The year 2020 has been a revelatory one in many ways. Around the world, people of different backgrounds are united to stand against something that we have been battling against for centuries. We are all being forced to have hard conversations, examine much more deeply where our allegiances lie, and what our values truly are.
Our aim in this article is present some ways for you to be mindful, vocal and influential.
Check Your Own Biases
Oftentimes we hold specific opinions, thoughts, or even prejudices towards other groups of people without noticing. For example, if you have ever said something along these lines,
All ___ do/act/are/eat _____.
Whether in joke or in earnestness, you have demonstrated a bias towards that group. The truth is that many of these preconceived notions about a particular group are usually unfounded and certainly should not be associated with the group as a whole. As we all become more aware of our underlying biases, it is easy to get to the root of them and discover alternative thought patterns that lead to inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness.
Whether it be within your community or the workplace (or both), it’s a great idea to get involved. Taking proactive action towards the goals and ideals you are reaching for is the only path to success. As an individual, you can only do so much, but with a group of like-minded people, you are in a much better position to enact lasting change and progress.
Here are a few ways to start being more involved:
- Explore ways your company is working towards increased inclusivity
- Look for local events
- Volunteer your time
- Donate your resourcesVote in your local, state, and federal elections
- Attend Town Halls or other meetings
Think Before You Speak
This is a sound principle to live by generally. When interacting with members of another race, ethnicity, or any other characteristic it is important that words are chosen carefully. In the current climate, emotions are running high and the atmosphere is super-charged.
Words have the dual capacity of great healing and great harm. Because of this, we have to hold ourselves more accountable for our words.
Keep An Open Mind
Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need to be in 100% agreement with 100% of the people you interact with, 100% of the time. There are those who you will be at complete opposing sides, and it will prove nearly impossible to ever shift them or they shift you. In this particular point, we are more referring to the people who are really on your side, but just have a different approach or thought process.
Making enemies of the people who think or express themselves differently from you is similar to the kind of intolerance people around the world are rising up against. In our heated passion and cries for change, we often blur the line between friend and foe
It’s better to approach people you meet and ideas you exchange with an open mind, this way everybody feels that their voice has been heard and acknowledged. It is very difficult to arrive in agreement during a shouting match.
Open your mind and your ears to find your allies.
Advocate For Your Causes Consistently
In any pursuit, there is one common thread that separates the successful from the unsuccessful:
Like the ocean tide crashing against rocky shores, over time a massive change occurs. The same thing holds for all the pursuit of inclusion, equality, tolerance, happiness, peace, and any other worthy cause. This is more important than just getting involved because we naturally feel much better about ourselves and our position in life after the “release” – protesting, voting, debating, etc.
Hold yourself accountable to the causes that mean the most to you. Your conviction for them must be demonstrated consistently over time, this will inspire others to the same and before you know it you just may have accomplished the wonderful goals you aspired to.
|We truly are all in this together and if one good thing comes out of this, it is that many of us will come to that exact realization.|
Stay safe, stay productive, stay healthy, and of course stay COOL!