This is pretty much one of my strongest beliefs. For me it applies in terms of other peoples’ beliefs, mindsets and even genetics. We never know what we might need to survive. Of course this does not relate to just humans, but also to animals, plants, fish – the organic world – or even inorganic things.
You could say I am trying to keep my options open, not for me, but the human race. It could be the reason why I am politically liberal. It is why I am respectful (to a point*) of all religions, philosophic beliefs, value sets, and political beliefs. Respectful does not mean I will also agree or that I will live my life in a similar fashion.
“As you think, so shall you become” Master Bruce Lee
The *”to a point” then becomes my filter: there are counter balances to my core belief (infinite diversity can lead to infinite possibility). Here are some of them:
Respect for life
This may sound obvious, but I don’t mean just human, but also animals, plants and the planet we live on. It does not follow from this that I am anti-war – avoid it yes- but at all costs, no. I personally would not tolerate Hitler or Sadam Hussain. If that meant I would have to serve, I would.
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi
Equality of opportunity
I do believe in social justice, which for me means not to tolerate sexism, racism, or homophobia. It also means that we should have an excellent education and health system. Through this I would not want to wipe out the differences, for example between male and female gender, I love that we are different (and of course find myself occasionally frustrated by it!) Our differences in all forms allow us to develop different art forms, innovate new solutions and discover something never personally felt. I believe effective education is the key to achieving ‘Equality of opportunity’ and it is also a key part of us all being personally accountable.
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” Ronald E. Osborn
A balance between the community’s needs and the individual’s needs
I think the Libertian approach where people can do anything they want is not in the best interest for the human race or our planet. I also think that Communism will fail unless you find a way for individuals to succeed and excel, whilst countering greed. I also think Capitalism has many weaknesses. In terms of the divide between rich and poor, the wider it becomes the more likely there will be a revolution. I believe their has to be a tax system that allows for a redistribution of wealth, allowing us to have ‘safety net’ to protect the poor and vulnerable. This safety net should always where possible, encourage further growth and where possible not allow dependency. I do not believe that laziness should be rewarded. That said for those who are successful should be rewarded for their efforts. Whilst capitalism does this through money, I wonder if there are other models that might work.
“New ideas come from differences. They come from having different perspectives and juxtaposing different theories.” Nicholas Negroponte
Clash of Cultures..
I love diversity. I will not tolerate sexisim, racisim or homophobia. That said each characteristic e.g. gender or sex gives us each a different foundation to build upon, i.e. we are not all the same. This I like 🙂
I think immigration when not abused is a good thing. Its like having a good team: they are often comprised of very different personalities and approaches, when brought together well they will outstrip a team of clones. Immigration in my head is just a macro version of this. Most first world countries depend on immigrates to keep their economies competitive, maintain the skills/knowledge advantage and to do the jobs that first worlders no longer want to do. On a different but related note Immigrants have started nearly half of America’s 50 top venture-funded companies.
Whilst I would love for us all to one day to have a common language I would not want us to only speak one language. I speak bad English and even worse Spanish and both languages allow me to express myself in different ways. In a past life I was the Chair of the Cornish Language partnership as I held the belief, that the more languages a young child can learn, will give them extra ways express and create in, giving them more options in all things.
I worry when minority groups became overly defensive (i.e. adopt a siege mentaility) and exclusive (to themselves) rather then inclusive, as I see this can led to the inevitable decline of that ‘culture’. I will have to think more on this…
Respect for the ecology
No planet: no human race. I believe in the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I don’t own a car or a bike, I use my legs and public transport.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo
Think to the future
I am a strong believer that governments should think to the future. This highlights one of the problems with democracy. The election cycle often demands more short term gains by the voters and thus the politicians. Innovation and taking some the risk out of innovation should be part of a government’s role. How? Now that is a debate I would love to have.. In the end if we are to survive as a human race I am sure that many of the petty differences that we currently view as so important will disappear once we come together as one human race. To do that we will have to tackle poverty worldwide, find solutions to shortages of food, water, power and education/health AND ‘get over’ nations. We after all live on one planet.. and eventually it will not be able to provide for us all, so we will have to expand beyond it and into space.
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been” Wayne Getzky
Great advisers (that are different to their leaders) make great leaders
I believe the best leaders have great advisers (with different perspectives) who never get shot down for giving advice, the leader still chooses what to do. Its no different for good people they are often surrounded with many friends who have different opinions who can always give advice to their friend.
“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” Sir Winston Churchill
Every week of my life has changed me.. my views will evolve as my understanding of others evolves. I often debate or have great dialogue with those who once I disagreed with and occasionally my view will change and occasionally their view will change. Together as human race this is one journey of discovery and I am not sure we will ever find ‘perfect truths’ or principles that help us in every situation.
“Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which they were created.” Albert Einstein