The difference is true diversity

Don’t make a fuss.  Be good.  Be quiet.  Don’t show off.  Be polite.  Respect your elders.  Do as you’re told.  Don’t answer back.  Speak up.  Don’t be shy.  Stand up for yourself.

It’s puzzling, isn’t it.  We are given such mixed messages as we grow up by people who are significant in our lives and who are often well intentioned.  But it can leave us struggling to know whether we should stand out or fit in. 

As adults we can choose – to make a difference – to stand out even – but we need to acknowledge the messages inside our heads that drive us.  Which ones are relevant to us now.  Which ones we want to live by.  Which messages we now want to cast aside because they no longer serve us well.

The problem is that these messages become so much a part of us we don’t consciously pay attention to them – but they certainly drive our behaviour.  If we don’t acknowledge these messages, we are not aware of what’s driving us.  So we won’t fully commit to our goals and then we loose even more power by blaming other people when things don’t go the way we want.

Self knowledge in itself is power.  Taking responsibility for the way we respond makes us even more powerful.  

There can be a tendency to gravitate towards people who are like us, who have things in common with us.  It makes us feel comfortable.  However, just for a moment, think how fortunate we are to live and work with people who are different to us.  People who can challenge what we are thinking and help us consider different options.  I don’t mean people who demand that we think or do things their way but people who open up a world of new possibilities to us. 

That to me is true diversity. 

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