Cryptic title? Sorry, lol. Kinda how I feel right now. So here’s the deal.
I work for an awesome company. I enjoy what I do. I actually like what I do. So when I was selected to partake in a Diversity Inclusion program I felt honored. It has been a journey. It has been fun. It has been interesting. To say I have learned a lot is not enough.
You see, I don’t feel like I have a diverse story. I was raised treating everyone equal. In fact, some of my friends in elementary school were black. I have a black son-in-law. I have a ‘mixed’ granddaughter. That means nothing. We are all the same. Whoa – that is really not what diversity it at all!! Maybe, just maybe this is a better description.
I’m not here to talk about black people; I’m here to talk about diversity.Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin colour — it’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and — most important of all, as far as I’m concerned -– diversity of thought.
So when I first attended, I didn’t think I had anything to learn. Wrong. How crazy is that. Diversity isn’t about color or race. Diversity is “everyone has a story”. Everyone has a different way to deal with things. To share things. We are ALL equal.
I have been in Des Moines this week for the final event. I honestly will miss seeing the folks that are ultimately a part of the same ‘organization’ as me but I rarely interact with. I have made 30+ new friends. I can call upon any of them at ANY time. It’s been proven.
This week has been a little hard for me. I needed to have conversations with folks. To interact. To feel included. And they did just that. It didn’t matter what was bothering me. It didn’t matter that I was quiet. They were there for me. It helped.
What I have learned is this. People think differently. People react differently. People have different needs. I don’t ever want to make anyone feel lonely. Not liked. Not cared for. Not included in life.
Will I make mistakes? Yes. Of course. But will I always have this 7 month journey to remind me? Yes, of course.
Even when someone’s needs aren’t exactly what my needs are, I still want to be there for them. If it means an extra text. An extra phone call. An extra hug. I want to be there. I want to be a friend to whoever needs one. Life is too short to not take the time to go the extra mile. If I will do it for one person, I will do it for others. I want to make a difference even if it puts me out of my comfort zone.
And that’s a WRAP. So glad I was chosen to participate.