The political and social climate that prevailed in Rwanda before 1994 emphasized differences, disunity, and destruction instead of the qualities of unity, productive and constructive energy that are required to sustain human societies.
These negative processes and forces perpetuated Rwandans’ alienation from the basic material roots of their existence.
Unity in diversity is the highest possible attainment of a civilization; a testimony to the noblest possibilities of the human race.
This attainment is made possible through passionate concern for choice, in an atmosphere of social trust.
Rwandans today, like other nations, live in a world filled with a wondrous diversity of experiences, opinions, physical appearance, cultures, religion, etc.
One of the challenges for Rwandans is not only to find a way to live in harmony with people, who differ from them, but to celebrate the diversity and learn from it.
We can only learn a limited amount from those who are like us but there is a fortune of new knowledge to be gained from those who have a different perspective from our own.
Let us look rather at the beauty in diversity, the beauty of harmony, and learn a lesson from the past.
It is just the diversity and variety that constitutes human charm; each human being, besides being important in him or herself, brings out by contrast the qualities of the others, and shows to advantage the special importance of each and everybody.
Indeed, in every society many forms of diversity are embraced.
It is useful, therefore, to distinguish between differences that make one minority needful of particular attention to ensure the actualization of their human rights and differences that engender no particular concern.
The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.
Every edifice is made of many different stones, yet each depends on the other to such an extent that if one were displaced the whole building would suffer; if one is faulty the structure is imperfect.
The author is Umutara Polytechnic University vice rector in charge of academics