Meet my creative friend and daughter, Madison Padgett from Vancouver, Canada. I’ve always loved the way she writes and her perspective on life. And from the time she was 2 years old, we’ve had the most fascinating conversations. Madison engages with all her heart, she’s uninhibited in her thoughts and she respects a good discourse. She likes to challenge your thinking and she welcomes being challenged in return. Madison’s an extraordinarily talented woman who is a film and theatre enthusiast; a natural leader with keen business savvy; and carries an immense curiosity for people and psychology. I asked Madi to share her views on the topic of Diversity. Check it out!
DIVERSITY IS A VERY POWERFUL WORD
Diversity is a very powerful word. It’s a perfectly balanced word. It is balanced between a meaning that can bring an abundance of light and joy and a word that can cause confusion and hatred and misunderstandings.
I never thought of the word diversity until I was asked to write about it. I realized that there is so much to discuss in a plethora of different categories when it comes to one simple word: Diversity.
Which is ironic.
As I mulled over all the different conversations one can have about such a simple word I realized something rather profound: Diversity is best when the word doesn’t exist.
The beauty of diversity is like looking at a mosaic. Each piece of glass is a different size, shape, colour, and in the end creates a beautiful picture that lives and breathes and changes from morning to night. Diversity should be the same. I say should because it occurred to me how often we use diversity to hate people, to limit people and exclude.
Rarely do we see diversity fully celebrated in our day to day. We label people: weird, different, wrong, sinful, pious, pretentious, dirty, lazy, self-centered, too happy, liberal, conservative, all of the colours of the rainbow including the rainbow and much more.
Yeah, there are other words to discuss this: Prejudice, Bios, Racist, and Sexist.
But what are all of those things?
A.K.A: The antichrist of diversity.
The wrecking ball against the stain glass window.
Its incredible how often people will feel judged and abandoned because they are diverse. I want to write about this because we as a society love to sugar coat things. We love to complain and then pretend to rally around something that we don’t even practice.
The intention is good. But rarely is the intention right.
When I write about diversity I want to be able to say that I want you to embrace yours. I want to be able to tell you that every piece of that colourful glass is important because it makes you who you are. To strive to build as many pieces as you can, tall and wide, to create the most imaginative you that you can think of.
But I can’t.
I can’t because I know in my heart that for every new piece of color you add the more people will scorn you. The more people will target you. The more you will feel alone. That if I tell you to be diverse to open your mind and embrace new things and challenge yourself you will be deemed wrong and crazy by many. You will feel you have entered into a long up-hill battle and at more than one time you will ask yourself why you even bothered.
You will be too colorful, too interesting, too open minded. So you will start pissing more people off. The bigger you make that window the more you let the light in and let the colors dance along the floor the more they will want to break you. So why bother.
Is it just me or after reading that does everyone want to create the greatest, biggest, most amazing Mosaic that you’re life could ever imagine to hold? To create a new definition to the word diversity! To be able to say with authority, “You can’t touch my masterpiece!”
I hope so. I hope me telling you to be a drab piece of concrete with nothing interesting or different makes you angry. I hope that by me telling you that you can’t handle people trying to break you will make you stand up. I hope so. Because I hope the next time your mind closes and you move to smash out a piece of someone else’s mosaic you pause.
You stop and you think: “Actually this piece of you is what makes you who you are. And who am I to take it from you?”
Diversity is a great word when it’s not talked about: when we no longer look at the things that make us different but relish in the things that make us the same.
You might have chosen something different than me for your story but that doesn’t mean that you’re story is lesser than mine or that I have any right to destroy what you’ve built.
The goal of diversity is to no longer need the word. The goal of diversity is to celebrate being human and to not search for the differences, to not even need them, because we know at the core we are all striving to make a story and to share it.
So where to start?
You can start by opening your mind in one of the many areas that diversity pertains to. You have a lot to choose from. Start by taking one of your insecurities, or things people have smashed away from you, and celebrate it and then celebrate it in others.