Posted by: 2thdocbob | 6 December 2014

Oh, no, not another diversity presentation!

Haven’t we all felt this way? The announced topic for the next office training is diversity. You wonder: “Can I call in sick that morning?” “What can I honestly do to avoid another unproductive morning?” You decide to attend anyway, and your worst fears are confirmed. Or perhaps you get one decent takeaway from a long presentation.

Why is all this necessary? It seems to be just one more intrusive concept dished out on us by government entities.

Yes, I get it.

We are all different. We are all unique, just like everyone else. We need to tolerate these differences and treat one another with respect.

Throughout my life, I have made an effort to understand those of other cultures, and I treat them with respect. Music and food have contributed to that understanding. But I am also fascinated by people with unusual names. I have had some interesting conversations because I asked about someone’s last name.

Gender differences: no problem. I am thankful that women are different from men. And I understand many of the differences that go beyond basic biology.

Sexual orientation is just plain misunderstood. Don’t think that because I don’t agree with certain lifestyle choices means that I disrespect the individuals. I have many friends of all persuasions. And they know that I respect them as individuals.

Religious differences do not pose a problem. As a Latter-day Saint, I come from a religion that has endured more persecution and misunderstanding than most other religions, other than Judaism. Don’t ever try to tell me that I’m intolerant on that count.

I am learning more about generational differences so that I can be a better teacher. But I treat people of all ages with respect.

I even tolerate most of the rabid fans (comes from the word fanatic) of most rival teams. And I have good friends from all political persuasions: we agree to disagree.

I even show toleration (to a degree) for those who are dumber than a rock. In fact I pity many of them.

And social status and education has never mattered to me. In fact, don’t call me doctor when I’m outside my office. I’m just Bob, or Brother Stevenson. My doctoral degree doesn’t make me more important than someone who just barely survived high school. Just don’t try to be something you are not. I don’t tolerate insincerity very well.

I try to follow the Christian doctrine to love one another as Christ has loved me.[1] At least, I do the best I can. There is still some room for improvement. I seriously think of most men and women as my brothers and sisters.

Okay, maybe I am intolerant in one area. I have absolutely no tolerance for those who assume that because I am a white male, I must be intolerant or prejudiced. So you presume to judge me by the color of my skin and my gender?

Because I am a white male, I must treat everyone respectfully, but reciprocation of that respect is not mandated: it is not considered politically correct.

And what about the firstborn versus the middle child?  What about blond versus brunette? What about respect for the balding? What about respect for the poor, maligned trombonists and violists? And why do the sopranos and tenors get all the good parts? How about respecting my neighbor who drives a Smart Car? How about Macs and the PCs? What about the Hatfields and McCoys? Enormous State U versus Bo Diddley Tech?

Why isn’t that part of diversity training?

There appears to be some sort of a disconnect here. Can we address this in our next office training?

[1] New Testament, KJV. John 13:34.


  1. Reblogged this on One Small Voice Scripture Review and commented:
    Don’t you hate it when others our intolerant when they perceive intolerance.


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