Diversity Is Beautiful

Diversity Is Beautiful

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.
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Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on grounds of race, age or sex, etc.

Discrimination shows itself in multitudes of forms across the world; people discriminate typically against people, things or beliefs that are different than their own. Maybe it's because they don't understand the differences, maybe it's because they're afraid of the differences or maybe it's because they don't care to look at the beauty of the differences. Living in a world where everyone looks the same, acts the same, believes in the same things, would be such an uninteresting, mundane world to live in. Regardless, discrimination is wrong in every aspect, and I never quite understood it. I just can't seem to wrap my head around why people wouldn't want to see a world that is diverse.

Diversity: the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.

To me, there is nothing quite as beautiful and special as a diverse group of people. Now, if why I think a group of diverse people is wonderful is hard for you to wrap your head around, think of it like this and hopefully you'll understand.

If you're looking at a large flower garden, would you notice an individual flower if it was the same type, shape, color and size as the rest of the flowers surrounding it in the garden? Chances are, you wouldn't be able to greatly appreciate an individual flower because it simply was just the same as all the rest.

Now, imagine another garden, where each flower was different than the others surrounding it; the flowers were all different sizes, colors, shapes, and they all grew in a different way. The garden makes a stunning array of colors and contrasts, and you can always find something different and unique about each individual flower.

The first garden represents what people see when they discriminate against others or different ideas; they see one shade of color, only one size and one shape. They see a garden with the same type of flowers – still pretty in their eyes, but not very outstanding or unique.

The second garden represents what people see when they appreciate and encourage diversity – different colors, different shapes and different sizes. They see a garden where the flowers grew in their own individual ways and blossomed into their own unique flower, yet each and every flower looks great standing next to a flower that is different than itself. It's almost like each flower is saying, "Yes, I'm beautiful, but look at how beautiful I am paired with the flower standing next to me."

Diversity in people is something that is much more beautiful to me than any garden could be. Diversity in people is when groups mix with each other, despite skin color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and act as a whole group. It's when the group realizes that strength lies in their differences, not their similarities. It's when differences are appreciated, respected and encouraged. It's acknowledging the hard times and struggles of each person in the group and working to understand their feelings and their past to make changes, so the same struggles do not occur again. Diversity is loving one another based on who we are on the inside, not what we look like on the outside.

We are all people, and we all deserve to be loved, understood and appreciated.

Love does not discriminate.

Discrimination is ugly. End it. Stop it. Fight against it.

Diversity is beautiful. Embrace it. Encourage it. Fight for it.

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for loves comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." - Nelson Mandela



Cover Image Credit: Erika Helo

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A Letter To The Tomboy I Used To Be

To that girl with the baseball hat, board shorts, and grass stains, thank you.
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To the tomboy I used to be,

Thank you so much for making me the strong, beautiful, determined, and badass girl I am today. I am proud of who you've become. It is because of you that I can stand on my own two feet. It is because of you that I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

You were never easy to deal with. Mom and Dad had a lot to handle growing up. It was Dad who had to fight for you to be able to play boys' baseball. It was Mom who had to stand up to the boys that were mean to you for playing a boys' sport. It was both of them who had to cart you around to all of your games and practices, because playing one sport a season was just not enough. It was Mom who had to wash your clothes endless times, because the grass and dirt stains would never come out the first time. Don't ever forget who helped you become who you are.

Your attitude and thought process is very different from that of most girls. You grew up dealing with your problems through wrestling or fighting. Pettiness was not something you could deal with. Your anger came from losing a game, not drama with girls. You didn't understand why girls fought, or were so mean to each other, and to this day, you still don't understand it. You are different. You aren't like most girls by any means, which can be difficult for you, even now. You are so much tougher. You think differently. You are determined.

I love who you turned into. You are so strong; you handle everything with such passion and grit, that I can't help but thank you. Thank you for pushing yourself, and for not letting anything or anyone get in your way. The boys were mean sometimes, and the girls talked about you, but that never fazed you. That chip on your shoulder only made you strive even harder for greatness.

Thank you for making me unique. Thank you for making me extraordinary. Thank you for making me, me.


Love,

Amy

Cover Image Credit: tumblr

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I Always Stood Out Because Of The Color Of My Skin

My peers always pointed out my differences.

hannahd
hannahd
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It's February and you know what that means? It's Black History Month! Have you ever felt like you stick out? Felt like you don't belong somewhere? Felt awkward when you went to hang-out with friends at their house that are a different skin tone then you? Welcome to my life I did all when I was growing up, but I have learned to branch out of that and being comfortable in my own skin. I always wanted to fit in when I was little around the time I was in elementary school.

I felt like my hair couldn't be different and I didn't really know why my hair was different, I just knew I stood out.

Now do not get me wrong I absolutely loved when my mom would put my hair in braids and would put beads in it. I loved swinging my hair around basically smacking myself in the face with my hair lol! I felt like Beyoncé when I would flick my hair because that what she did and I wanted to be like her. Having a different hair texture also meant that when it wasn't the same as everyone else they wanted to touch it.

News flash DO NOT TOUCH MY HAIR.

You don't know where other's people's hands have been and especially being younger were playing and people stick their hands in their nose and mouth so I definitely didn't want nasty hands in my hair.

In middle school and high school, I remember being in history class and we would talk about slaves / and Africans and African Americans and my peers would put their head up and look at me as if I was there during that time. I mean YES that is my history but I was not there during that time period, and staring at me won't help me. Talking about specific things in class such as discrimination is something I know I could speak on during class because I have witnessed it first-hand.

Being black you almost have to watch your back at all times. By that I mean you need to stand up for what you deserve! People treat you different almost as if you are fragile. On the other hand, some look at you and are waiting for you to snap or act "ghetto" because we are seen with a stereotype and people expect us to act a certain way.

As I became older I started to realize that I am not the same. I am not meant to be the same.

God made me the way I am for a reason.

I am black for a reason. I am beautiful and I am strong. I never want to feel ashamed for who I am and who God created me to be. My black is beautiful. Feeling beautiful in your own skin is important regardless of whatever color you might be.

"Black Power is giving power to people who have not had power to determine their destiny." — Huey P. Newton
hannahd
hannahd

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