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3 cheerleaders with learning challenges

Avoiding diversity

For most of us, there are diverse others around whom we may feel discomfort. Are you able to be honest with yourself and look inward and detect a diverse group of people that are especially challenging for you?

If I may share something personal about myself, when I look at the diversity wheel and I select the diversity of religion, I must admit there are members of certain religions, around whom I feel uneasiness. Now this is not because I practice a different faith. I am very comfortable around many different faiths or belief systems. The religious persons I am no longer comfortable to be around are those who claim to be the sole representatives of the one-and-only true religion.

Two to three times a week, we experience just such religious persons outside our office building at Purdue University. These two persons call out to everyone who passes by to promote a specific faith. They advocate only one specific belief system. They believe everyone else is wrong. They want everyone else to change and believe as they believe. There is no room for diversity of religion with these two advocates of their own one-true-faith.

Honestly, I am not no longer comfortable with that perspective. The reasons for my discomfort come from my own experience of many years ago when I believed there was only one true religion. So now I feel ashamed for once holding and practicing such a narrow minded belief system. My current faith and continued learning took me in another direction of faith, belief, and spiritual understanding.

Take a few moments and reflect on the diversity wheel in Step 1.4 and identify a new diversity you find especially challenging. What are your reasons for your discomfort? What are your experiences? Please share these in the comments then respond to a few comments from other learners.

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Understanding Diversity and Inclusion

Purdue University

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