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Something to Think About: True Diversity Means Accepting Our Differences

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –

 

new michael vaughnThere is currently a paradox brewing in our country, and I might consider it to be a “joke,” if it weren’t so sad.

The paradox is that, we have been demanding that everyone be the same, in the name of diversity.

And, the mindset we have been promoting is, if you disagree with my opinion of the world, you are someone who should be cast aside and ignored.

But, if we would truly embrace the underpinnings of diversity, I believe we would realize that everyone has the right to be heard, even if we do not agree with their opinions.

That is one reason the polls were so wrong last year,when Donald Trump was elected.

They were wrong because people would not state whether or not they supported him to become president.

If people had said they’d supported him, they would probably have been immediately labeled as ignorant (or as Hillary Clinton stated, deplorable) and cast aside.

No one wants to be labeled as such, and, therefore, people likely “kept their sounds to themselves,” and let their votes speak for them.

And, their votes spoke loudly, shocking the world (mainly those who had been shouting about diversity from the mountain tops, demanding we adhere to political correctness).

And, this lack of tolerance for differing opinions has grown, since Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president.

We’ve seen it on college campuses, when Republican student groups have been denied the same access which has been granted to more liberal groups.

We’ve also seen there has been a daily onslaught of attacks against the president on many news stations, including CNN, regardless of the good he has done.

Indeed, President Trump has many faults, like each of us.

However, a truly objective look at what he has accomplished in a year is remarkable.

Unemployment has fallen (especially for Hispanics); manufacturing jobs have moved back to America; illegal immigration has fallen; the stock market has seen tremendous growth; and the economy is growing, in part, because deregulation has enabled companies to invest more in capital improvements and the workforce, etc.

Yet, the media has continued to focus on the things that have either already been answered (i.e., allegations of sexual misconduct against women), or things that we have no evidence of ever having happened in the first place (i.e. collusion with Russia).

They do this because they do not like the diversity of thought that the president brings to the political conversation.

On the other hand, they’ve continued to demand that their voices be heard, and that those whove agreed with them receive special treatment, above all others.

I believe diversity means we should welcome the differences among us.

But, unfortunately, folks have recently forced out what they consider to be dissent, in the name of diversity.

Yet, that is the nature of diversity.

Being diverse means we may see things differently than others because of our beliefs, backgrounds and experiences.

And, if we want to move forward, we must figure out how to appreciate the diverse thoughts of others, and to move forward with a sense of commonality which will enhance the entire population.

If we continue to demand that only one viewpoint be heard, it will only drive a wedge between those who agree with that viewpoint, and those who do not.

And, if that happens, we can forget about accepting political polls, because people will stop being truthful.

We will also continue to be a nation that is divided, because those who may be espousing only one viewpoint may get their way “on paper,” but they will never win hearts.

And, without winning hearts, there will never be true change. And, without true change, we will stay stuck in a divisive situation.

The hard thing about embracing diversity is that, in order to truly embrace it, we must come out of our comfort zones, and be willing to see life from another person’s perspective.

That means we may have to humble ourselves, in order to see another person’s persoective from a different vantage point.

This takes energy, and it may be easier to tell those with whom we do not agree that they should be quiet.

Ultimately, some people continue to believe that drowning out others’ voices will make them stronger.

But, it is the opposite that is true.

And, their “silent” voices will make a deafening noise when it matters, just ask Hillary Clinton!

If you would like to contact me, please email me at mvaughn.seniorpastor@newwineskin.org.

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