Diversity: A palette full of possibilities!

cory-woodward-485315-unsplashImage courtesy: Cory Woodward-unsplash

Diversity, as we see it, comes after a simple act of classification. Classification in itself is solely a methodology of grouping on the factual bases of common similarities and distinctive differences. It is, of course, essential and a powerful method to ‘handle’ the huge amount of information (and diversity) in every aspect that govern our understandings. However we must be careful that the mere act of classifying doesn’t necessarily assign any predicament or hierarchy amongst the classifieds, rather there is potential scope and necessity to identify diversity as a powerful aspect offered by nature. With the many present worldly incidences of fighting over differences, this discourse is certainly relevant today, especially to us who are fortunately so much more exposed to truly global diversities in all aspects of our lives.

Let us try to identify this point of how diversity is essential and powerful, using 3 diverse examples.

1) Global biodiversity– There is diversity in all living forms and within each of those forms. A measure of global biodiversity (many empirical estimates continue to be worked upon till date) suggests that the total variability of life forms on the earth is in the order of a trillion [1]. Now that is huge in itself to even wonder how our planet hosts such a huge variability of living systems! In biodiversity, each species, no matter how big or small has an important role to play in this very complex ecosystem e.g. various plant and animal species depend on each other for what each offers and these diverse species ensures natural sustainability for all life forms [2].
* 2011-2020 is the ongoing “Decade on Biodiversity” as declared by the United Nations [3]. Check it out for interesting activities and information!

2) Fields of studies: the huge human knowledge library is classified into diverse fields e.g. Humanities, Arts, Science etc., where each field is further classified into more diverse branches of studies furthermore into sub-branches and their sub-sub branches. This way there is immense diversity in the fields of studies. What however is crucial to understand is that these diverse sets of subjects are never meant to compete with each other (for relevance or for any sort of superiority over the other) rather they are meant to aid in each other’s development. Aptly quoting Prof. Richard P. Feynman in context of how the interdisciplinary interests of different fields of studies is essential for real sustainable progress e.g. in Science – “We make no apologies for excursions into other fields, because the separation of fields, as we have emphasized, is merely a human convenience, and an unnatural thing. Nature is not interested in our separations, and many of the interesting phenomena bridge the gaps between fields..” [4]. Indeed nature doesn’t care in the act of categorizing, and hence there is no real fight or predicament that need to exist. The great thing about diversity in the different fields of studies (be it Science, Arts, Humanities or a mix of all of these) is that there are never lack of possibilities to discover and explore, to bring new lights to the huge existing knowledge library.
So let us not be afraid to explore the subjects that truly interest us or why not be curious and courageous to utilize, play with the diversities that govern the different fields and may even create new ones!

2) Diversity within the human race: Our human world is of course extraordinarily diverse because we can be classified in terms of so many different aspects – gender, ethnicity, race, class, religion, nationality, cultural backgrounds, interests, expertise, lifestyles, philosophy (.. the list is long). The areas in which people differ are endless. And if anything the co-existence of this diverse bunch is one of the most beautiful aspects that make us such a powerful community. It stands out to be of severe importance that we are able to appreciate the narrative of the others, acknowledge and be accepting towards the differences that make us unique, show compassion and be empathetic to each other. Because there is always this facet, that at a very humane level, in spite of all the apparent differences that identify our uniqueness, so much in principle, remain the same. We experience the similar highs and lows in life and strive to be happy and fulfilled. Our common pains and joys are fundamentally the same, we make similar mistakes and can thus correct each other, can give and find help from each other’s expertise and learn from our different interests.

Diversity is beautiful, powerful and essential. Like the sustainability of biodiversity, similar to the coming together of interdisciplinary fields of studies to achieve interesting advancements, accepting and accommodating diversity in our lives is the key to peace, non-violence, and synergy that drives mankind.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_biodiversity
[2] http://www.globalissues.org/article/170/why-is-biodiversity-important-who-cares
[3] https://www.cbd.int/2011-2020/
[4] http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_35.html
[5] a good read https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-diversity-important-our-society