Monday, December 1, 2008
Diversity in Action is ...
"Diversity ... is not casual liberal tolerance of anything not yourself. It is not polite accommodation. Instead, diversity is, in action, the sometimes painful awareness that other people, other races, other voices, other habits of mind, have as much integrity of being, as much claim on the world as you do ... And I urge you, amid all the differences present to the eye and mind, to reach out to create the bond that will protect us all. We are all meant to be here together."
This much-quoted passage, attributed to William M. Chase from a publication entitled "The Language of Action," (I've never been able to find the original source), is one I've loved and lived with for many years. What does it mean to honor the "integrity of being" of others, to "reach out to create the bond that will protect us all?"
In my experience, this ideal can be broken down into a set of skills, behaviors and attitudes which can be learned. Through the next series of entries, I'll share some of the discoveries I've made as I've explored this ideal in concrete form through the creation of children's books.