My Thoughts: Diversity and Balance

a list of idea-tools that I may/may not use depending on if they turn out to be useful or true


DIVERSITY IS STRENGTH. The success of human beings as a species is partly due to our diversity. We evolved to work in small hunter-gatherer bands, as some people still do even today. And for each group to be successful and survive they must have a diversity of skills, working co-operatively. (LINK to be added to co-operation research) If the group were all good hunters without gathers, all healers without hunters, all cautious without risk takers, all reckless without planners; they would not have survived. (See Human Past and Human Nature) The different views need someone to embody them, so there is a rallying point to allow others to change their views. We are social animals with the ability to some degree to change our behaviours and make a choices.


HUE-MANS. Peter Sidoli “We are Hue-man beings.” Diverse, many hued. All human, all different.


CONNECT & BALANCE. Imagine balancing a wooden spoon horizontally across your fingers. One end is heavier than the other so the point is difficult to find. Balance is dynamic, it is not a mediocre middle ground; neither one thing nor the other. It is not grey and bland. The point of balance is connected to the two extremes on the scale. Balance reaches out and includes. Balance is ever changing. It is dynamic. The extremes are never changing. The middle ground is rich and diverse, where many things intersect. The defined poles of the axis, the extremes, are mono-chrome and mono-cultural. They are more dull.


THE PURPOSE OF LIFE. Is to find fulfilment for yourself and others. They are in fact the same. This is because we are all connected.


BALANCE OF RIGHTS. One person is right the other is wrong? It is often the case that two rights come into conflict. The rights of the individual versus the rights of society. Freedom of expression, versus freedom from persecution. It is a difficult judgement to make, and sometimes there maybe no right answer.


THE STILL CENTRE & THE DANCER. Imagine a simple toy that has a spring that returns it to an upright position when disturbed. Is the point of perfection or divine connection far off, or is it close-by. Perhaps it is the still centre point of ourselves. The place of calm contentment. We wobble around this point of balance all the time, buffeted by circumstances. We pass through or near that point everyday, achieving moments of perfection. The unique perfection at the point of you for that present moment. It is not far away and only accessible through long methods and intermediaries. It is ever close and yet illusive. Even bad people can occasionally do good things. As we are interacting with the world there will be wobbles, there can’t not be (See Making Mistakes Is Part of Being Alive), but what we are striving for is holding on to that sense of centre such that we can more easily return to it. Maintain it for longer. Like the dancer, when she has all her facilities held in dynamic equilibrium, then she can move more effectively. This work on the self helps your works in the world. “to keep us at the centre of the circle, we must embrace simplicity, put others first, desire little.” Tao Teh Ching.


HIERARCHY IS FALSE; ALL EQUAL, ALL DIFFERENT. Human beings have many qualities. These qualities sit on many more than just one axis. And these can be inverted, or seen has neither having a higher or lower end, merely level with a left and right. Hierarchy emerges when certain axes are valued over others. We cannot all be the same to avoid hierarchy, for the diversity is what makes us human (See Diversity Is Strength). It is only when valuing a particular axis becomes fixed and dominant that difference becomes a problem rather than a advantage to humans. There is no single outstanding axis to be the measure of people. No basis for absolute superior or inferior. We are all good and bad, better or worse, skilled or unskilled, abled or disabled at a myriad of things. All equal, all different. Difference can exist without hierarchy. (LINK to be added to co-operation research) Who is more important the cleaner or the chief executive? Remove either of them and what happens, what problems emerge? It all depends on which axis you are measuring.


MONO-CULTURES ARE WEAK. Looking at the natural world it is clear to see that diverse systems are more versatile and less vulnerable to collapse than mono-cultures. Which is consequently why the natural world is so diverse. It could be said for human cultures too. A mono-culture of central control and dictatorship seems strong, but it is inflexible and slow to change. The tree that bends in the storm survives, and the strong stubborn tree is broken. Diversity seems inevitable.


DIVERSE VIEWS ARE GOOD. The group with diverse views is easier to change it’s mind in the majority to new situations, than a group with all the same view. There is no questioning if all agree. The diverse views balance each other, it is not quiet, it is not neat, it is not tidy, but it is alive, interactive and it works. (LINK to be added to measures of group effectiveness research.) The need to tidy, neat, certain, absolute answers with no further room for doubt or discussion; ends life. For life is messy, complex, unfathomable, uncertain and understanding of it always uncertain partial and provisional.


ALL CANNOT BE MADE ONE, ALL ARE MANY. No one can enforce sameness. Diversity will out. As can be seen from the history of intolerant belief systems, for they create obvious conflict between themselves and those outside who are obviously different, but there are also tensions within about what the sameness to be imposed should be. So the attempt at unity leads to division, and disunity. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction? However, acceptance of difference and diverse views by all, leads to unity. Unity and peace comes from acceptance of difference, and not enforcement of sameness. However, acceptance of difference has to be encouraged, it cannot be forced into people. (LINK to ritual theory to be added.)


NO ONE CAN SEE OR KNOW EVERYWHERE. There is no single point from which one can see all. There are different perspectives. Some views are wider ranging as from a mountain top, some only see their own garden, but no one can look in all directions at once. Consequently, not knowing everything, one cannot be right about everything. Yet some people speak as if they do and the media encourages this dangerous folly.


YOUR PHILOSOPHY IS YOUR PSYCHOLOGY. People’s position on issues or their overall philosophy cannot but be shaped by the emotional context of their minds within which the ideas were formed. (LINK to be added to cognitive bias research.) The choice of point of view on an issue is the result of pre-existing emotional bias, with reasoning coming afterwards to justify that choice. Know your ideas and thus know thyself. Change your ideas and change yourself.