BK Blog Post
Posted by Michael Nagler.
Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.
“Diversity there certainly is in the world, but it means neither inequality nor untouchability.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, vol. 3, 230
Gandhi wrote long before diversity became what we’d call these days a meme and core value of the ecological movement, before we recognized how essential it is in the health of nature—including, surprisingly, human nature. Where diversity, so crucial to the nature of life, becomes a source of conflict and separation is where the minds of some people (usually those insecure in their own identity) impose a sense of “high” and “low” on diversity, leading in the extreme to what biologist Eibl-Eibesfeld has termed “pseudo speciation,” marking out some members of the human species as not part of it; in our terminology, dehumanization. If we could learn to appreciate diversity, not feel threatened by it, we would eliminate a major source of destructive conflict and be well on our way to perceiving the unity of life.
Thanks for sharing a comment below.
Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.
Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.