"We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color." - Maya Angelou

Nearly every conversation in the past two weeks a single word comes up. I find that when something is appearing repeatedly that I need to pause and take a look at why is the topic coming up so frequently? Is there something that I need to look at within me? Is there something that I need to shift or change? Yet, sometimes it is simply a recurring topic of humanity in general – a sign, so to speak, of the changing times that we are all a part of.

The word or value that keeps popping up is – diversity. In nearly every conversation of substance, from social media to social gatherings the word diversity in some variation has arisen. Interestingly, it has even appeared in my inbox when someone sent me a copy of Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam’s study on diversity actually causing a declining civic engagement. This study by the guru of civic engagement showed that the greater the diversity in a community – the greater the apathy, meaning that people voted less, volunteered less, gave less to charities, and supported community projects less. The study concluded that virtually every measure of civic health were markedly decreased the more diverse the setting.

We as a human society have been hearing that our differences make us stronger. The greater the diversity, the greater potential for learning – but this is not so according to this study. So let’s pause and determine what diversity actually is.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, diversity is defined as “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements. The inclusion of different types of people in a group or organization.” So really the concept of diversity is encompassing the principle that every individual is unique. If that is true then every group is diverse. The concept of diversity is thought, at its essence, to be about acceptance and respect. That as beings, we accept and respect that each one of us in individual and unique in their own way and while we recognize these differences – we honor them as well. Diversity is usually associated in society with race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or any other ideology that is uniquely our own. This sounds like any group of people could be truly be considered diverse in essence.

What is the purpose of diversity? The concept is about exploring differences in a way that is safe, positive, and nurturing. It is about understanding one another and moving from a place of intolerance and judgment to embracing and honoring the differences that each person has as an individual.

It is my personal belief that every situation that I am, under these definitions, that I find myself in a diverse group. See it is us as human beings that are either self-identifying ourselves as unique and different than you are – a label of judgment or I am self-identifying you as unique and different – a label of judgment. So is not proclaiming that we are searching for diversity really a hidden essence of judgment.

If we as a society wish to eliminate racial injustice, orientation injustice, gender injustice, and every other labeled injustice, should we perhaps stop looking for ways to separate society into labeled containers and begin to look for ways to become unified. Rather than labeling and seeking out diversity, perhaps we should start allowing the opportunity for people to self-identify themselves simply as a spiritual being. No labeled religion. Or self-identify themselves as a loving human being without orientation labels. Our society programs us to separate ourselves. Separate as a race – I am consistently presented the question of what race I am for one form or another. I tend to make a box for human. I am asked what gender I am, what age group, and religious preference. All of this sends the energetic signature that I need to self-identify myself separated from you.

Someone recently asked me about a project that I am involved in and why it was not more diverse. I was a bit shocked at first and then I thought about it. The prejudgment based upon perception of visuals that society has lay its own judgment upon would perhaps make it appear to be a rather non-diverse group. But, using the definition above – the age range was more than 40 years, all orientation represented, various religious paths represented, various ethnic backgrounds represented, various socio-economic status, physical abilities, ideologies and I am sure different political beliefs represented (although this topic did not arise). The event was about providing a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It was about embracing and celebrating uniqueness; yet, coming together in a single voice. So what is the real issue?

We need not be so concerned about this “diversity” issue and we need to be more concerned with the judgments and intolerance our perceptions put our focus upon. We need to shift into the unification of human society rather than the differences. Differences make us the ‘lone wolf’ – that period is over. We need to let go of the duality that separates us and place focus on unity that joins us. We need to ask ourselves what we need to do to let go of duality and lead the way to take the next steps to become unified as a human society.

Just my thoughts … and yours?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Carla Goddard is Director Of Connections for the National Awesome Women Hub Tour. She connects the women of the tour with the media, blogs, other social networks and her passion is envisioning what the world needs next. Called the Sacred Soul Shaman, Carla draws upon the energetic flow of life to help others both heal the soul and have profound shifts in awareness. She loves being a part of this “tribe” of women. According to Carla, "Through the active presence, communication, and connections we bring to blazing this new path, we will change the world together." Carla is a shaman, visionary, author and speaker who carries her "fire" to everyone she meets. She is also known as "Ashira" by many.

Bachelor Degree in Metaphysical Sciences, Master's Degree in Pastoral Counseling, Ph.D. in Parapsychology

Penobscot Nation; apprenticed with Mohawk Shaman 10 years

Certified Spiritual Mind Treatment Practioner, Certified Bio Field Energy Practioner

Founding Member of The Way Order™
Waiest® Mental Martial Art's Guide
Waiest® Spirit Warrior

2011 Women As Visionaries Honoree

Global Fire Keeper with Sacred Pathways

Registered with A.M.D.A and FFWA