Perhaps I shouldn’t try to write this column when I’m hungry, but as I contemplate the topic of diversity, my mind keeps taking me to muffins. Who doesn’t love a good muffin now and then?
There are many kinds from which to choose, but we don’t necessarily embrace each kind with equal enthusiasm.
Some people enjoy a good muffin filled with fruit: blueberries, strawberries, apple pieces. Others prefer nuts or chocolate chips in theirs.
Some would rather eat just the plain muffin part around whatever has been baked in and leave those morsels behind.
Before anyone thinks I’ve completely lost my mind, let me explain the analogy I’ve drawn between muffins and a community.
A community is comprised of groups of people who share a general location and who, perhaps, have other qualities in common.
While individual people belong to communities, they also have their own distinct qualities that make them who they are.
In that respect, the world is like a giant muffin filled with all sorts of human morsels.
As a member of this community, we are very similar to all the other individuals who comprise it; yet, we still retain our own look, our own ideas and beliefs, and our own culture and values. As with different kinds of muffins, people have more commonalities than differences.
As geographic boundaries that allowed us to remain isolated within groups in which we were all very similar have broken down, communities have become more diverse.
One question that follows that greater diversity is, “How do we keep ourselves intact in this great muffin in which we live?”
Another that must be addressed is, “How do we share this muffin with other morsels without losing our space in the mix?”
One very important way for us to feel less threatened by those who are different from us is to become more comfortable with ourselves. I encourage each of you to explore your personal history and feel confident in your uniqueness.
It is only when we are comfortable in our own skin and embrace ourselves as individuals that we can sustain ourselves in peaceful communities.