Exceptional Human Diversity
Diversity in many aspects of life is a very wide and interesting topic. In fact, nature itself attests that differences are very evident and cannot be simply ignored. Concerning humans, diversity can be manifested in a wide range of categories: race, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, family structure, socioeconomic status, and many more. And for countless generations this reality has always been called into mind, allowing everyone to think thoroughly about it, as to how each one of us should respond to it. Today, however, this reality seems to be not yet completely addressed; discrimination in many areas of society still remains. The government, companies, and other structures of society have their own treatments and perspective concerning human differences. Nevertheless, we must realize that the any social perspective and treatment upon such differences begins at the very own beliefs of every individual making up the society or the organization. And we must be careful enough to determine what would be our response to human diversity. Others believe that as our differences change, our view(s) of them changes as well (Bucher, 2010). It was even established already that there are specific positions that make up this views: excluding, fixing, ignoring, or valuing of differences. Nevertheless, whatever position we live up with, we must be exhaustively knowledgeable of our positions and must be firm with our own convictions and perspectives.
The second value position is fixing differences. This is another form of assimilation, where people lose their own differences and change to blend into the majority (Barnes, 2005). Migration is one thing pointed out in this idea. In the United States for instance, the study of immigrants has shifted from focusing on the efforts of the immigrants to adapt to their environment, toward focusing on the interaction between the immigrants and the American community (Brettell & Hollifield, 2000). This explains that the United States does not exclude the immigrants with their differences. Instead, the Americans do not only allow them to adapt to the American society but they also make the effort themselves. Another application of this position can be seen on families – particularly in the case of child adoption. Although the adopted child grew in a different family – having different values, beliefs, personalities, etc. – the new family will reach out for the child, gradually making him/her adapt to the family’s principles, practices, beliefs, etc. Adoptive parents should understand that they affect the child, and the child affects them as well (Adesman & Adamec, 2004). That is the impact of fixing the difference; it is a complete interaction until the child becomes ‘completely’ part of the family.
Another value position in response to human diversity is ignoring differences. By the word itself, this particular response upon differences is marked by lack of acknowledgment. A group or unit of people who implements such response upon different individuals shows a meaningful lack of concern towards their differences. This can be shown in the sphere of sports where black people are allowed to participate. Although black people are given privilege to participate, their racial disparity deemed as not very essential. The reality that though they are black – the ones mostly thought to be the meanest creature – they still have extensive and special skills other don’t have, is not being realized by the public. This could change the view of other people towards their race. In Mentoring and Diversity, the authors say that by ignoring differences, although they live with one another, the people do not learn from their differences or from each other (Ragins, Clutterbuck & Matthewman, 2012).
The last value position in response to human diversity is valuing differences. This is the most profitable approach on human differences. The idea here is that instead of terminating, changing, and/or ignoring differences in race, ethnicity, ability, skills, etc. one will make use of them. This perspective suggests that each created being has his or her specialties. This is very much applied in business organizations, where different people having different set of skills are valued altogether. Having people with diverse skills, abilities, and motivations leads to greater extent of flexibility, creativity, productivity, and more (Limlingan, 2004).
However, it is worthy to note that these value positions or ideas are very essential to our lives. Any of them affects how we deal with others around us. Our views of others are very powerful and world-shaping (Shweder, Minow & Markus, 2004). It affects our actions. Nevertheless, we must also realize that in making our positions concerning the issue of human diversity our view of and treatment upon them must depend on the nature of the difference. Homosexuality, for instance, should be treated with either ‘excluding’ or ‘fixing’. In reality, it only deteriorates man’s racial spirit. Besides, no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for long years or decades (Neill, 2009). It cannot be valued. Likewise, for those feminists who long for equality, ‘fixing’ and ‘valuing’ positions should be applied. First, they must realize that there are certain differences between men and women that they just can’t change. What separates them as feminists is not their gender difference but just “their refusal to recognize [and accept] the difference” (Mui & Murphy, 2002, p. 289). In the same time, their natural feminine nature should not be overlooked but instead be highly valued by the society. Besides, where would life be without them? But in the case of ‘natural’ differences such as race, color, gender, disabilities, diverse skills and abilities, etc. should just be ‘ignored’ and ‘valued’. No one can change the color of a Nigerian, nor can any one change the gifts God has given on each created being. Thus, such differences should not be ‘excluded’. Though some physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities can no longer be fixed, they should still be viewed and treated positively. That which is reasonable and justifiable should be done appropriately.
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