Coexistence: Why should you think about it?
The state or fact of living or existing at the same time or in the same place.
This term is widely used to define relationships among different population species. However, sometimes, it can be used to address the coexistence inside a population itself.
What does it mean for us, as humans to coexist and why is it that some of us feel under-represented or not properly treated?
Strife between communities is nothing but a passing headline nowadays and it is as ubiquitous as air.
Every country has some cultural friction, and every company has different policies that determine the nature of these companies.
Cultural divisions affect our personal lives in more ways than we think. From the packed food that comes in our plates to the offices/colleges/schools we belong to, people from different walks of life are involved on different levels.
Then, one might think, if a diverse set of people contribute to society today, what is the need to read about coexistence?
Why should we be cautious of certain groups and highlight their work?
It is not news that throughout history, some groups have had an upper hand in taking up opportunities and experiencing the luxuries of life while others toiled hard for some basic needs. However, we have to understand that this cannot be the case anymore and everyone needs to get their fair share of opportunities.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TODAY?
To a logical mind, it will seem almost hilarious to separate people because of their culture and provide them different opportunities depending on their identity. It is however the reality of a lot of people.
In what became a very viral trend, the need of coexistence and understanding is highlighted very clearly.
While in the video, the end results show us the racism scenario in a first world country like the U.S, who knows what the outcome will be if it is conducted close to home.
The most gut-wrenching part of this game is that it brings to attention the amount of talent that might go waste, because of the head-starts provided to specific cultures.
DOES IT REALLY AFFECT MY JOB?
Many people, maybe even you, might think that this is just another first world problem that is not really relevant to your field, or even your life.
It won’t take long for you to virtually give yourself points for each step in the privilege walk and check how much privilege you have.
Then the real talk starts - how many people around you have the privilege to simply exist without having to prove themselves every step of the way? Obviously, this does not negate your struggles in life or lessen the value of your work. So, there is no need to feel threatened or hesitate in coexisting with others.
Being introduced to a new lifestyle does not equal being forced into it.
If anything, having a diverse team of staff results in more creative and efficient solutions. While it might take some time for everyone to settle down and the decision making might become time-consuming but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that a wide range of opinions were passed around and everyone has learnt something new.
This article on YourStory very aptly summarizes some inclusion steps taken by companies in India.
COEXISTENCE BRINGS CREATIVITY
You can’t make a beautiful painting by using the same paint.
The same way, if your creative workforce is so similar that there are no challenges, is there any creativity left?
Members of the same community will have similar experiences and will not be able to compete with each other or bring forward a different point-of-view that someone outside their community can do with ease. This challenge can bring about freshness and urge others to explore new avenues and cultures as well.
There is a subreddit called r/menwritingwomen which hilariously represents the lack of creativity that stems from a lack of experience.
Elaborating a little, the subreddit is a collection of instances where men authors have tried to pen down the thoughts or actions of women characters which ended up being so wrong, they are hilarious. As these authors could never relate to being a woman, they never had the creativity to write what women actually wanted to say.
Similarly, there will be numerous times when you will need to represent different perspectives and will need someone who can relate to them in order to make everyone understand them and to portray them in an appropriate way.
Unknowingly, this relatability will trickle down into your team's work and your professional space will be more open, creative and diverse.
Inclusive marketing includes the campaigns that embrace diversity by including people from different backgrounds or stories that unique audiences can relate to. Many companies often use this gimmick to attract more minority customers so that they feel validated and the rep of the company among all circles is maintained. Red Label, Vicks, Lenovo are some examples to name a few.
While inclusive marketing seems like a good practice as it highlights minorities and gives them a well-deserved spotlight, the companies are not saviours of these communities.
A pat on the back is the most they can expect if they run such campaigns and on the other side fuel institutions or legislations that are against groups they claim to help.
On a positive note, inclusive marketing is getting a lot of companies to think about their image; which ultimately leads to some good moves for the smaller communities as well.
Lastly, do not forget that while some things might just trigger your pet peeves, the ones on the other end are making the most out of this opportunity they have seized.
Coexistence takes effort, understanding, empathy and kindness and it repays with the same.
Do not hesitate to open your mind and dream of a world where everyone lives with peace and progress.
What are your thoughts on coexistence and it's effects on professional sectors?
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