I believe in diversity. I like the sun as much as I enjoy the rain. I like to see the modern mix with the traditional. I like the contrast between the old and the new. I like what is sweet to be enhanced with a touch of sour. How good it is to encounter somebody who thinks outside the box and enlightens us with new ideas. How good it is to feel my heart beating fast with excitement and fear when faced with a new experience, a new taste, a new smell, a new situation, and a new idea.
Diversity plays an important part in Darwin’s theory of evolution. According to him, diversity allows animals and human beings to evolve. Diversity is necessary to all species to ensure that they can endure and adapt to changes – some animals may die, but others will survive thanks to their unique and distinctive characteristics. If all animals are identical, if there is no diversity, the whole species suffers with the change in environment.
I grew up in a very cosmopolitan city – Sao Paulo, Brazil. People there generally have lunch outside of their houses every weekday, and each weekday is dedicated to one dish, one taste, and one country. Monday is Brazilian day, and everybody avoids Italian food; after all Monday is when everybody starts to diet. The Italian day falls on Thursdays; after all everybody has already stopped the dieting at that point. Friday is dedicated to Japanese food – something light to get ready for the weekend. As a consequence of growing up in Sao Paulo, I am used to going to different restaurants, trying different tastes, and hearing different languages.
I was shocked the first time I traveled to the South of Brazil, where some towns are peopled by one single group of immigrants, and realized that these places were homogenous, and therefore, boring, at least for me. Everybody in the town looked the same way, talked the same way, and probably also thought the same way. How annoying it was! I missed shopping in Korean stores in the morning, having a lunch in an Arabic restaurant and visiting the family of my Japanese friends in the afternoon.
Diversity is seeing somebody else through the eyes of admiration – something that I respect and enjoy. After all, I believe that there is much more to be explored and learned in the differences than there is in the similarities. For me, it does not matter whether diversity is a melting pot, where things mix, or a salad bowl, where things stay side by side. I realized, after all, that the flavor and the taste will always be unique and the best way I can try it is by taking part in the recipe. Diversity is a blessing that I seek and venerate.
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