Variety is the spice in my life

21 Oct 2004|Added Value

Growing up in the suburbs of southern California in the 60s and 70s, an appreciation for cultural diversity wasn’t something we were raised on. After spending my junior year abroad, I became a passionate spokesperson for the necessity of having culturally immersive experiences. I hadn’t realized until then how naive so many of my friends were when it came to recognizing that the rest of the world is just not like us… nor do they want to be.

Fast forward 20 years later…

My Venezuelan boyfriend of Columbian and Mexican roots thinks nothing of splitting his life between here and Brazil. Another friend who leads tours around the US is soon off to Southern Africa for 4 months. My colleague Jennifer just adopted a son from Russia, and a colleague visiting my office remarked that he felt like he was in Latin America (there was meeting going on in Spanish, a frequent occurance here). We just published a study which included responses from thousands of people around the globe. And I’ve spent the day today watching a photoshoot of dozens of people of diverse ethnic backgrounds for another upcoming global study.

In short, I couldn’t escape the realization that the world is not like me f I tried – it doesn’t share my tastes, my looks nor my values. I hope that as our country matures, it will not only recognize diversity within our own boundaries, but will also begin to understand and appreciate that not everyone aspires to be like us.

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