Human Diversity And Biodiversity-Two Essentials

Last year, December 2019, I attended a live performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker for Christmas. It is one of my favorites and I can never see it too many times.

One thing I have missed the very most during this COVID-19 craziness is the option of attending live concerts and many forms of the arts. Regardless of where you are on the accept or reject spectrum of this worldwide reaction of nearly the entire year 2020, you probably won’t deny that one year ago it was more convenient to do the things you like to do.

The answer to many of the world’s problems is a multi-pronged approach, but one of those essential prongs is diversity. There is so much out there to learn and explore! It is a wide world and everywhere has something charming and unique.

I submit that there are two parts of this proposed solution: 1. Expanding the diversity of humanity. 2. Promoting the biodiversity (thriving plants, and animals) of the planet.

Like the biodiversity of plants and animals of today that we humans need, which took eons of time to form. Likewise, the diversity of humans in terms of culture and art alone took centuries to form and perfect to the applicable and performance state that we enjoy today. We humans need both types. We also need each other, the lessons and wisdom acquired from other lands. This must be shared and spread. It is human diversity at its finest.

There are many things that I am grateful for, but among them are practices or philosophies from other areas of the world about each of which volumes could be written. Many wonderful and profound practices and food that I personally feel grateful for come from China. For example, I am grateful we have the awareness and knowledge of Feng-shui, the wonderful health benefits of green tea, (ooh and who can forget veg Moo-goo gai pan? yum, yum) the martial arts, (many areas have their own flavor of martial arts too including Russia, Japan, Israel, Brazil etc), accupuncture, Taoism to name just a few from China alone. I have also been grateful for Buddhism from India, to know of it and to have had the chance to explore it.

Where would we humans be without the knowledge expanded, the wisdom shared, the diversity that has been spread? We would either be in trouble or quite bored and lonely. Without the recent yet gradual spread of diversity throughout humanity I believe that our troubles our differences would have collapsed our foundation before now. Abundant diversity is essential to the continued well-being of people, planet and nations.

I need to experience the people, plants, animals, food, spices, climate, herbs, art and culture, of China, Europe, Russia, Singapore, Mexico, Rome, Japan, etc, and all distant lands, and I submit that you need this too.

We all need to experience these, so let’s create the sustainable setup that allows and encourages this. Enjoy these through the food, culture art and soak it in through mindful reverence from earth to human what was done to create that music that inspires you, that specialized martial arts’ technique or that exotic dish that bursts with wonderful flavor and aroma. Pick any topic and it will have an extensive history of its own and volumes upon volumes could be written about that very history. Oftentimes the history was tumultuous and very sad. It is amazing what was done so that we could experience and enjoy what we do today. Most of the reasons for that tumult and sadness have a common denominator: the learning by trial and error and current understanding of humans. Looking back, we see the errors and we call it history. Hindsight is better than foresight. Even today with our clever gadgetry and technology, it is humbling to consider current understanding of humans and the nature of things. Oftentimes we assume that we know, and we don’t. At those points where we thought we had arrived and were “good to go” were some of the greatest historical errors since now we know better. There were also historical moments-miracles where just the right decision or combination of factors prevented disaster. The history of everything under the sun changed drastically for better or for worse after World War II. This year 2020 on many fronts has been compared to WWII, pre, post during. As collective humanity, we do our best; and hindsight is better than foresight.

Take note of practices, philosophies, teachings from far away places of the world that have enhanced your own life. You’ll be amazed with what you discover and by how enriched your life already is through diversity.

A few years ago I was at a non-profit event where a certain Russian dance was being taught and practiced in a group of people. We would clap our hands five times and then rotate, to then clap and move again in precise harmony and unison. It is amusing to note that my dog happened to be with us and with each rotation, he thought that person was approaching him to give him affection. He was so determined to get the overdue pat on the head that seemed to keep missing him, that we ended up integrating a brief pet on my dog’s head as part of the dance with each rotation. It actually worked surprisingly well and added to the laughs and the fun of this obscure Russian dance we were learning.

I am by no means a great dancer, but I know enough to appreciate the hours of rigorous training and skill that goes into any dance number. We practiced until we were all tired and while we were far from having the dance flawless, the necessary focus and the togetherness was very fun and there was something special about it. It brought me in tune with myself and others to a degree that had been foreign to me prior to this experience.

