Tag Archives: world issues

Twenty-First Century Treatise: The Law of Diversity

As I’ve asserted earlier, we are as subject to Nature’s Laws as every other living thing on earth, even our social structures are bound by them. Current events in the US and Europe, manifested in groups such aIdentity Evropa or Unite the Right, whose aims are to create a homogeneous culture of religion and race, provide the opportunity to examine the merits of whether homogeneity or diversity enhance our societies.

There is no doubt that Nature exhibits a strong preference for diversity over homogeneity in the physical realm. No two snowflakes are alike, no two human finger prints are alike, and even identical twins develop differences in their individual DNA despite their origins from the same fertilized egg.

Consider the ruling families of Europe of not-so-long-ago who intermarried frequently as a way to keep a homogeneous bloodline and consequently curated a small gene pool as a result. Smaller gene pools equate to less diversity giving recessive genes higher probabilities of expression. This explains the frequency of  hemophilia in several royal families. (Conversely, unhealthy dominant genes could not be diluted in smaller gene pools, such was the case with the Hapsburgs.) The present kingdom of Saudi Arabia is challenged with problematic health issues due to its tradition of intermarriage at all levels of society: 

“But research at hospitals and medical centers indicates that the rates of some metabolic diseases may be as much as 20 times higher among Saudi Arabia’s 14 million people than they are in populations where the gene pool is more widely mixed.

Blood disorders such as thalassemia, a hemoglobin deficiency and sickle cell anemia, as well as diabetes are widespread, particularly in some provinces with high intermarriage rates…”

Humans aren’t the only animals that suffer from a lack of diversity due to small gene pools. Our fascination with purebred dogs means that these canines come with more inherent health issues than their mixed breed counterparts. Race horse breeders understand the problems associated with a small, homogeneous gene pool, and “have done comparatively well in maintaining genetic diversity…”

On the physical level, diversity allows for healthier outcomes overall, while homogeneity guarantees some genetic complications in future generations. But does the  strength of diversity  transcend the physical realm to the societal realm? We can unequivocally conclude that social and cultural diversity have a direct, positive effect upon our nations and their economics.

For example, studies consistently demonstrate,that mixed groups produce better outcomes to challenges than homogeneous groups when applied to workplace creativity and vibrancy.

Though people often feel more comfortable with others like themselves, homogeneity can hamper the exchange of different ideas and stifle the intellectual workout that stems from disagreements. (Kellogg School of Management)

Distinguished University Professor, Richard Boyatzis explains the benefits of diversity this way:

Diversity initiatives can have important and interesting social justice benefits, but the real reason you want to pursue diversity programs is for innovation. You want diversity of thought…Differences in race, gender, and socioeconomic background are three characteristics, but so are differences in learning style or differences in professional field….If a group has an ability to create dialogue, diversity of thought helps them not get into groupthink. 

A recent, extensive study  reveals that countries benefit greatly on an economic scale thanks to the diversity that immigration provides. For instance, young migrants tend to make up a larger portion of a population than natives, this is a crucial detail,  “Migration will play an increasingly vital role in coping with this transition and easing the burden on care and social security systems.”

Another economic benefit of immigration, among many, is that migrants are employed in “jobs…often characterized as ‘household production’ services. The increased presence of immigrants in this sector has made home services more affordable, which in turn has allowed more native-born women — especially highly educated women — to join the labor force or to increase their hours worked.”(Berkeley).

A venture into the political realm allows us to easily identify the problems with a homogeneous political system as those are most commonly known as dictatorships or tyrannies – where one strand of thought is compulsive throughout a society and any opposition is silenced immediately. There is no freedom in these societies. Historically and currently, there are plenty of examples of these – Mao’s China or Kim’s North Korea come to mind. But where two or more political parties exist within a nation, debate and compromise often lead to an overall better effect for the majority, as exhibited in the past few centuries of diverse governments across Europe and in the US. Additionally, these systems innately allow for freedom of differing opinions, freedom of research, as well as freedom for national discourse.

Our genetics, workplaces, economics, and political systems thrive best with diversity, exactly as Nature would have it. In the socio-cultural context, we witness that the Law of Diversity muscles its way through any attempt to homogenize our world.

One of the most obvious examples of cultural homogeneity is the ubiquity of American fast food chains exported throughout the world. Yet even these are not cookie-cutter establishments, their menus are adjusted to the native culture of their location. From “shrimp nuggets” offered by KFC in Singapore, to a “black Ninja burger” from Burger King in Japan, to a “dried pork and seaweed” donut at Dunkin’ Donuts in China, the Law of Diversity is manifested despite the homogenization of branding. Where imported cultural staples are adopted, there still remains a force of Diversity; New York sushi restaurants adapt the Japanese food to their Kosher clientele; in South America, sushi is dipped in salsa rather than soy sauce.

I’ve observed that workplace homogenization in the form of uniforms has prompted some eccentric personal grooming habits or accessorizing as a way of creating diversity; it’s the reason the tattoo culture has bloomed the last two decades, or facial piercings, or funky hairstyles and coloring. The trend of socks or ties in outrageous colors and patterns buck against the boardroom homogeneity of dark suits, allowing for an expression of differentiation. It’s as if on a subconscious level, we’re finding ways to be diverse from one another despite global, corporate pressure to look homogeneous.

At our very base, cellular level, there exists Diversity, and we are healthier for it. It should come as no surprise then, that our social structures, bound by the same Natural Law, are healthier when Diversity is preferred over homogeneity. Though some of us still strive to create a homogeneous culture, with one religion and one political system and one dominate race, Nature’s Law of Diversity will see to it that it is not permanent.

Here’s to our differences, for they constitute creativity and robust societies.

In peace,

Frankie


Half a World Away…

We are all the same, you see, there is no us and them.

Half a world away

A man wakes at four thirty in the morning

He prays to his god that this day

He might find the one ruby

That buys his family out of poverty

Half a world away

A mother cradles her infant child

Her breasts offer little milk

Food is scarce in the refugee camp

And her other children must eat as well

Half a world away

A nine year old boy walks

With his father and uncle

To the coal mines of India

Wages are low, he must work also

He is not the youngest

We are all the same, you see, there is no us and them.

Here in my home town

A man wakes early in the morning

And puts a gun to his head

He hasn’t found work for years

He can endure no more

Surely they are better off without him

Here in my home town

A mother leaves her children alone

She must work, they must eat

She cannot afford a sitter

Protective services arrives

They are a family no more

Here in my home town

A seven year old boy

Runs errands in the back alleys

Of a forgotten block in LA

His boss is a drug dealer

His errands are white packets

We are all the same, you see, there is no us and them.

What man does not desire to provide for his family?

Which mother would not her own meals for her children?

How many childhoods are stolen because of economics?

Half a world away, or here in my home town.

We are all the same, you see, there is no us and them.

author’s note:  the scenarios used in this prose are real.   a recent study released revealed a high increase in suicides in the u.s. due to long term unemployment issues.   here’s to thinking….and to those who struggle along side us – half a world away.    frankie