After our first class meeting last evening, I felt energized. It was invigorating to take a class that promotes and encourages discussion about topics as important as diversity and inclusion. Unfortunately, we live in a world where tolerance of others whom are different is not universal. And I say tolerance because it is easier to tolerate something or someone than it is to accept and embrace them. The ultimate goal for a global society goes beyond tolerance into the realm of acceptance. But, more universal tolerance is a start.
As we were talking in class, I thought of a Heineken commercial I saw a bit ago. The video shows two people with very different (polarized even) backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives working together to build some “unknown” structure. They do not know that their opinions vary drastically initially – they simply get to know each other through working towards a common goal. The goal ends up being the creation of a bar. Once they figure out what it is they co-made, a video comes on that shows each of them talking about the same topic but with very different opinions. Then, each person has the option of staying to discuss the differences over a beer or to leave. I won’t tell you what happens (and perhaps I already told too much!), so, please watch!
While I am not saying that people need to drink to get along (thought I admit, it can help sometimes), I like this commercial a lot, as it shows that even very strong-willed people with very intense opinions can be reasonable. People can listen. People can change their perspectives. People can surprise you.
That being said, some people won’t change. I say “won’t” and not “can’t” because I do believe that everyone can change. Is it easy? No. Does it take time? Yes. Does it take a certain amount of open-mindness? Of course. We can become more tolerant and ultimately more accepting of others. We (globally) can do it. We need to do it.