Posted in Overcoming Adversity

Teaching Diversity in a Close Minded World

The last few months at work have had its share of nonsense melodrama. I often refer to my co-workers as my “dysfunctional functional family” We all tend to get along OK, until gossip and a few choice words spark third grade playground style scenarios. One says something, one “tattles” to management. One half heartedly apologises, and then the cycle begins again.

The park I work at is a place that is supposed to celebrate diversity and inclusion of all cultures and all people. And yet, simple hurtful, racist, and derogatory comments are made on the daily.

I had my fair share of nonsense as a person with a disability, and now others are targeted, many who speak a different language. I feel for my fellow co-workers who get targeted like this. I’m still trying to figure out where all this nastiness is coming from. And at my park of all places, a park where 11 plus countries are housed in pavillions no less.

Teaching diversity was a big thing growing up. I remember we used to have special assemblies about diversity in elementary school, one in which my vision teacher brought in special goggles and my adaptive technology to show kids what it’s like being legally blind. One year, the whole school did a classrooms around the world event, which brought in different language speaking people trying to teach us a 5 minute lesson before finally talking to us about their country in a language we could understand. That spawned into each classroom learning about a different country and letting kids go around with passports and sampling the food from that country. Diversity ruled back then.

But now a days, not so much. Those lessons instilled in many as kids got lost, forgotten.

Why as adults did we forget respect for all humanity? Why as adults do we bicker over the stupidest things that make us different? Why should language barriers matter? Or a person’s religous beliefs? Or a person’s disabilities?

Bottom line, we all got assigned to our department because the people who recruited us, as well as our managers from previous locations if we transfered, believed in our abilities and our overall attitude for the company. We love what we do.

Maybe we should learn to love each other. Support one another no matter what. Watch our words. And keep the drama at home.

Wish there was a way to change the minds of the small minded. But how can you educate an adult population? How does one make a change? How can we be the change?

Seriously, I’m in need of ideas, not for myself, but for the people I consider my friends, my family away from my real  family.

Nobody should ever feel hurt this way. Ever.

We are one world. It’s time we should start acting like it.

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