One World, Many Celebrations: Embracing Diversity and Human Values

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By Martin Bouza

December 20, 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the holidays are upon us. But are they truly here for everyone? I’ve always felt that singling out this time of year in a specific way is off. Whether we realize it or not, we share our time and space with people who may not celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. They might celebrate Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, Chinese New Year, Songkran, Nowruz, Bodhi Day, or any number of joyous occasions—or maybe none at all.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter to me. And, at the same time, I celebrate every person’s experience. Let me explain.

Diversity isn’t something we should acknowledge in a lukewarm way; we should embrace it head-on. Recognizing that those around us may celebrate different things, believe in different interpretations, and enjoy different dishes is essential. And so is the absolute belief that what unites us is far more significant than what sets us apart. Appreciating these differences makes us stronger, creating a truly rich tapestry of diversity. It’s not about mixing everything together but recognizing the beauty in the human experience, with all its variations.

Embracing diversity is a core value for me, which is why we’ve promoted it within Arionkoder. As humans, we share values like peace, freedom, social progress, equality, dignity, truth, and love—some of which are even included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights! Every society needs common values to bind its members together, providing shared principles to manage differences. This holds true for local and national communities, and even more so for today’s globalized world, where we’re interconnected and affected by events worldwide.

These shared values make us, in my view, good human beings in a way that transcends denominations and self-imposed categories. We are all made of the same molecules, the same tissues, and ultimately of the same matter, and the rest is just an epilogue.

Personally, I strive to live in coherence and consistency with these principles, applying them at home while raising my children and at Arionkoder while empowering my team. To me, life is always more about actions than words, about what you do rather than what you say, because that’s what makes a difference.

It all begins with self-honesty and recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, what we’ve developed, and what we haven’t done yet. And if we intend to make changes, know that it will be uphill, but determination marks your victory. This is the foundation for building a more diverse, cohesive, and ultimately human future. Join me on this journey, and I wish you a fantastic festive season, whenever that may be for you.