Today our blogger is Natasha Capal who works as our Student Events Manager at GSM London. She believes passionately in the benefits of diversity and how it can enrich all our lives.
From a young age we are introduced to the concept of duality and the two opposing sides of the universe; life/death, black/white, night/day, man/woman. We learn that everything has its opposite and its equal and often we find comfort in looking for those we have similarities with. When meeting someone new we search to find a common interest to see how we can connect. Whether it is a shared appreciation for music, food, politics or finding a friend that you both know, there is comfort when you find something you have in common, to unite you and make you feel part of the same collective. This helps us to relate to each other comfortably.
Through continually focusing on the similarities and the differences between us in life we unintentionally segregate ourselves. To really progress in the modern day, especially living in London, it is actually the differences between us that we need to become comfortable with, not the similarities.
The Unity Concept is a GSM London Students Union programme designed to bring people together, through acceptance and understanding of our differences and celebration of our commonality. Through various creative projects we celebrate cultural integration, through learning about someone else’s beliefs, heritage, culture or religion we learn more and more about humanity; the rules that other people may live their lives by, their own set of morals and values, how they view the world. Each and every human on the planet is unique with their own divine tapestry, with their own personalised lists of people, songs, foods, music, hobbies, likes and dislikes.
To really embrace equality and diversity we need to be accepting of other people’s sexuality, gender, race, religion, political allegiances and belief systems. We can grow together through understanding how other people work and tick. The Unity Concept invites students to share their own culture, to be educated about other people’s heritage, whether that is through music, food, dance, self-expression, spoken word, poetry or art. Only through mutual respect and understanding can we ever hope to achieve a world where we can all live in harmony
Those of us who live in London need to embrace diversity more than most. This is a city for those seeking freedom, where you can be yourself without fear of imprisonment for being homosexual or for choosing to practice your own spirituality, or for denouncing religion altogether, as you would be in some countries across the world. Here you are free to project whatever version of yourself you wish the outside world to see, within the boundaries of legality and common decency.
Those of us who work or study at GSM London experience an incredibly diverse environment, in which we can thrive. We can learn so much from each other if we communicate more and open our eyes to the wealth of diversity all around us. Through recognising the differences between us and learning from each other we can become more rounded individuals. Imagine the variety there is between the 6000+ staff and students who work and study here; our ways of life, our day to day thoughts, how we celebrate life, how we revise for an exam, how we prepare a report, how we chose to dress, what we listen to for inspiration, what we hope to achieve in life, the way we communicate with each other every day.
Each and every one of us has a responsibility to accept the differences between us. We can grow, professionally and personally, through our awareness, respect and our dealings with each other. Unity invites you to showcase whatever aspects of yourself that you feel is at your core. The message of unity is one love, one people, with different forms of self-expression. Through mutual respect and understanding we can be pioneers in shaping this world and truly reflecting equality and diversity in all we do.