I have this theory. It involves diversity.
You see, I am also a biologist. Or at least I have a degree in biology (my biology career was short-lived).
In biology, diversity is critical to the survival of the community of organisms.
While in biology they call a community an ecosystem, it is essentially a group of different organisms living within an environment, so I think of it like a community.
Each organism occupies its own niche within the environment, using its own strengths to maximize survival of the species, but also as part of an interconnected web of organisms, each species essentially relying upon the other organisms.
Species work within their own parts of the system, and in healthy ecosystems balance off the others.
Pressures from other organisms keeps some species in check but also provides opportunities for other organisms to thrive. Essentially, they support each other, both directly and indirectly.
When changes effect the system, this diversity allows for adaptation.
If there are not enough species within an ecosystem, or if one disappears, the entire ecosystem is weaker, and can even collapse.
Now, while humans are, strictly speaking, members of the same species, we come from a wide range of ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and different physical and mental makeups.
But I like to think of our communities like ecosystems.
Within that community, each race, cultural background, sexual orientation, or what have you, occupies its own niche.
We each bring our own strengths and weaknesses, but together, we create a stronger community.
I learned this week what an incredibly diverse community Fort St. James is through the Organizing Against Racism and Hate group, and it occurred to me that perhaps that is exactly why the Fort is such a resilient community.
From fur trade to forestry to mining, the Fort has managed to adapt and absorb change. I for one, would like to believe this is a product of its unique and diverse community, and hope that for arts and culture week, we can all appreciate the diverse cultural community around us, and how it makes us all stronger, together.