There is no doubt that the notion of diversity in organisations, institutions and societies is the new ‘in’ thing, especially in places like London. The lessons of acceptance and humanity that diverse societies bring are invaluable and it maximizes our horizon of what is meant by cultures and values, primarily by the means of focusing on differences we see in different backgrounds. The word ‘diversity’ in itself originates from different, unique and variation.
But what I experienced of diversity today was very different from any of these mainstream ideas suggest. Undoubtedly, I do enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds which sometimes surprises you by the variation of kind of ideas people hold. But having heard story of my own limitations, values, ambitions and inhibitions from another fellow colleague from completely different background (which I never imagined to share the same problems and perks as me) made me realise how the focus of diversity only on ‘different’ is extremely unfair, biased and off-putting. In a completely diverse individuals in terms of backgrounds, I had found the exact ambitions and problems as mine, which I have to say are not very common even from the people that share the same background as mine.
It made me realise how the culturally and ethnically diverse communities not only allow us to look beyond the backgrounds and differences but also give us the chance to cherish what we have in common, the extent of which can sometimes surprise you!
While there is difficulty in adjusting with different people (along with excitement about learning from those differences), there is so much comfort in finding out so much that joins rather than what separates you. The most influential language that exists is of humanity and everything else including thoughts, values, wants, needs and desires can be built on that.