Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Learn of the Green World – Peace, Health, and Diversity

I've been thinking about racial and cultural diversity lately, and I'm thinking maybe we should take a cue from nature. Healthy ecosystems are messy and usually have an incredibly diverse membership. All the lives are connected in wildly complex ways. Indeed, it's sometimes difficult to see where one life ends and another begins. Unhealthy ecosystems, on the other hand, look more like the carpet of a well manicured lawn. It may look pretty for a moment, but this is an illusion that will dissolve as soon as the gardener steps away.

Why can't we see the beauty of diversity in human communities? Are we really so afraid? Some people have such an us-versus-them mentality they can't think of the world any other way. When you speak of the human race they seem to think you're talking about a competition. It's sad. They miss out on a delight and joy that can only be found in diversity.

My guess is that communities may actually require rich diversity to be healthy and stable. Perhaps we need all the messy, complicated, tangled interrelationships. Compare a lawn to a forest. Unlike the lawn, a forest—with its thousands and millions of interconnected lives—goes on year after year, always dynamic and changing but always profoundly stable and changeless. Maybe true peace looks more like a healthy forest and less like a pretty lawn. Maybe diversity is good for stability. Maybe diversity should be celebrated instead of feared.

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