the contemplative path to overcoming us vs. them

Deep Diversity by Shakil Chouhury provides a mental model to address diversity challenges faced by our society.

Shakil provides a scientific lens to the topic of social division by integrating findings from emotional intelligence, social psychology, neuroscience, implicit bias, and mindfulness research.

In Deep Diversity, Shakil methodically shows how emotions, bias, identities, and power exasperate diversity problems and how we can combat them through the cultivation of some valuable inner skills:

self-awareness through mindfulness meditation to understand how emotions can sometimes unconsciously trigger certain behavior.
self-regulation to prevent the biological process of implicit bias from impacting one's conduct in the world.
empathy to combat the social divisions of people among race and ethnicity (and other divisions).
Self-education by taking personal responsibility to understand what the impact of systemic discrimination means for ourselves and communities – who's doing well, who's struggling, and why. 
Develop relationship management with people outside of one's social identity group.
Making meaning of the current moment in history to inspire a more resilient and sustainable engagement with this topic.

main takeaways

1. The less aware we are of the unconscious dynamics of emotions, bias, identities, and power, the more impact they will have in our lives.


2. Although biological imperatives sometimes evoke unwholesome mental states of mind when we interact with people who don't look like us, we don't have to feed those sensations in thought, speech, or action.


3. This book made me curious about my implicit biases for different social groups.

My results from Harvard's Project Implicit test are shown below.

The results have been a valuable way for me to understand areas of my mental conduct that need some more self-regulation.