Today is World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Long title, but it is simply an observance to “help people learn the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.” That made me think, why is cultural diversity so important anyway?

Diversity provides a lesson for each of us to be okay with and open to those things that set us apart – race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical and mental ability, language (the list goes on) and understanding and accepting of people for who they are.

Being culturally aware provides an opportunity to stand back and consider that there are certain backgrounds, personal values, beliefs and upbringings that shape the things we all do. Something that is considered inappropriate behavior in one culture may be perfectly appropriate in another.

Learning about other cultures helps us relate to one another and be okay with different perspectives.

I saw this quote on a poster recently, and it’s stuck with me. “Diversity is the one true thing we have in common.” Now that’s something to embrace.