The Devastation of Diversity … March 6, 2012

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I can always tell.

Some efficient sort hands me an application and asks me to fill in all the blanks with my information. Usually, around question #4 or #5 on the given form, there is a clue as to where everything is heading. Yes–the application telegraphs to me (or in this case, photocopies) the intention of the person who put together the list of questions.

At a bank, it might be: How many stocks, bonds and properties do you own? Honestly, I know if I don’t possess ANY of those particular signs of affluence, I should quietly rise from my chair and depart.

If it’s a religious organization, the question might be: When were you baptized and what form of baptism was used? I get it. It is very important to them that I spent some time in the water–and also if I went all the way under or not.

You understand my point, right? We live in a nation that touts a doctrine of diversity while really–very quietly–putting together questionnaires to find out if people are actually different from us so that we can secretly alienate them. After nearly forty years of preaching this particular gospel of “uniqueness,” it is time for us to abandon the ridiculous notion that human beings are going to accept one another and each other’s idiosyncrasies without maintaining their own opinion.

This came to my mind as I arrived in the state of Arizona. It is the land of the cactus. But if you’ve ever been around cacti, you realize that none of them have the same pokers coming out of their trunks. Now, by “pokers” I mean those branches, or whatever they’re called, that protrude from what I assume is the trunk of the cactus plant. There literally are no two of these cacti alike. Some of them have their pokers coming out of the side, the bottom, the middle. Some have little pokers, some have larger pokers. Some appear pornographic. But here’s the interesting thing–nobody drives by a cactus and says, “Look! That’s not a cactus! It’s pokers are weird.”

Each one of them is called a cactus, even though, as cacti, they poke out differently. (Please realize that I am not a botanist, and cut me some slack.)

So I will tell you that the best way to achieve diversity and the acceptance of other people’s “pokers” is to teach the philosophy of commonality.

After all, it’s how we began this country. The Declaration of Independence does not begin with, “Even though the people in Georgia believe in slavery and the folks in Massachusetts disagree, and those individuals living in Virginia grow tobacco, while the Pennsylvania Quakers find it abhorrent, we still have gotten together and decided that in spite of our differences, we’re going to start a country.”

Not only would such an introduction to the Declaration have been overly wordy, but it would have established the futility of our cause because we failed to achieve commonality. Instead, Thomas Jefferson penned: “WE hold THESE TRUTHS to be SELF-EVIDENT.”

  • WE: “All of us got together and found common ground.”
  • THESE TRUTHS: There simply are principles of practice that have been proven by history, working in the present and are yearned for by the future.
  • SELF-EVIDENT: “Duh.”  That’s right. Right there in the beginning of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson throws in a “duh.” In other words, self-evident. “Of course, dummies.”

I will say it plainly to you. We are destroying our society by insisting that diversity be forced on people who acquiesce to the concept by nodding their heads and inwardly maintain their prejudices. The only way to overcome this is to foster an environment where we reject the need to be separated and instead, find reasons, motivations and tendencies for commonality.

Jesus said it so well: “Whosoever will may come.” I believe that includes everybody. But to include everybody, you have to encourage them to love their neighbor as themselves–commonality. Loving your neighbor as yourself is creating commonality.

This year as we have traveled, we have broken the message down to a simple sound bite of six words: NoOne is better than anyone else. Because quite bluntly, you can believe in diversity and still think you’re better than the people down the street because you don’t participate in their less-than-productive endeavors. We move forward as a race when we slow down to enjoy what we share in common.

There has been a devastation of diversity in our country which has left us with a public policy of openness while maintaining private meetings being held in darkened offices to try to figure out how to still promote our particular brand of bigotry. So even though we fought a Civil War and had a Civil rights movement in this country, color distinction remains in play. Even though we have had the suffrage movement and women’s rights have been thrust forward, stereotypes of the female of our species still keep us many times in the dark ages. Why? Because discussions of diversity minus agreement on commonality lead us to assent without action.

What’s our job? To find common feelings and interests with you.

Without this, we extol the virtue of diversity while privately excluding people … based upon how they have filled out our application.

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Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Like the history lesson on the Declaration of Independence tied in with the way we should be living today — not just back in the beginning of our country! Diversity makes life interesting. What a shame it has become so divisive! Thanks for your thoughts!

    Like


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