What comes to mind when you look at this picture?
I love the colors throughout the picture, so vibrant and so bright. I found this picture in an advertisement from Jo Ann Fabrics a while ago. This picture immediately struck me and gave me a good feeling. I loved how the little girl looked at the beautiful doll. The doll does not look like the little girl but the girl still finds pleasure in playing with the doll. The differences between the both did not matter. Looking at the picture made me think of the word "diversity".
Diversity refers to the presence of differences. Diversity means to recognize different perspectives and differences. Diversity is so much more than the differences in race and gender, it includes all kinds of things that are not alike such as age, culture, location/geographical backgrounds or origin, educational level, occupation, socioeconomic status, religion, color, sexual preference, and even personality. Wouldn't it be beautiful if we could come together and actually value the differences that we all have in each of us. The thing is not to actually be 'color-blind' but to be 'color-blessed', as put by a recent Bible devotional study written by Pastor Rick Warren, pastor of Saddlebrook Church (California) and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life. The devotional was based off of 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV). "The Lord does not look at the things people look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
With all the differences and perspectives that we possess, we could learn so much and we would realize that everyone has something valuable to contribute. I am not saying we have to agree on everything but we could many times come to better understandings which can lead to empathy, tolerance, and respect.
The racial tension that has been shed light upon recently has created much dialogue among people and all throughout social media. All of the division between people is simply because of race. The division in people created by race and color is not simple, because the prejudices, stereotypes, and beliefs run deep within a person's soul. How do we change this? The deep beliefs and wounds are not inborn, they are learned. Somewhere along the way in our lives, in our experiences, and within our families and environment, we have been taught different ideologies about other groups, rather to be true or not.
Last week, my husband, my 3 sons, and I had a check-in meeting where, since the shut in from the pandemic, we check on each other from time to time to see where everyone is emotionally and to talk about their thoughts (even though they don't talk much, especially about their feelings). We all watched the documentary on Netflix about Rodney King, the black man who was brutally beaten one night by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The whole incident was caught on video and was used as evidence in 1991. The 4 policemen involved in the police brutality were acquitted and the announcement sparked violent riots that spread across the Los Angeles Metropolitan area for 6 days. (Sound familiar?) My family and I discussed how the documentary made us feel and we were all burdened by the fact that police brutality and racism is still very much alive and prevalent today all throughout the United States. Rodney King was shown in a press conference where he was calling for peace, crying to the people, "Can we all just get along?"
"Can we all just get along?"
Looking at the picture above again where the colors are bright and the colors in the rainbow stand side by side as it symbolizes hope and promise. The colors in the rainbow all have different meanings but they stand together and give out a wonderful message. The different colors in the rainbow are equal. Diversity encourages people to embrace and value our own differences and the differences of others around us.
We love our dogs, our pets, who are of a different specie but we can't love another human, who is of the same specie but is different in other ways? We love and have compassion for our furry babies. It hurts us when we see animals being treated cruelly. We even fight against animal cruelty. We should fight against racism and police brutality. It is not that Black lives matter only but that Black lives matter too!
The girl in the picture sees that Black is Beautiful. The doll is beautiful!
- What ways can we promote diversity in our workplace or community?
- How can you value any differences of others that are within your family and household?
- How can we start discussions with our children about racial relations? And what lessons can we teach them?