The diversity training market is flooded. Everyone appears to want to get in on the lucrative business. The marketing catch phrase is that diversity means more profit and more business coming your way. It is saying to people that although you may not like someone, you may not see them as your equal you just have to tolerate that person for so long as to use him or her to make money.
This route to diversity is short-sighted and again money driven. It therefore becomes like a fad and fads come and go with the wind and things go back to status quo. Minority populations living in a white western culture will find themselves back to square one. They will find themselves or their children struggling for the plum jobs, for advancement in the corporate world or for adequate recognition of their skills.
Our diversity courses need more work. They need more effort put into them than a chock full of cliches and business stratagems. There needs to be stronger public policy to create the environment necessary to bring about changes. People have to be taught that all humanity were created equal.
In the hidden words of Baha'u'llah, the Messenger of God for today, He wrote"Oh Children of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you. O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness form the tree of wondrous glory"
People need to get this. People need to understand that though they may be born with greater material privileges than the next person that that does not make them better.
As human beings we are fruits of one tree, waves of one ocean, we are one. When we understand this at a fundamental, even cellular level, perhaps we will begin to look beyond colour, race, creed and accept people for who they are. We also have to appreciate our diversity and understand that there is strength for the organic human family that we be diverse. It is intrinsically good for us to be different. We are stronger then, we will be able to survive more as a human living organism.
The idea of diversity and unity, multiculturalism have to be taught from kindergarten to university. Classes should be structured in such as way as to expose students to differences of all kinds including people with disabilities. This will help to break down barriers, breed familiarity and openness of heart.
If we want real change in the world,and I am happy to say, I am seeing some positive changes brought about by actions of individuals who are trying to make the world a better place, pople have to be ever conscious of their actions. Even when we give charity to those less fortunate, we have to ask ourselves why? Why do we give to Africa or India when we ignore the poor in front of our door steps? Is it because we view the Blacks we mingle with as less than and people not deserving or because we are not comfortable with them so close. We have to ask these tough questions.
When a person of colour appears before a white person for a job, do you see past the race and color and look at the person and what qualities he or she can bring to the job and ensure that the person gets the same pay with the white person? How you deal with diversity at this level gives you a glimpse of where you need to change. Acknowledge your shortcoming because it is only then you can work at improving it.
Lots of corporations pay out millions of dollars for how-to training in diversity. All that money is lost because soon the white-wash paint fades and the real people begin to show themselves. Stop wasting money on diversity how-functions to and create a diverse workforce where everyone will be supported and you will find a business that not only functions effectively but thrives effectively. Get to the hearts of people not to their heads. This is where change begins.