Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

Diversity thrives!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Regular readers will recall previous pond blogs.  Today I noticed a rather exciting visitor, a full blown grass snake!  I know they like to swim and maybe it was dealing with the heat wave, or perhaps just after one of my other ‘guests’ the adult frogs.

We have such a huge number of wild visitors be they feathered, amphibious or water-dwellers, that it is a constant source of fascination.

The pond naturally attracts creatures that exploit every niche and resource that it offers.  If only more businesses were as  good at attracting talent and deployed it with the same efficiency.  Most people have a unique gift, but it is rare that employers are able to really put these ‘round pegs’ in the perfect shaped holes!  When you are able to match people’s gifts / interests with their roles, morale and profit goes up.

Perhaps diversity should be seen as a the rich resource that it is rather than as a disruption…

“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”   Jimmy Carter

“Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.”  Madame de Stael

 

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Pond Life?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I don’t know if you have heard the expression ‘Pond Life’; it means “A worthless or contemptible person or group.”  So as regular readers will have noted that following the renovation of Cooke Towers (not on the constituency expenses!), we have now moved onto the next phase of upgrading Munstead Waters.  This has meant that I have been spending many a happy hour digging pits for filters and trenches for electricity supplies, not to mention being up to my elbows in silty, brown goo that we have been filtering out of the water!

However, and this is the point of my tale, I find that I am totally engrossed by every pond skimmer, dragonfly larvae, tadpole, snail and fish!  They all have their place in the bio-system of the pond.  If I don’t get the environment right for the bacteria that breakdown the fish pooh into plant food, the water starts to poison the fish.

The thing is, that in every group, business or family it takes all sorts to make the system work, and yet we judge others because they don’t behave as do.  In the pond, this spells death…. is it much better in a family or business?  Allowing others to be who they are, do what they do and getting on with doing ‘our thing’ isn’t a bad recipe for a good life.  I am rather of the opinion that Pond Life should be a complimentary term rather than an insult, what do you think?

“The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.”

Hatred & Diversity

Monday, October 20th, 2008

I was listening to an article on the radio this morning about troubles in Eastern India where radical Hindus are are apparently attacking Christians, have burnt down churches and even got involved in gang rape.  Elsewhere Jews are persecuting Muslims, nominal Christians are anti-Semitic and militant Islam seems to hate everyone else!

It seems that there is quite a deep need to feel superior to others, to believe that there is only one ‘true path’, to distrust and fear those who are different from us.  The odd thing is that no matter how we change the badges, we always seem to recreate the ‘Us & Them’ thing.  Within a group or organisation there always seem to be factions.  Think about  the divisions within the Christian church.  I was deeply shocked to discover that even within my own family that two cousins were now no longer speaking to their nephew because his wife is from the wrong sect… How’s that for loving thy neighbour?

These days we are all supposed to be respecting diversity and enjoying the multi-culturalism.. and yet… and yet we fear those who are different rather than being enriched and stimulated by them.  If we aren’t secure in ourselves we are far more likely to be judgemental of others’ choices.  We would never suggest that everyone should eat only one sort of cuisine; why do we expect others to agree with all our other choices and views?

We need to find ways in which it is safe to disagree and explore those ideas, that is where progress comes from…

“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”   Mahatma Gandhi

“Our greatest strength as a human race is our ability to acknowledge our differences, our greatest weakness is our failure to embrace them.”  Judith Henderson

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