Rise Above Sameness

It’s just natural: species cluster to themselves. For reproductive reasons, for protection, for the social life of that species, birds, mammals, fish, insects, and even some reptiles simply hang out with their own. And we of the ‘larger brain’ species are hardly different. We also gravitate to homogeneity, be it for similar interests or social status or ethnic heritage or spirituality or politics. When we bunch together our specific interest is reinforced, our protection is assured, and our ideology is defended. What’s not to like?

Charlottesville is what’s not to like. Barcelona is what’s not to like. Injustice over your own back fence is what’s not to like. Hegemony on a grand scale is what’s not to like. Profiteering is what’s not to like. Degradation of the planet is what’s not to like. Any human thinking himself better than any other human is what’s not to like.

Yes, Nature does cluster. But we of the larger brain, we that walk upright, we with vast expression of thought and emotion through language, we of the imago Dei, we that can reach so high and yet still tumble so low, we are in great need just now of seeing past the immediate pull to homogeneity. For beside the ‘sameness’ of Nature, there is another and equally cogent lesson. Shouted just as loud from every treetop, in every streamlet, under every stone, by every creature, is the crucial interplay of the species. Of being distinct and yet codependent. Of being about the madcap business of continuing its own, and yet at the same moment of serving the needs of another. Of diversity as an act of necessity equal to or greater than homogeneity. I mean just that: a crucial, biological necessity. And, perhaps not shouted but whispered everywhere and loud enough to hear, of diversity as an expression of a certain genius, and therefore as act of celebration.