Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Embracing Diversity

In the past I've been asked to speak about diversity and will soon be doing some diversity workshops in the area. The first time was over 30 years ago and my passion for this subject is not diminished. But my approach to the topic has evolved and I'm very excited about new opportunities to talk about it. The objectives have not changed. But I am adding a new theme. "Be prepared to be amazed."
It's our nature to stay in our comfort zone - to surround ourselves with like minded people in familiar places. It takes some amount of courage to step outside of that comfort zone.
The first objective is to understand how we have arrived in our comfort zone, then to identify our perceptions, values and beliefs. When we do, we are often amazed with what we discover. Ultimately, my hope is that the workshop will lead participants to greater and more meaningful experiences with people who are not like them. It begins with self awareness. Then we need to prepare ourselves to experience something wonderful - to overcome fear. I'm full of stories about learning to overcome my own fears and embracing those who are not like me. What has changed in 30 years is my amazement. I have learned that my personal growth, and deeply spiritual growth, is truly based in my ability to embrace diversity. Opening my heart, my ears, my eyes to seeing something more from another perspective is an amazing experience. It takes work. But it really is worth the effort.

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