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It Takes All Kinds

When we look at nature, we see a vast diversity of life.  Not just the fact that no two of anything (snowflakes, grains of sand, or flowers) are exactly alike, but that there is a vast diversity of species.  Why is that?  Because it takes all kinds of life to be robust enough to handle everything the world throws at it. 

But humanity has a habit of creating sameness rather than diversity.  For instance, Iowa produces more corn than any other state, so each year, they plant 13 million acres of corn.  As a result, any pest that likes to eat corn has a heyday in Iowa.  This lack of diversity creates situations that cause people to have to spray their crops with pesticides aggressively, or they would lose everything. 

As individual humans, there is a tendency toward sameness too.  We like particular brands of things; for instance, all my socks are Golden Toe, and all my underwear is Calvin Klein.  There is a trend in this country toward a sameness of thinking.  We surround ourselves with people who believe as we do.  In this world of social media and "news channels" that are more op-ed than news, we can cocoon ourselves in sameness with relative ease.

It's a matter of trust.  I know that if I buy Golden Toe socks, they fit and feel right for me and will last a reasonable amount of time.  Then, in the morning, when I am still half asleep, I don't have to spend thought on picking my socks.  That works well for me, and I doubt I am experiencing any downside to my lack of diversity in socks.

On the other hand, having a lack of diversity in people around me has a negative effect.  It is like growing only corn in vast swathes of land.  It creates a uniformity of thinking susceptible to particular pests that prey on those beliefs.  Just like huge corn fields, I can quickly be ravaged by these destructive forces.  I become easy prey for those who target many people with similar beliefs and habits.

So I become more resilient in my life, in the same way, that my stock portfolio is more robust, by diversifying.  When I diversify my portfolio, I look for asset classes that react differently to adverse situations so that when something happens, some of my assets go down while others go up.  By doing that, I smooth out the big swings in valuation.  I can do that myself, or I can find a mutual fund that does it for me and buy into that.  

Diversifying my beliefs starts by paying attention to people that express things differently than I do.  I can tune in to other news channels, looking for what could be right, not just bashing them for being "wrong-headed."  I can reach out in the world to include people who do not look like me or think like me.  Have a cup of coffee with them, and start from a place that we agree on, and then spread out from there. 

This type of lifestyle requires us to be much more judicious with spraying our mental pesticides on everything that looks like it might be a threat.  It moves us to tear down barriers that were keeping the good ideas of life from having a free range to roam.  Ultimately, if we all attracted a diversity of thoughts, humanity would become more like the vastly complex rain forests that Spirit created.  Alive and resilient to all that impacts our lives.  

We just have to remember that it takes all kinds.

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