The Diverse Mexican From North Dakota
You are the “Mexican from North Dakota” and walk into a room full of Mexicans. You look like you belong, but don’t feel that way. You then walk into a room of people from North Dakota. You feel like you belong, but don’t look like you do. Get labeled as the “Diverse One”. We all have a “Mexican from North Dakota” label on us. The label people use to identify you with some abstract note that means nothing at its core. These labels might be related to race, gender, beliefs, disabilities or special abilities. Then, one day everything starts to fall. So fast that it terrifies you. You watch it fly away. Who is going to help you pick up the pieces? You will look like the odd one. You will feel like the “Mexican from North Dakota”. You are a ticking time bomb waiting to blow your top. You want to go home and believe in something higher. Might be your Jesus. Might be something else. Each day feels like a week. Typical situation and typical times. You versus you. Nobody cares if you are successful. Why are you different? Who will get in line to help you? Your boss does not care if you do well. Your boss wants the job done well. Get the job done. Then, talk about bigger and cooler things. What are those things? Go find them.
No matter your label, it is a journey. No matter your qualifications, you can associate with this perspective. You are alone, but everyone has a label, so you are not diverse. Light a fire to feel not alone. How much different are you from anyone else? On the surface you are the “Mexican from North Dakota”, but your inside is like the others. How much difference does it take? Depends. Believe in the mission, model the values and serve others. You are free to do what you want. Just like anyone else. Don’t buy into crap Diversity programs aimed at making you feel like you belong. You do belong. Just have to prove your worth as anyone else of any race or gender must do.
Funny the way it is if you think about it. No right or wrong. Some people get the breaks. Some people do not. Either way, the world is small and you have a voice. Just have to use it. Often.