In light of the events that have taken place in our country and around the world, the issues attached to a commitment to diversity are in the forefront of our minds. Life Chiropractic College West has always stood, and will continue to stand, for what is right, what is just, and what is in alignment not only with our mission statement, but with our philosophy that all people share the same common inborn intelligence, regardless of color, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and sexual orientation. We understand that what brings us together is our commonality, which can never be torn apart by our differences. In fact, we embrace our differences, knowing that just as a family, we love the same and innately are the same. We understand the difference between “what we are” compared to “who we are.”
The current events that have taken place over the past months can never be condoned. We have all witnessed the hatred, vitriolic actions and agendas that are truly symptoms of a disconnection within the individuals that make up the groups that look to separate us. The fight for equality that took place in the 1960’s has many similarities with what is taking place today. Many were physically hurt and many died, but their cause was greater than any individual. It took peaceful protests with a willingness to turn the other cheek in order to rise above those with hate and bigotry in their hearts. The civil rights movement showed that bullies are just cowards, and when faced with love, they could never win.
So, where does this leave us now?
Hatred and anger will never have a home within our Life West family and our extended community. Life West was built on Lasting Purpose, where what we do and who we serve is done out of our abundance to love one another. We are not alone. We understand that as a family, we take care of each other. As a family, we protect each other, and as a family, we stand by each other. As a family, it is our duty to serve and honor all the lives we can, with the understanding that within each person is intelligence greater than anyone could ever imagine and greater than anyone has been led to believe.
History has shown the greatest way to make an impactful, sustainable change is through communication, open hearts and tolerance. When I say tolerance, I am talking about cultural expectations from every generation. We have been given labels such as Baby Boomers, Millennials, and Generation X’s – however, as a collective group, we must understand that everyone is learning the new game of cultural generations. Right now, the cultural differences of generations is growing at a faster pace than ever before. Our difference does not separate who we are, but rather it is the prerequisite to bring us together.
Now is the time for people to sit down and understand each other’s cultural uniqueness, and to share each other’s life experiences. I’m confident we will find our commonalities far outweigh our differences, and that our differences are not made up of hate and distain, but rather misunderstandings and misconceptions. Maybe it’s the world of digital/social media that is, ironically, making society less interpersonal and hindering an important dialogue from taking place. Or it could be the vast gigabits of information, and at times, misinformation, which create a divide in our cultural fabric called society. Likely, it is a combination of many factors that have caused us to live our lives in pods of separateness, acknowledging but not fully understanding each other’s unique qualities, likenesses and superficial differences. It’s time to “make time” to be together, to listen and share our commonalities, to love and respect our individual and beautiful unique qualities.
The mission statement of Life Chiropractic College West is “Creating a Brighter Future for Humanity.” I believe this brighter humanity starts within each person, and as is the inside, so becomes the outside. When we take our understanding of above-down-inside-out and apply that to being the change we want and will see in the world, we become the agents of movement and the agents of making a difference. As a group, as a community and as a family, Life West will always have as its north star Lasting Purpose. We are committed to Giving, Doing, Loving and Serving out of our own abundance while embracing each other and holding Life West as a safe place for family and temporary strangers alike.
As we take our message outside the confines of the college, we can and will make a difference in the world. I’m humbled when I see people of all races, religions, genders, gender expressions and sexual orientation come together as one to help each other during the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida. It’s in our genetic coding to love one another, to help one another and to feel for one another. It is that “uniqueness” that binds us together. That is why Life West has the expectations we have for our students and graduates. We are the change, we are the difference, and we are part of what is right in the world. Together, we can say with pride – We are Life West!!
Dr. Ronald Oberstein
President, Life Chiropractic College West