The Other I

February 13, 2009

Birthday wishes of a different kind

Filed under: Survival Strategies — theotheri @ 5:29 pm
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This week is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, and of Charles Darwin.   They were each born exactly 200 years ago.

They might seem a strange pair but they have something significant in common.  Both championed the diversity of human society.

Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery.  We are born free, he said.  Superiority does not lie in the color of our skin.  The great strength of America is that we are all born with an equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice.  We don’t have to earn it.  We just have to protect it.

Charles Darwin said that if we are all the same, society cannot survive.  Our strength in the face of challenges and danger is our diversity.   If we are facing an epidemic, we will be stronger if we are not all vulnerable to the same attack.  If we are facing dangerous physical conditions, we are more apt to survive if we have a variety of different skills.  If we want to live in a society that prospers, we will prosper more if people share a variety of different skills, abilities, and insights with each other.

So happy birthday, Abe.  Happy birthday, Charles.  And best wishes to everybody who has the courage to be different.

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