10 Diverse ways to build your capacity to appreciate the Other

picture of diverse peopleMy first blogging inclination this week was to write a glorious followup to a post I wrote a year ago, on strategies to reduce the income inequality gap.  Getting into it, I quickly discovered I may have overstretched myself.  Rather than snap, I humbly offer this alternative…


It is through our shared disconnection, that movements such as Occupy Wall Street emerge.  Fear of the Other, fear and avoidance of people who aren’t like us, inhibits us from working better together, to solve the problems at hand.  Letting go of the why we fear the Other, here’s ten ways how to build your capacity to get to know and appreciate the Other.  I expect some of these may make you feel uncomfortable (they do me).  See that as a good thing, and part of the journey.


  1. Do something together, with the other; talk, work, play, polarization is the death of creativity solutions will only come if we collaborate the world is too complex, otherwise.
  2. Seek convergence; creative thinking is the ability to make associations and connections between dissimilar objects, i.e., you and them.
  3. Start your joint coming-together with a song or dance, e.g., as is custom in many countries integrating body, mind, emotion (and maybe spirit, too) will help create meaningful connection.
  4. Turn the world right side up; what does the world look like when you put yourself in their shoes our North-centric view of the World is only one view, flip this planet around, what do you see?
  5. Remember our dead AND their dead; just as we know all about our countries dead, repatriated from foreign wars, how many personal stories do you know about their dead?… listen, discover the Other’s story you can’t hate someone whose story you know.
  6. What would your grandfather or grandfather say about all this?; next time you’re in a circle with your Others, ask that question.  In the bigger picture, we aren’t all that different.  Got this nugget via a wise elder.
  7. Risk for the Other; just as thousands go off to war, how many go off for peace?  Give of yourself, in a different way.
  8. Take the long view; move from the single issue to common ground we all share, from me to we.
  9. Support women; its not just coincidence that much of today’s divide has come to be in a patriarchal society(s).
  10. Read good fiction; it’s one way to develop the empathy habit.  Here’s why.

What other “diverse” way do you suggest, to get to know the Other?

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Photo credit: Yourdon on Flickr

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