My new t-shirt arrived yesterday and I love it!
This t-shirt gives voice to my thoughts. My thoughts are anti-racism. My thoughts want to encourage and love and build people up. My thoughts can sometimes creep towards anger and hatred and other negative things when events like Charlottesville happen, but those are not the thoughts I want to voice. Those thoughts need to be taken captive and replaced with positive thoughts. The positive thoughts need to be communicated with words.
As much as I love words and sentences and wordplay and more words, sometimes the right words just aren’t there. I can’t wrangle the appropriate words together to truly capture my sorrow over the brokenness of our world. And so, when I saw this t-shirt, I knew those three words said a whole lot, and I want to wear those words as a prominent proclamation. Diversity is Strength. All of us together, with all our differences, make society better. We are greater than the sum of our parts.
When I’m wearing this shirt, I am saying to other white people, “Our brothers and sisters from other racial backgrounds are valuable, worthy, and necessary. You and I are just one shade of skin and we need all shades. Our differences don’t make us less or better, but we are all better with a collection of differences. Please join into the collective better with me.”
When I’m wearing this shirt, I am saying to people of different skin colours, “I am with you. I am for you. Your story may be different from mine and I can’t claim to know your pain. But I can learn from you and I value you. Your opinion carries weight. Your perspective counts. Yes, your life matters. Your culture enriches mine. I am honoured to be in this collective with you.”
When I’m wearing this shirt, I am saying to my children, “This is the standard for our family. This is how we treat each other, and this is how you need to treat everyone. Family is a safe place to be different and loved, and as you launch out into the world, make sure you are a safe place for other people to be different and still feel loved.”
Obviously, diversity isn’t limited to race. I know there are a whole slew of other things. It is completely absurd to me that the cause of racial harmony is in the direst need of champions right now. But if that need is to be met and eradicated, then it needs to be acknowledged. That is the need that I am speaking into now.
There. I’ve managed to add a whole bunch of other words to a very simple message. Diversity is strength. I would also love to be able to express how perfect I think it is that my son wanted to wear his Canada hat for this picture…but I have no words.