David Linde is the CEO of Participant Media. He articulates a life lesson that summarizes the significance of diversity (“How Did I Get Here?: David Linde” Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/23/16–5/29/16, p. 72):
“You can only understand somebody if you understand their culture and where they’re from.”
Most of us tend to underestimate culture. That is a big mistake. Most of us tend to discount a person’s origins. That is another big mistake. Diversity teaches us that we must always consider a person’s culture and origins. That is of course, if we genuinely want to understand that person.
On the other hand, if we don’t genuinely want to understand that person, then we can dismiss culture and origins. Why would we care?
Every time that I have learned something more about another person’s culture and origins, I gained a deeper understanding of how that person thinks and behaves. Gaining that knowledge has always served me well.
The next time you meet someone new, take time to learn about that person’s culture and origins. You will be glad you did . . . and so will that person.