Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone in the world were exactly the same? If we all looked and dressed alike, ate the same foods and spoke the same language, the world would be a pretty boring place. It’s our diversity, or differences, that make the world so exciting.
Diversity and Inclusion: Let’s Learn More
Diversity is all about what makes us individuals. Across the world and even within your own community, you’ll find lots of different people. Some of the obvious differences are age, appearance, culture, language, disability and race or ethnicity. There are even differences we can’t physically see, such as sexuality or religious beliefs. The important thing is to always accept and love others, even if they do, see and believe things differently than you. This is called inclusion.
Inclusion is the involvement and empowerment of those who are different than us. By including others, we practice respect for all talents, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of living. There are some people in our world who only like those who look and believe the same as they do. This is called prejudice, which is basically thinking badly of someone because of their differences before you know them.
Why does it matter?
Talking openly and positively about differences helps us better understand ourselves and those around us. By embracing diversity and inclusion, we learn to empathize with people who are different than us, which changes our perspective to see what it’s like to live in their skin. Diversity and inclusion make us all kinder, more respectful people.
How can I learn more?
There are many excellent ways to explore diversity and inclusion. Then you can apply these needed attitudes to your life. Here are five:
- Books are a great way to introduce yourself to cultures and people you might not come across in your everyday life. Chat with your teacher or school librarian; they are likely to have a list of recommendations for you. Check out our “BookShelf” reading list in this issue of Boomerang, too!
- Bring diversity into your diet! Each month, choose a different culture or cuisine from around the world and try out a new recipe. You might just find your new favorite meal!
- Learn more about diversity by exploring your family’s background. Ask a parent, grandparent or another family member to make a family tree with you. This will give you an understanding of where your family comes from while helping you form an appreciation for different cultures.
- Go to a museum! Small or large, local or global, museums are packed with information about various cultures around the world. Take your time going through the exhibits and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Engage in the world around you. That’s the best way to understand these principles. Take advantage of time in the car or at the dinner table with your family to discuss what’s happening in the news or listen to a kid-friendly news podcast like KidNuz for more insight.