At some point in the recent past, the concept of diversity was invented. Having been invented, diversity could then attach itself to a lot of things that used to be considered problems. Now, we would know that these weren’t problems, but could, in effect, be included within the range of what was considered normal. This was a very good thing, because it meant that more people were invited to the party, and, as long as the chips lasted, we could all have a good time.
The latest example of this diversity inclusion is the belief that autism, rather than a disorder, is a perfectly normal way of being and merely an example of just one more position on the perfectly normal neurological scale. People with autism shouldn’t change. Society should change to accommodate them. Life in the Boomer Lane will not take sides in this debate. Instead, she will simply say that there are people with autism and people in the field of autism who are on both sides of this issue.
Trees have known this for a long time. Recent research in bio-diversity has concluded that “multi-trait eco-evolutionary dynamics explain niche diversity and evolved neutrality in forests.” This can best be stated as “There are a lot of trees and they are all really cool, no matter what they look like, and a bird can perch on any of them and poop on your head. All the trees in the forest welcome birds and they don’t care if you have poop on your head.”
LBL will now express her relief that all of her own issues are, in effect, simply examples of diversity, the new I’m OK, You’re OK view of genetics.
Hair Growth Diversity: Having been recently informed by a hair stylist that LBL possesses a head that produces an astonishing number of cowlicks and “It’s not so much that your hair is curly, so much as beset by endless whorls and licks,” she can now be proud that she represents a vital, if unruly, point on the hair growth spectrum.
Colon Diversity: LBL, diagnosed with IBS many years ago, can now switch from a belief that on the conveyor belt of life, she missed out on being given many fine traits because she was too busy running to the bathroom. Instead, she can be proud that she is a representative of colon diversity and can remind herself of this every time she has the occasion to familiarize herself with exotic rest rooms all over the planet.
Spinal Diversity: LBL, formerly a towering 5’2.5″, has now reached 5’1″ due to her membership in the spinal diversity club. Her Aunt Gert is now about 4’6″, and LBL looks forward to saving money by being able to buy shorts and wear them as pants.
Spatial Relationships Diversity: This is, perhaps, the diversity LBL is most proud of. Having spent her life being lost, she now knows that the complete inability to get from Pt A to Pt B is simply a notch on the spatial diversity spectrum. She believes that society should accommodate her by putting streets where they belong, rather than in odd places where they don’t.
Attention Span Diversity: LBL would say she has the attention span of a flea, but this would be insulting to fleas. Thankfully, her inability to attend sales meetings or sit through continuing education classes can now be seen as acceptable. And her penchant for making snide comments to those next to her, as well as drawing cartoons and passing them around, shall no longer be viewed as immaturity, so much as welcome diversity.
Working Body Parts Diversity: LBL will no longer fret over various body parts not smartly lining up to work as they were intended to, since there is now no expectation of how they should work. Her new way of getting in and out of cars, kneeling, and lifting herself from a seated position on the floor will all be embraced as diversity. And her being stuck in the backseat of her own small, two-door car on one occasion will be remembered fondly as Getting Out of the Backseat Diversity.
Aging Diversity: It’s time to acknowledge that there is no such thing as young people or old people. Everyone is aging, and everyone is somewhere on the aging spectrum. LBL will now refer to both herself and her twenty-month-old granddaughter as members of aging diversity. Period.