In Whestake 49, I reflected on diversity as a characteristic of B. V. I. population and culture. In this episode I will reflect briefly on “Unity in Diversity” as a possible goal to aim for in our present environment. I believe this concept is easy to understand because God has created each of us as an example. What is more diverse than a human being? Every part of the human body was designed to work in unity, in harmony for the survival of the body. The two important elements in this concept are unity and diversity.
When we refer to unity we think of many parts coming together as one. It could be on a small scale where few people come together for a common cause like the B. V. I. Diabetes Association, or it could be on a larger scale where different groups put aside their differences and work together for the betterment of society. Such an example is the B. V. I. Christian Council. On the other hand diversity refers to the natural and cultural differences between people. The range of differences can include sex, gender, religion, cultural influences, nationality, and race. The concept of Unity in Diversity refers to the process of prople coming together to work for a better society despite their individual differences. An example could be all the denominations uniting to fight against discrimination. At the heart of Unity in Diversity is the desire for harmony and peace in the community. The goal of the concept is to ensure that tolerance is one of the main factor in every activity, every relationship.
The B. V. I. has grown from a predominantly tolerant society in the first half of the last century to a stage where selfishness is fast eroding the level of tolerance which was characteristic of B. V. I life.Today, the survival of the individual, or the individual organization or group, takes precedence over the survival of the Territory. Unity in Diversity is a process already at work in our lives.For instance activities like the interdenominational day of prayer, celebration of emancipation from slavery, the Anegada Lobster fest and even the way we organize and celebrate funerals, the composition of our school enrolment reflect Unity in Diversity. What seems to be missing is a Tertitotial goal which will help to guide all the activities. If we had a Territorial goal expressing something like”Justice, Equality, and Freedom for all persons in the B. V. I” that would be an incentive for everyone to work towards such a goal.
Some of the advantages of working towards the achievement of Unity in Diversity are as follows:
1. Increasing the morale of the population; 2. Improving the quality of work and performance in organizations and the community in general; 3. Improving communication across the Territory; 4. Helping to control conflict; 5. Enrichment and strengthening of B. V. I. heritage.
The diverse society is a reality and each of us has the responsibility to improve the relationships within our space in the community.