Reflecting on this caused me to recall that every single country, culture and people on earth have their own unique forms of expression including dance. There is also unique music, food, spices, medicines, beliefs desserts, and many forms of art. The world is so fascinating. It makes you want to see it all! We all have been, or know of someone who has been to these places that we only hear about. China, Thailand, the Philippines, Russia, the Serengeti, Rome, etc. Think of your own experiences in any of these places, or the people’s stories who have been there. I touched on this in an essay of my second book, Life Is Conscious, Live with Purpose. Abandon Fear. Coexist.

The stories, mixed beliefs and shared experiences of other lands are captivating. Every single people and culture on earth has something extraordinarily unique and worth sharing for the further improvisation, diversity, well-being and unity of humanity. It is a new perspective of cultural evolution being enhanced by organic evolution. The two can and should live harmoniously.

Ever since participating in this Russian dance, I have learned more about Russia and it sounds like a fantastic place to visit. I only know a handful of informative bits about it, but it sounds spectacular. There is lake Baikal; in ecology class, we learned that it is the oldest, and largest lake in the world. It is more like a sea and it houses the only freshwater seal in the entire world. How fantastic is that?! I have a bird-guru friend from a zoology class who was scheduled to take a university songbird research trip in this region of Lake Baikal, but it was canceled due to the unprecedented events of 2020. I hope things clear up and she gets to go at a later time.

Further, we could never forget the music of Tchaikovsky. The famous Russian composer most noted for the classic Nutcracker. This meager pile adds up to the things that intrigue about the great, (with bitter cold winters; I can’t even imagine how cold) and vast area of Russia, but this meager stack makes me want to go there and see for myself. It sounds amazing, and it would be so incredible to see so many of these wonderful places, people and cultures, not from the standpoint of exploitation and conquest, but with intent to preserve, learn, share (in equal exchange, I might add) and taking nothing but wisdom, harm-free, ethically sourced souvenirs purchased from locals, and photos.

I hope that humanity can overcome its differences long enough to stop fighting with each other and damaging the earth. I am interested in exploring the diversity of the people all over the world, for in this are the answers to the social and environmental plagues of today, and I hope you can do this too. The biodiversity of the planet, (the plants and animals) unique to each area is also essential and at the top of my list. The two go hand in hand and are equally important. We will feel more alive as we increase and preserve the diversity of other creatures and life forms (biodiversity) as we do the same work for ourselves of our own cultural evolution and diversity.

There is much to learn and to explore. The new models, in order to work properly must include the encouragement of human diversity and keeping alive many cultural traditions and ethnic arts, and preserving biodiversity. It is too bad that the option to see and experience places and other people only exists for a fraction of people throughout the world. This is due to social discrepancies, economies and setups that don’t allow or accommodate freedom of choice.

What if it could be though? What if it were open and the design encouraged everyone to simply take turns experiencing or tasting other areas and cultures? The world would be a better place. Each would benefit from the “lessons {or spirit} of each land” (Staples, O. 2013 Life Is Conscous), and these would speak to that individual as nothing else can, and in the ways most needed.

I submit that it takes many types, many influences and many teachings stemming from the depths of the lessons of all lands that improves the world. Diversity and biodiversity go hand in hand and they are the answer. I hope humanity can learn to unite instead of further divide so that it can be so. Fierce competition, greed, fighting each other no longer serves humanity.

Instead, models and modes that foster awareness, education, unity, sustainability, cooperation and diversity are the answer.

Here is a local author with an interesting look at Russia, very fitting for this post. This book slipped the local author and the suggested reading section in my latest memoir since I had so much going on at the time. My sister gave me a copy of the book as a gift, signed by the author and it is a recommended read. Many reasons now combine to the intrigue of Russia and makes me want to see it someday. As an advocate of human health, the enviornment and sustainable living, I disagree with the part about McDonald’s, of course. Still, the book is very insightful providing a clear glimpse of Russia’s societal problems but especially its warm hearted, even if oppressed people, and vast (even if unimaginably cold) unique beauty. While reading, I felt like I was there in the frigid cold, white endless blanket of Russia:

A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell

Also, several aspects of the philosophy proposed on this blog, and in my books such as post-small business, down the corporate ladder, ways of the folks, diversity, individual expression and creativity, the arts, and folk and classical music are exemplified through my sister’s Red Desert Violin online violin classes. She has students from all over the world.

So here’s to the natural spread, sharing and growth of two kinds of worldwide diversity and to the enjoyment of concerts and live events once again sooner than later, from 311 to Tchaikovsky, in normal fashion like we did a year ago. I hope we wake up from this wiser, more diverse, and open minded.

Happy ALL holidays to ALL.

-Owen

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