I woke up this Tuesday feeling disoriented – like not sure where I was. And as I continued with my meditation, exercising, that feeling persisted. And when I went to walk Aki, it hit me that I was in Columbus and had just returned from a stimulating three day weekend in New York. 

Times Square – New York

If you are wondering what made the trip so thrilling, then the answer is Nothing. It’s New York – it’s a big city with its own Rhythm. I remember walking in Penn Station and being hit by the smell of weed, followed by the smell of a hot dog stand, followed by laundry detergent. As people were passing by or in the subway, I could catch a glimpse into the conversation, which ranged from 

Tinder feels like a lot of pressure for someone as attractive as me as if I have to make the decision now.

A father asked his kids – I have an important question for you. The two boys don’t even bat an eyelid. And then he says – where would you like to have pizza? And they are all over him.

Think about computers twenty years ago – we had no security problems.

There were people everywhere, which I love – growing up in big cities all my life, I feel safe and connected when other souls are going about their life journey. The diversity of people is harder to avoid because you see them every time – all the time as opposed to living in a place where you hardly see people and the people you see are all of the same kind for the most part. There is Nothing Wrong with either situation – it is just what you are most comfortable with.

And the walking everywhere – I miss walking or taking the tube. When I was in London, I walked to work, walked to a friend’s place, and walked to a restaurant. And now, we have to go on a walk for walk’s sake – which is just plain silly. Between my husband and I, we walked 100K steps in three days. And as you walk, you see a different perspective about people you miss if you are in your car all the time. There are homeless people, little kids, tourists, designer wearing locals, ordinary locals, blue-haired people – the list is endless. People were wearing high heels, sturdy boots, flip flops with socks. My eyes just soaked up the diversity.

Quote: Diversity is not about how we differ but embracing the uniqueness in each of us.

And the Rhythm – City dwellers will always look at the opposite set of lights to know when they cross. There is a sense of urgency – a different beat that people respond to. And this was the primary cause of disharmony when we came back to Columbus. From the sudden marching to a beat, we were back in solitude.

And with lots of people and diversity comes lots of culture and places. For example, London and New York both have a China town, an Italian area, and an Indian joint. And what this means is you can have whatever cuisine you are craving – like dumplings, momos, chaat or cannoli. You also hear different languages as you walk or go into the tubeā€”music to my ears.

When you have literally rubbed shoulders with such a diverse crowd – you have no choice but to accept that we are all in the human predicament regardless of the colour of our skin or the language we speak. And that is a blessing in disguise because you have to compromise, accept others.

How are you accepting and encouraging diversity in your life?

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