In Praise of Diversity

In Praise of Diversity2020-06-06T15:58:48-04:00

Click on audio bar to hear Fr. Christopher’s reflection.

In Praise of Diversity
by Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978)

… Since God invented man, and man
At once fell to, inventing trouble,
One virtue, one subversive grace
Has chiefly vexed the human race.

There’s white, there’s black; no tint between
… now all must fit
One pattern or its opposite.

Or so it seems. Yet who would dare
Deny that nature planned it other,
When every freckled thrush can wear
A dapple various from his brother,
When each pale snowflake in the storm
Is false to some imagined norm?

Recalling then what surely was
The earliest bounty of Creation:
That not a blade among the grass
But flaunts its difference with elation,
Let us devoutly take no blame
If similar does not mean the same.

Rejoice that under cloud and star
The planet’s more than Maine or Texas.
Bless the delightful fact there are
Twelve months, nine muses, and two sexes;
And infinite in earth’s dominions
Arts, climates, and opinions.

Praise the disheveled, praise the sleek;
Austerity and hearts-and-flowers;
People who turn the other cheek
And extroverts who take cold showers;
Saints we can name a holy day for
And infidels the saints can pray for.

Praise youth for pulling things apart,
Toppling the idols, breaking leases;
Then from the upset apple-cart
Praise oldsters picking up the pieces.
Praise wisdom, hard to be a friend to,
And folly one can condescend to.

Praise what conforms and what is odd,
Remembering, if the weather worsens
Along the way, that even God
Is said to be three separate Persons.
Then upright or upon the knee
Praise Him that by His courtesy,
For all our prejudice and pains,
Diverse His Creation still remains.