Though I’ve written about the purpose of a college education, the way we derive value from our experiences, and the multitude of issues that a student, scientist, or philosopher might face in his/her routine, much of it stops at reality. My writing has been mostly speculation, criticism, appreciation of ideas, ideologies, and rhetoric, so it’s easy to see how it isn’t meant to be taken as practical, concrete content that one may easily apply to his/her life. It doesn’t tell you what should or shouldn’t be illegal, what you should eat for breakfast, or whom you should marry. Put it simply: theoretical analysis doesn’t have practical benefits.
But it does. And it might help us fight stereotypes.
The issues associated with race, sex, and whatever other avenue there may that hinder our path to justice and equality are often seen as simply social issues. We like to think that changes in policy, agency, or law will solve our problems. But sometimes there are causes so deeply rooted within our psyche that they require a re-examination of the very ideas that we think everyday. They require a humanistic approach.
And, of course, we can bring the concept of diversity itself to the stage of these introspection. Diversity is not an issue that is as simple as carrying out data analysis with more people of color or giving presentations to both male and female principal investigators. Much deeper than the color of someone’s skin are ideas themselves. These ideas form the basis for who we are, and finding differences in ideas follows from what our own ideas are; we must first know what we believe before we can understand how the beliefs of others are different from ours. We form connections and relations among places we would ordinary see as differences. There is something remarkably beautiful how being exposed to ideas, thoughts, and messages that are different from ours makes a statement about how one learns about the world. What I mean is that diversity tells us who we are and who we aren’t. Because of this, diversity enables empathy, curiosity, and goodwill in all of us. And that’s important.
And we, bloggers, are more than just wonder-stricken fools gazing into the skies of a distant land.