then to make up our own minds.
Humanity makes a grave error when it seeks to stifle voices, even – perhaps especially – those with which we disagree. To truly think, to enable ourselves to change and to grow, we need to be challenged. And that challenge can only arise through difference – similarity is no challenge.
Perhaps it is worth looking for a moment at what we read, where we source our ‘information’, what we agree with, what we immediately discard.