I like to walk through the city on my lunch. Yeah I’m sort of a loner sometimes.
It’s only lonely if I consider what other people think of my lonely self. But usually I enjoy the silence and let my thoughts take off to interesting places.
I was thinking today about the diversity in my city. Not just racially, but the sheer contrast of different types of people. My inner cinematographer wanted to capture it on film and play it to some hip hop music with a person rapping about the differences in humanity.
Oh, if I’d only studied film.
In art school they teach you that one of the key elements of design is contrast. If art is beautiful, and design produces art, then contrast is beautiful . . . even in humanity. Design is a combination of lines, shapes, colors, textures, repetition, and . . . yes, contrast.
Contrast is my favorite element of design, because it appears in variations.
Today I saw the concept of contrast from a sociological aspect. Humans contrasted with humans. This indeed is diversity. And this is good.
So, I sometimes struggle with understanding why diversity is good. More ingredients make the soup taste better right? But sometimes those ingredients just don’t go together.
I would say the root of a lot of societal issues comes from diverse people groups cohabiting. There’s a reason Toads and Tortoises swim in different seas. Of course there’s the truth that all people are inherently bad, and from a Christian perspective, need saving. But how do you explain the comfort that comes from like-mindedness?
I use to write about diversifying friend groups. I pushed for more variety, saying people should mix with other ethnicities, in other words stop hanging out with people who resemble you. Then I began to see how hard this really is. I realized that I myself didn’t feel comfortable around certain people. I started to wonder if people of the same ethnicity, background, and language, should just stay together.
Different is never comfortable.
But wherein lies the beauty of contrast when all the same birds flock together?
I think it helps me, as an artist (who feels emotions to the tenth degree and struggles to maintain even the simplest feelings) to see diversity as human contrast. There is a beauty in this, especially when no one is domineering the other, when both are valued and equal.