Look at these photos of differently colored and shaped jewels. Each one of us is like one of these jewels inside! We have internal beauty, uniqueness, and the potential for ever-expanding worth.
Increasingly, in the world, we are categorized into groups by criteria that diminish or trivializes our lives, humanity and worth. Children are labeled by their learning disability. We are referred to by our disease or addiction in medical centers. We are classified by our lack, for example, poor, homeless. We are distinguished by the color of our skin, our gender, our nationality, our language, our education, our age group. And then, shamefully often, by these categories, assumptions are drawn about our worth, abilities, potential… what our choices are, should be, or will be limited to…. we call this classification by our LOWEST common denominators.
These assumptions often have dire consequences for the individual, that can last even for decades or for life. Not seldom, these assumptions are used as rationalization to discount or even victimize an individual or entire group.
These labels and generalizations have been calcified into the monster of DIVERSITY. Magnifying the DIFFERENCES between people and groups. Assertions are made, often by stealth, that those not in our group are to be mistrusted, mistreated, suspected, feared. Loudly it is proclaimed that DIVERSITY IS REAL – AND presents a real barrier to justice in our organizations, communities, nations and our world.
Human resource managers have said to us often that the programs they’re given to run on diversity are making the problems worse. When I ask if the programs are based on the unshakeable belief, the undisputable fact that diversity exists, they look a little surprised. Their “yes” is given with both hope and curiosity in their eyes. Our response is, “given this absolute, intellectual foundation, there is nowhere else to go but back to that premise, that model of “reality.” But is it really true?”
What is the ONE thing that every human being alive on the earth shares IN COMMON? Regardless of where we are born or raised, what the characteristics of our bodies are, or where we think we’re going?
Again: what is the ONE thing that every human being alive on the earth shares IN COMMON?
It is LIFE. (To signify the fullness of what this is and means, we always write it and consciously conceptualize it written in all capital letters.)
Purely. Simply. We all have LIFE inside us. And from that shining point, we all want the same things: to be loved; to have food, clothing and shelter; to have opportunities for ourselves and our children; to be part of a family, a community; to be appreciated; to live in peace; to have our God-given freedoms recognized and protected; to improve ourselves and our lot; and, very often, we want somehow to help the world be a better place.
This is our Highest Common Denominator. Choosing to live by the acknowledgement of our Highest Common Denominator, TRANSCENDS diversity.
From this summit of illumination, clarity and truth, all so-called diversity becomes variety – a joyful celebration of the cornucopian bounty, profusion, and richness of LIFE.
Look at the pictures above again. Which one speaks of the Unity of LIFE, the Highest Common Denominator with in each of us, connecting us all together, while it still displays our individual, unique beauty and worth? What does the other picture tell us of other choices in relationships?
CHOOSING to see and honor others and ourselves by our Highest Common Denominator can transform life – from the struggle of constant effort that does not change the world one iota, to, in peace and unity, creating the world anew together.
It can bring all mankind into constructive, loving RELATIONSHIP – instead of isolation in a sea of endless disconnectedness and conflict.