Monday, January 23, 2017

The Big, Big Crayon Box: A Case for Enjoying Diversity

Remember these?  Oh how I loved these, I don't think I every actually had a box like this but it draws me in with wide eyed wonder.  That same magnet has matured into a love of Facebook, I seem to have an inherent delight in diversity, to such a degree that early in our marriage I lamented to my husband that I was afraid that in raising our children in our small town that they wouldn't be exposed to enough people of color or gender diversity (thank you internet for letting me have my white cake Longview and eat it, the children are grown and have been well exposed).

This love of diversity is part of who I am and my Pollyanna desire to embrace everyone and everything.  God Bless my stoic family upbringing for tempering this compulsion to socially acceptable levels and I've only miscued and over-hugged a few people (you know that awkward moment when you realize 'oops, not a hugger, my bad.)

My Facebook yesterday yielded lots of marchers, a few confused men, a few '#notmymarch already equal ladies' (that's good) the regular mix of spiritual enthusiasts and the few who give me enough bathroom humor to keep me grounded - I actually laughed out loud at "with all the ladies marching who's going to make us our sammiches".

I feel fortunate that my response to different is 'yay' or 'cool' or 'that's interesting' and rarely, but on occasion, NO, JUST NO - that's usually in response to the kind of contrary that takes advantage of someone else's vulnerability or a piercing that looks really painful, even in those cases I want to know more, I want to understand what would drive that behavior.

So, this is partially inherent, partly a choice and largely because of luck of the draw.  This larger part is because I feel safe.  I have the support and care I need to meet those bottom four layers of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs- see...


Our beautiful brains, in keeping our species alive, had thousands of years where tuning in to differences was necessary for survival.  Things that are novel, things we've never before seen trigger a response in us, when we feel safe it can be an AHHH (like vista's or new babies), when we don't feel safe it can be an AGHHH.  Our exposure and mixing of cultures through globalization has accelerated exponentially- of course we are freaking out!!!  Our downstairs brain- the amygdala- is saying "WHOA- what is that?  what is that?"  At the same time, expressions that have been hiding for generations are finally able to see the light of day, to feel the warmth of acceptance upon their hungry hearts and hesitant minds.

The whole point of this blog is not to brag on how open and accepting I am, it's to understand those people who are not so that we can move into being who we are even faster.  We are going in that direction and it will happen, the strange cat has been let out of the bag.  Look at this article, the gender assigned roles are being questioned.

When my marchers and my no marchers come into conflict it requires more dialogue and conversation- let's not shut down, let's trade our judgement (bad girl- no, YOU are a bad girl) for curiosity (what the heck? I don't get it sister)

For my privileged attitude to be the common; to allow true freedom for all we need people to feel supported and cared for- to be safe.  Patience as we put this puzzle together, it has 7 billion pieces and in Truth they are all a one and only.

Enjoy the crayons you encounter today, every color matters.

Love, Fawna

Tired of the Drama?  Want to be in charge of how your world looks?
Circle of Trust:  Shift to Healthy Relationships by Fawna Bews


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