Diversity: Source of strength or conflict?
It is obvious that we live on this planet in the continent of Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is a very big area. There are so many kinds of nations and tribes as according to Islam, the holy Quran says in Al Hujarat: 13, Allah said: “Oh mankind! We have created you male and female, and have you nations and tribes that you may know one another. The noblest of you, in the side of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah is all-knowing”. We have different cultures. It means that we are in diversity. We cannot run away from this reality. Therefore, to live in peace and harmony, we need to work together to make our best based on our pure heart. And also we need to work together to lead our minds and actions to reach our goals. The diversity that we have such as traditions, cultures, languages, and religions provides us with great richness. So, our duty is how to unite these diversities into one set human values. It means the best among us is the one who gives more benefit to others. There are several statements to address differences for getting unity among us.
The first statement is that we have to realize we are different in several things so a good way is having a mutual understanding. Being different is not that bad as long as there is understanding, good will and tolerance. Being different means we can help each other to fulfill each other’s needs. For example, when I have difficulties in my work in the other side you can opportunity to help me making my work getting easier and vice versa.
On the contrary, we do not resolve the differences with insulting and attacking or even killing one another. Sometimes a group of people insults and attacks other group because of differences they have. It is happened in our country. Start from now we have to realize how much we have same dreams, expectations, goals, problems, struggles, of even failures. It means that their expectations are our expectations, and their problems are our problems.
The second statement is we cannot use our spirit to blame others because of their differences. We cannot think that we are in the right way and they are in the wrong way, but we honestly should look at ourselves, and look for what is right, then we begin to make progress. We should agree to live with unity in diversity and respect other people and their cultures. Our religion or culture absolutely has confirmed that the activities of self-righteous and blame others were banned and sin. In the other words, when we blame and do the activities of self-righteous, it can be said that we are not included in the religion and culture that we embrace.
The next is in diversity we have to care human security together. Human security is to secure everyone’s human wellbeing, survival and freedom. Everyone needs peace in their life, but often most of them do not care how to make peace itself. In this case the human security has new perspective, which must emphasize human security rather than merely national security.
Why human security is more important than national security? It is because we at least had identified and known roughly seven categories of human security, i.e., economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security, and summed up four features of human security namely, 1, human security is universal. States, strong or weak, and human being, rich or poor, are all impacted by human security; 2, the integral parts of human security are interdependent. When the security of the people somewhere in the world is threatened, all states might be involved; 3, early prevention is better than intervention aftermath; 4, human security is human-centric. In general, the old security perspective has to shift in the following areas: to shift from emphasizing merely national security to human security; from realizing security by forcing to human development; and from concerning territorial security to concerning food, employment and environmental security.
And the fourth statement is because we are different we really need social justice for all. After explaining how important human security is. The next important thing is social justice because human security and social justice go hand in hand. We can imagine when social justice does not happen around us. Absolutely discrimination and conflict will appear in everywhere because we believe that human injustice caused war. We will live with fear everyday as recently in Sampang-Madura (one of Indonesia Region) there was conflict of interfaith. One group attacks the other. One group feels happy with the victory which either victory like what they mean and the other group lives with fear every day, lack of food and other basic needs. That problem is not just because of conflict, but a cause of human injustice caused war. Because of that, social justice is very important for human life.
The last statement but absolutely not the least is because I am not really right and you are not really wrong. Mutual understanding is needed. When we have same background such religion absolutely we are going to have no problems, we can live together, work together and respect each other. How if we are living in plural society? How should we act and socialize with each other? That is the reason why we have to have that mutual understanding, and tolerance to help each other to fulfill everyone’s needed. We can help them and they can help us. Living together in plural society is really too hard for us without mutual understanding even though we have different ideologies, cultures, and religions.
Religion is needed for most people in their live. Of course someone has a reason and a rational explanation why they have their own faith, though not all beliefs and religious experiences can be explained in a logical-rational. However, they sometimes do not realize why they have religion or in other words what the religion is for. “Religious core, having faith in God and the immortality of the soul, is to pray’” Prof. Komaruddin Hidayat (Rector of State Islamic University of Jakarta) said. For Muslims, prayer (sholat) is “Pray (berdoa)”. There are two cores of psychological boost why someone prays to God. One of those is a fear to see her tiny, insignificant, in the middle of the vast universe beyond the reach of the line’s edge.
Finally from explanation above we have got simple conclusion of the meaning of diversity at least for answering the question “diversity: source of strength or conflict?” that we have to realize that we are different in something but with different we can do everything by having mutual understanding. We can live, work, and respect one another with same goals and purposes by upholding human security, social justice, mutual understanding, and not blame one another.