Opportunity: an ideal that enriches our lives more completely than we may appreciate. It’s the ability to fly anywhere at a minute’s notice, to jump to the next rung on the employment ladder, to freely speak your mind. Although we may not always be conscious of it, opportunity and our access to it, represents a fundamental pillar in our day-to-day lives. There’s no doubt the UK’s diversity will be affected by the latest referendum vote, which in turn will impact the opportunities available upon our beloved isle.
Capitalising upon the wealth of opportunity before us is how we thrive as a national collective, and as a city. We excel when the world is at our feet, not grinding along in a routine. In that light, efficiency can be seen as a counterpoint to opportunity; one is not encouraged in the face of the other.
At a base level, efficiency as a concept is drilled into you the moment you trade your graduation cape for a monthly Oyster card. Efficiency breeds effectiveness, efficiency improves productivity, efficiency saves time and money. We are not inherently geared to be efficient, hence human-error, yet it is seen as something to aspire to. Repetition to the point of supreme competency – doesn’t sound overly exciting, does it?
Occasionally straying from the path of efficiency leads to one of discovery; wandering away from your most trusted, speediest commuting route will undoubtedly mean you will stumble across a new sight, a new hidden experience, or at the very least a new coffee shop. Awakening earlier, however painful, and the opportunity it brings from being more diverse in your route choice could add immeasurably to your day.
This ability to free ourselves from the menial monotony of the day-to-day is what allows us to be at our most glorious; hunting down unique opportunities, the excitement of new, diverse experiences.
Opportunity is built upon the foundations of diversity; without diversity of people and things our options would be limited. Diversity enhances and expands our ability to discover, realise and capitalise upon opportunity. Without diversity, there will be little of the vast opportunity we, as a city, enjoy today.
These opportunities have been impacted by the UK’s ‘imminent’ exit from the EU. We cannot yet tell the impact that the decision will eventually have on the nation’s diversity, however it was certainly not a vote of support.
It is not a gigantic leap to draw parallels between Brexit and that of the current presidential race in the US – the land of the free, the land – lest we forget – of opportunity. In fact the petulant blonde bombshell leading the Republican party – equivalent to the Republican Hiroshima – has drawn our very own Brexit architect into his nationalistic campaign. Unfortunately for America, that equates to a more extreme scenario than Brexit, walls and all.
Hearing of how diversity could be damaged in the US focuses the mind on how it may affect the UK. Acceptance of diversity is essentially acceptance of change, of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, and it is understandable why people are hesitant; after all no-one likes change. And yet, the fear of change on a domestic level has encouraged us, as a nation, to decide upon one of the most seismic and fundamental changes that this country has ever undergone. Ironic that the threat of a change in the fabric of the archaic, traditional ‘British culture’ has encouraged a change more dramatic than many can comprehend.
The differences appear stark when comparing the likes of other internationally renowned global hubs like New York and Hong Kong to what commentators are anticipating ‘Great’ Britain to be become over the next decade. These towering metropolises are the very definition of diversity; international melting pots – mashed culture, race, style and religion. Cutting ourselves off and going back on what we as a nation have worked hard to build; a global powerhouse, culturally diverse, with the confidence for venture, is closing our door on diversity; on opportunity.
Dan Lee is really good at badminton.