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People are selfish.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Our selfishness helps us stay alive. It helps us move forward, fulfilling our goals and dreams.

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Even someone like Mother Theresa, who most of us would view as one of the least selfish people on the planet, was doing something that was satisfying to her.

And what’s more selfish than satisfaction?

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Which brings me to the topic of diversity.

People in the majority often don’t care about diversity. They think it doesn’t apply to them.

This lack of awareness might manifest as ignorance about the level of privilege enjoyed by those in the majority. Other times, this lack of awareness manifests in more violent and destructive ways.

Either way, the majority is not inspired to care because they think there’s no satisfaction in caring.

But that’s where they’re wrong.

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That’s where the majority overlooks a very important point.

Diversity is good for everybody.

And I don’t mean it’s good for you in that irritating, self-sacrificing way. Like spending time with annoying relatives.

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I mean it’s good for you in that it has serious advantages for you.

My brother lives in Los Angeles, and when we go visit him I love to go to Venice Beach.

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Yes, it can be a little hectic there at times. But I love it because of the amazing and diverse array of humanity that flocks to Venice.

White tourists from the Midwest. Latino drag queens. Black blues musicians. Genderqueer Asian teenagers.

You name it, Venice has got it.

And even though most of these people look nothing like me, when I’m in Venice I feel a sense of expansion and freedom.

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Why?

Because if there’s room for all these different kinds of people, there must be room for me.

I’m also energized by the awareness that I’m in a community that allows for this diversity.

All of us have all kinds of things inside of us. Things to express.

When we’re only presented with one “best” way to be, it stifles everyone.

Even those who are in the “best” group.

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Imagine that you went into a flower shop and asked for an arrangement of flowers. Imagine that the florist showed you an arrangement of daisies.

Just daisies.

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Imagine that you then glanced around the shop and saw that the only flowers there were daisies. Upon seeing your astonishment, the florist explained that daisies are the best flowers.

All the other flowers, the florist says, are inferior.

Evil, even.

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It seems absurd when applied to flowers, but our society does this all the time, putting people in “good” and “bad” groups.

And yet, if we really think about it, it’s in our best interest – our natural, selfish interest – to allow room for everyone to be who they are.

Indeed, it’s in our natural selfish interest to celebrate the diversity of humankind.

Because in that diversity lies our freedom.

Freedom from hatred and violence, for sure.

But also freedom to be who we are.

Each and every one of us.

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How has diversity served you? Share your comments below!

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