unity in diversity

Unity in diversity refers to the idea of diversity as a unifying principle, rather than uniformity. Diversity is essentially the underlying principle of life, and the shift towards biology as a prevailing scientific dicipline is leading to an increased appreciation and value of diversity as a necessary measure of health, vibrance, and success. This is in contrast to older views that tended to value uniformity and mechanisation as a measure of human progress, and which, take to the extreme tended to spill towards a militaristic and facist social structure.

Unity in diversity is conducive to nonviolent thought, as it resonates with Gandhi’s principle of “heart unity”— the understanding, as Martin Luther King put it, that “I can’t be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can’t be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” At Metta, we also sometimes speak of “diversity at the surface level, unity at the heart level;” that is, celebrating the tremendous diversity of humankind (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, beliefs, professions, interests, etc) and celebrating equally our shared existance as living beings, and that the appreciation of that outer diversity is part of what holds us together as a (nonviolent) culture.