INXS gave us the words: “You’re one of my kind”. “My kind” is a difficult turn of phrase. Questions arise over genealogy, country of origin, religion, sex, income levels, education, and the list just keeps going. Defining “My kind” is sort of a spectacularly onerous task when every human being is created unique.
Diversity is a key word in many corporate environments today, but there is still the search for the right “kind” in certain levels and circles of business. The search for our similarities is the search for the reasons we are together. Each man and woman, according to his or her purpose (and not qualities) can bond together with others in common ground. This does not make us the same, and this does not change our differences. Purpose holds the promise of achievements and changes brought about by the work employed. If “My kind” did not refer to any other commonality except the common purposes found in our hopes, dreams, goals, and work together, this phrase would carry forth an eloquent statement of humanity.
I do not hope to ever find “My kind”. Instead, I celebrate the differences in others and myself and accept that I will not always be comfortable with differences. In my neighborhood there is a bagpipe player, a motorcycle rider, and someone that works in their garage with a band saw. I have nothing in common with any of these traits, but we all do live in the same neighborhood environment. At times the sounds from all of these ring through the peaceful quiet of a calm housing development and this lets me know that there are others here with their own preferences standing their ground for the right to their own past-times.
The rules of society should not be made to exclude or include others. Our societal rules are meant to allow those who choose to be together to come together and to protect our environments so that everyone may co-exist regardless of “My kind”, “Your kind”, or “Our kind”. We may not all be the same, but we agree to certain rules (such as the time of day and level that sounds in the neighborhood are best kept at).
Some would say “My kind” obeys the agreeable rules; others would claim that “My kind” always breaks rules. The idea of “My kind” interferes with autonomy (the capacity for self-determination) and autonomy is the essence of the reasons for societal rules and protections. A “group think” starts to happen around our rules, over “for” and “against”, and polarization starts to interfere with the capability of maintaining an environment that will support the survival of diversity. “My kind” likes the bagpipes, does not mind motorcycle noises done politely and does not care so much to hear the band saw going. Putting up with a little irritation at sounds once in awhile leaves me in a neighborhood with “My kind” of house and “My kind” of good neighbors- tradeoffs that I am happy to make.