Saturday, February 9, 2008

Intellectual Diversity

Growing up in Massachusetts it was assumed that everyone thought the exact same way about major issues.

Even the notion that people would think drastically differently simply did not exist.

In college it was more of the same.

It was assumed that everyone and everyone (who was sane) had the same thoughts. If by chance you had different thoughts, it was assumed you were mentally retarded or had grown up in some strange brainwashing commune.

At the end of my senior year of college, myself and about 20 other students from one of my education classes went on a group 'mock interview' with a principal from a local school. It was at the time of the 2004 election and "everyone" in New Hampshire was liberal.

Before the interviews started the principal of the elementary school made a derogatory remark about Republicans. She then hesitated and looked at my cooperating teacher. My cooperating teacher smiled reassuringly and said, "Don't worry, we're all in education so we all think the same way."

I almost walked right out.

At times I look back and wish I had said, "How can you sit here and pretend to promote every single type of diversity and tolerance and then say derogatory things about half the population of our country? Do you think you're creating a 'safe' environment for ALL of your teachers, students, and parents who come through this school? Has it ever occured to you that you are a complete hipocrite and should be ashamed at your blazen assumption that everyone in the field of education votes and thinks the exact same way?"

I think the real reason I didn't say anything was because I was 2 weeks away from graduation. Why jeopardize my diploma because of an emotional outburst?

The older more mature me thinks that there might have been a middle option. I could have calmly chosen to simply articulate, "I am offended by the notion that just because we're all education majors means that we are going to vote the same way in November."

That would have resulted in some fabulous stunned silence without risking my diploma.


I did not hear the phrase "intellectually diversity" until I was well in my 20's. Hearing the concept made me sit up and think, "Why hasn't the concept that good, sane, people can have differing views on important issues been promoted in my schooling?"

Just as the March for Life "didn't exist" in the minds of those who control the media; regular people who hold views that are contrary to a liberal agenda "don't exist" either.

Intellectual diversity is good for our country. It is what pushes us to be better; it is the conflict and acceptance of new ideas that push us to truly be a nation of freedom.

Just remember that a little sanity goes a long way. If we tell people off it will only confirm their suspicion that we're 'crazy.' Stay calm and be smart about how you share your views. It will pay off in the end.


Blogger Cranky Catholic said...

So what was the payoff?

February 9, 2008 4:06 PM  

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