Challenge Your Diversity

Are you constantly stuck in a rut? Do you engage in conversation with the same people day in and day out? Do you feel you have a routine that rarely variates? Do you find yourself wanting to change but are stifled by COVID? Have you struggled with making things happen and still comply with the new ways that the virus has challenged us? I think many people are struggling with the new “norm.” It’s challenging to meet new people. It’s a struggle to change your routine and try new places. It feels like everywhere we go, we are held at arms link from others. It’s for our protection, but it doesn’t make it easier to engage with one another.

One of my closest friends and I like to try new places out at least once a month. This has been put on hold due to the pandemic. We talked about this the other night and decided that we weren’t going to stop trying new places. I want to try some Indian and Thai food. There are a few places in the area that I’ve never tried and would love to get a group together to go, but until the pandemic slows down, this won’t be easy.

Before the pandemic, I was able to meet people from all walks of life. Some were through non-profit work, while others were at restaurants, stores, and outings. Now I meet people through writing, customers that come in and out and still engage in conversations with people in stores. Albeit rare, though. I am challenging myself to meet at least five new people a week. I’m also willing to try new hobbies. I have another friend who wants me to get into pottery. I tried that years ago and did not do a good job, but I only had one class, to be fair. None of us do well when we don’t give ourselves a fair chance.

I thought I would try a new approach. The last year I’ve been forcing myself to learn some of the Asian languages. It’s a difficult journey for me. I’ve watched numerous shows and had many of them repeat the dialogue so much that I could all but memorize the lines. The struggle of learning the enunciations, the accents, the tones, and the languages can be challenging, especially when the languages consist of Mandarin, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean. Sometimes it isn’t easy to know what language a show is in without a little research. I’ve picked up a few words and phrases, but there is much more work to do and learn. With the challenges of watching those shows, I’ve paid attention to the diverse culinary choices shown. Noodles and rice are becoming food of choice, especially now that I can mix up various foods that complement them. Debussy’s Moonlight Sonata has played on many of the shows. It has reinvigorated my love of classical music.

I used to loathe mystery stories, and now I crave them. I think we all have things in our lives that we are introduced or re-introduced to. It’s through those concepts and diversifications that we grow. I’ve often heard that when we are uncomfortable, we grow. That statement is very accurate. Part of expanding our diversification is being open to change. Part of it is through necessity. We have a lot of people in this world who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. But we also have many people who are making this world a better place and striving to reach out a hand to others in need. Challenging our diversity starts with a simple step. Being willing to step out of our comfort zone allows us to engage with people we never have before. It also allows us to have a variety of dreams and goals we never knew existed.

Don’t allow yourselves to settle. You bring so many unique qualities to those around you and people you’ve never met. We all have the power to incite change in this world. The most difficult part of change is willing to admit change should start with each one of us. Never take a day for granted. This world offers something new each day. All we have to do is be willing to see the world through different lenses, and we begin to challenge our diversity. Who knows? The diversification we apply to our lives may affect others positively and make them want to do the same. All it takes is one person to make a difference. Something tells me a lot of you have voices that are going to be heard. Try changing up your routine and getting to know various types of diversity. You never know what you are going to learn from the experience.

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