Diversity Is More than What Meets the Eye

Shawnda - Exton, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 22, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: tolerance
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Growing up in a boarding school for 11 years, I was able to be exposed to the raw truth of diversity. Diversity is not only in the color of your skin, your religious beliefs, or ethnicity, it is who you are and how your experiences have shaped you. Regardless of our major physical differences we are still human, of the same species. I found that despite our obvious dissimilar physical traits, people are most different in how their life journey has molded and shaped their lives. I believe the greatest type of diversity comes from the experiences that have shaped our perspective and life into what we have become today.

Being in a boarding school where all the children share similar family situations whether it was financial issues or unstable, unhealthy domestic environments, we all were placed there for similar reasons. As I got to know my house-sisters better I learned that each one of their stories was unique and intimate to their being. Through our trials and hardships in life, we are able to gain experience, and from experience come wisdom and understanding. Wisdom serves as advice, comfort and lessons in which others can learn from. The insight I gained from my brothers and sisters in boarding school has allowed me to see the true meaning of diversity.

All of my friends and I shared roadblocks, set-backs and injustices in our lives, but it was our ability to overcome them and learn from the mistakes of ourselves, and more importantly others. These experiences allowed us to have the advantage and diversity of wisdom. My relationships with friends and mentors in boarding school allowed me to appreciate the diversity of life experience. Years of experience are what shapes who we are, and defines how we think today. This expedition called life is an individual journey that creates a flourishing diversity between us as humans, despite our gender, race, or ethnicity. The greatest type of diversity is found in the personal stories and wisdom through our experiences that we have gained in life.

We can celebrate our accomplishments and unite through our different life circumstances. The greatest thing about life experience is sharing the wisdom you gained. The angles of diversity come in the words of wisdom. As no one will ever be able to replicate your life journey, the experiences and lessons are personal and special fit to our being. This I believe that true diversity comes in the form of wisdom gained from life experience.