Archive for diversity

Diversities Are Not Easily Accepted

Posted in CULTURE, Our Health, Spotlight with tags , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Mijiza Zeyzey

Recently, I came across a well written article on neurodiveristy. Neurodiversity is a new field that explores and offers an explanation for disabilities.  The article starts by stating . . .

“Differences among brains are as enriching – and essential – as differences among plants and animals. Welcome to the new field of neurodiversity.”

— Edited excerpt from Neurodiveristy: Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences, by Thomas Armstrong.

Thomas Armstrong used a culture of flowers as a metaphor of the diversities in people. He pointed out that differences in growth and color of flowers are accepted as characteristics of flower types. He used this metaphor of diversity as an example of the diversity in ways that the human brain works. His point was that what are now labeled disabilities should be termed diversities.

Brilliant, if people could only accept diversities! People have yet to except the sunflower as being a “gigantic” flower. They have yet to see the harm done when expecting the sunflower to grow the same as daisies. Enough of the metaphors, getting people to celebrate differences people is not as easy as appreciating different flowers.

People are not yet accepting of cultural, religious, racial, or ethnic diversities. The concept of celebrating differences is still alien in societies. People are more likely to appreciate differences in plants and animals than in people. Do not be misled into believing that diversities are disabilities or that the non-acceptance of diversities is not disabling.

I appreciate this effort to change ways of thinking of diversities. It is an excellent example of the level of change in thinking that society needs to make. It is an excellent example of what change in thinking can lead to. Read the full story at AlterNet