The well-known poet Maya Angelou once said, “In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.”
She’s right. Sort of. Her statement is only half correct. There is beauty and strength in diversity … but only when people aim in the same direction.
The American military is a good example. Our servicemen and women come from a variety of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. They all have different skill sets, talents, and life experiences. But they all point their weapons in the same direction and fight toward a common goal. It’s their unity that makes them strong.
When a community doesn’t share a common goal, diversity breeds greed and destruction, not beauty and strength. That’s because our differences naturally try to pull us apart. Differences cause to argue instead of talk or go our separate ways instead of compromise. They make us selfish and unyielding. Differences break up marriages, families, rock bands, and Fortune 500 companies. It’s impossible to sustain a community of any kind when the focus is on “my goals” or “your goals,” instead of “our goals.”
We need unity to bring something positive out of diversity. That’s true for any community of people, no matter how big or how small – from a sports team, to a family household, to a nation. Diversity only becomes a blessing and a strength when people join together for a common goal and aim in the same direction.