“The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”

Wade Davis

Picture yourself stepping inside a kaleidoscope. Instead of being bombarded by disjointed fragments of colors, you find yourself mesmerized by a beautifully orchestrated dance of light and shadow, colors whirling and refracting in an ever-changing, mind-bending mosaic. Every tiny shard of glass is a critical contributor to this dazzling panorama.

Now, translate that image to the realm of human existence. Can you see it? The world you were born into, the reality you’ve come to know, is but a single shard in this vast kaleidoscope we call Earth.

Much like a naive artist insisting that all portraits should only be painted in blue, it’s easy for us to slip into the trap of myopia, the short-sightedness that paints our reality as the only “correct” one. But our world is not a monochromatic canvas. It is an opulent portrait gallery filled with a myriad of diverse masterpieces.

Think about it. Is a Monet a botched attempt at a Picasso, or a Picasso a misguided try at a Rembrandt? Each brush stroke, each palette choice, each application of light and shadow are expressions of the artist’s unique perspective. They are not failed attempts at mirroring each other, rather, they are distinct masterpieces, evocative in their own right.

Let’s take this lens to humanity. The cultures of our world, diverse in their colors and patterns, are not failed attempts at being you, or me, or anyone else. They—we—are unique, unabashedly beautiful manifestations of the human spirit, drawn from a palette far richer than any single perspective could fathom.

To perceive a differing culture, a variant opinion, a distinct life experience as lesser or invalid is akin to discarding the reds and greens in a masterpiece for not being blue. It’s an unfortunate loss of depth and richness that comes with appreciating the myriad shades that form the canvas of human existence.

Each of us are the fragments of colored glass that refract the world’s light in a unique way. We are irreplaceable pieces in the grand mosaic of humanity, our value inherent in the diverse beauty we add to the whole.

So, let’s not deny or diminish the unique beauty each piece brings. Instead, let’s revel in the myriad hues, embrace the diversity, and celebrate the kaleidoscopic splendor that is each other.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.