Thursday, September 8, 2016

Diversity: Gentle, Equal and Balances

On the Spot by Ken Herar
I was recently told by someone after a brief discussion that I am an East Indian sympathizer in reference to my columns.
I don’t mind criticism as long as it’s accurate. The only thing that is correct about this statement is, yes, I am East Indian – actually South Asian is the proper term to use.
For me being a South Asian sympathizer is the furthest from the truth.
Over the past two decades, I worked tirelessly with many community members to create dialogue and find ways where we can encourage diverse activities and relationships.
It’s not about favouring one cultural group over another, but rather looking at our community as one diverse city.
Readers might sometimes automatically assume that when they see my South Asian face on this page that I am voicing something on East Indian topics or criticizing the mainstream community on racism issues. Get your facts correct on what is actually being discussed and the foundation that is being created.
In order for us to move forward, I discovered a formula that has assisted me on how we can be more interconnected. It is called: (GEB) Gentle, Equal and Balances. By being Gentle, we actually get to listen and respect each other. When it comes to the diversity family, everyone is Equal despite our obvious differences. In order to discover diversity we need to have Balances in terms of our friendships and activities.
Diversity can be a difficult term for some to understand, yet they claim to practice it. Then there are those who think it is just a word and never publicly admit they don’t believe in it. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, these three terms will provide an important self-guide, and it’s more than just about differences. Actually, we have more in common than you may believe.
My mother Kuldip shared a story with me that captures these three terms all in one package. When my mom came to Canada in the mid 1960s, her English was limited and it was the kind people of Mission and members from the Mission Rotary Club who stepped up and took her out to get groceries and assisted her with daily activities.
Mom always says: “I will never forget those people who welcomed me with open arms.”