Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond what is right in front of me in a single moment; tunnel vision causing me to walk, nearly blind, through days and weeks at the Academy, barely aware of anything beyond my classes and my shipmates in the engineering buildings and on the pool deck.
While not a lot can pry me away from my busy life, it is essential to recognize Eclipse Week and what it stands for, not only around the Academy, but throughout the growing Coast Guard and throughout the country. Eclipse week always brings me to a standstill. It is absolutely amazing when so many people can join together in the common goal of not only recognizing the diversity problems that our world faces today, but talking about them in earnest. This communication and sharing allows people to come together, to understand one another, and to recognize how each different person brings something new and essential to the table.
I sat at dinner one night and listened to a speaker who told of her story, serving as a Coast Guard wife in Panama during the invasion by United States armed forces. She not only saw and heard of the fighting, but she was actually caught in the crossfire. This was eye-opening to me and to everyone sitting in the crowd. This speaker was able to offer her worldly experiences to us, teaching us of struggles that most of us will never face but still must strive to understand. Through her speech she brought diversity of thought to the table. She experienced combat before women were allowed to do such a thing; she broke down boarders and as a result has lived to tell her story in the hopes that it lives on and inspires others to think beyond what is known to be possible.
Diversity of race, religion, and gender are so vital in today’s world. They allow us to develop a diversity of thought, which is paramount. Someone who is able to draw experience from every walk of life is someone who can subsequently break down barriers and change the world as we know it and how we all see it.
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