By Cindy Vallance
For many reasons I personally shy away from the concept of ‘truth.’ The world is too complex and my subjective perspectives based on my own life experiences too particularly individual to make a claim on truth.
But Nancy Kline’s 8th principle for a thinking environment holds strong appeal to me. DIVERSITY. She asserts that diversity enhances thinking because it is true. The opposite of diversity – homogeneity – assumes we are all alike and thus underestimates or even denies our differences.
If we assume, however, that diversity is true, then we no longer will assume that the dominant group is superior, that everyone should emulate it and that power should accrue to it. We will hunger for diversity, we will seek it and we will appreciate it for what it is – truth.
So how do we fight our own inherent prejudices? Since we are talking about thinking as equals, let’s consider the prejudice of intellectual superiority. Next time you are in a diverse group, ask yourself:
“If I knew that the people whom I have been pre-conditioned or taught to believe are less intelligent than I am are actually bright and able to think well about any subject of their choice, how would I feel and behave when I hear them think? And how would I regard them as my listeners when it is their turn to hear me think?”
Welcoming difference and accepting the truth of diversity is essential to thinking well.