Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Many Kinds of Diversity

Academic journal article Creative Nursing

Many Kinds of Diversity

Article excerpt

On paper, I am not unique-a Caucasian, Roman Catholic, middle-class, married, moderate-Republican omnivore in her mid-20s. What makes me unique (in my humble opinion) is the sum of my life experiences. I grew up in Alaska, working on sport-fishing vessels as a deckhand for spending money and college funds. I've been swimming in four seas, reached terminal velocity while skydiving from 10,000 feet, run a half marathon that made my feet bleed, and walked through the Vatican Necropolis to St. Peter's tomb. I've swallowed a minnow alive, held the hand of dying man as he took his last earthly breath, and climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty. I'm ambidextrous. I can hum and whistle at the same time. I know with the same certainty the firing order on a small-block Chevy, and that the hardest job I've ever loved is being a mom.

All these experiences make up the person I am today, so no other woman with my "stats" will be exactly like me. We are more than the sum of our parts; even though someone identifies with a group or idea, that association does not define him or her. All the people we encounter in our lives have their own unique back stories, so basing an assessment of them on one facet of their lives is a sure way to underestimate their potential. There are limitless possibilities for the encounters and situations we are faced with daily; how stifling the world would be if our interactions were confined to the boxes in which our biases and labels place others. …

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