Perspective on Inequality: Are We Unknowingly Contributing to the Problem? As I scroll through memes of Dr. Martin Luther King’s words today – and see sprinkled between them the not-so-veiled accusations, hate, political predictions, announcements, and ads… it occurs to me that we are not as evolved as we’d all hoped.
Even if it isn’t blatant like using the N-word or denying a job or housing to someone of a different race, or religion, or gender, defining others by physical or religious characteristics is prevalent in our everyday lives and it seeps in almost unnoticed sometimes.
Each time we check a box identifying our race, color, creed, or ethnicity, we contribute to the separateness. We perpetuate racism and delay Dr. King’s dream every time we don’t speak up and ask WHY.
WHY does the public school “require” us to fill out their “race and ethnicity” form rather than just asking if our children speak English or not so they can allocate ESL funding? Does skin color or ethnicity really affect how they are taught? Have you ever looked at a child’s face when their parent struggles to find a box that fits her mixed race? When “American”, for some odd reason, isn’t a choice?
WHY does the US census go over and above gathering the required data needed to properly represent Americans? Every time we don’t take pause when asked to check a box, we give into the “us vs. them” as we further draw attention to such distinctions.
Even in some of the most unlikely places we demonstrate intolerance and widen gaps, intentionally or not. We see it in business groups, publications, extra-curricular activities, and public awards. Women’s Networking, Christian Soccer, Hispanic Women Co-ed magazine, Esteemed Muslim Forklift Operator of the Month.
Okay, that last one was just comic relief – don’t get crazy. But I wonder, just how different are the rules, struggles, and situations for each of these groups? How much harm would there be in inclusivity? What if the award goes to “this deserving human based on the following demonstrated accomplishments…”?
I’ve had several people ask me why my parenting membership website isn’t filled with Bible scripture. My answer? My goal is to include and support parents of all walks of life and that includes faith. I get that it won’t be a one-stop for everyone. (It isn’t for me. Parenting is hard, I have to rally the troops and find support wherever I can!)
I want my audience to choose to tune into my content (or not) based on what matters most to them, not because of some intentional exclusion on my part.
My hope in my work of teaching choice, in teaching contribution at home and in the world, in teaching that the best of the family room can positively influence the best of the board room… my sincere hope is that our daughters and sons can walk into a room and see PEOPLE.
Regardless of their age, their gender, or their color, or their language… regardless of which bathroom they enter, in which church they choose to take a seat or school they exit with a diploma or trade certification in hand…
Or whether they eat an Oreo middle first or cookies first…
My hope is that when we all walk into a full room that what we see are creative, loving, hopeful, and helpful people who choose to be part of the solution. People who at the very least say, “how can I help?” and at their very best just dig in and be the change.
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and author of Creating Time and Energy. Individuals hire her to trade their “badges of busy” for intentionally full lives. Organizations hire her to attract, train, and retain our next generation of leaders, the Millennials.
Based on the foundation that when things are running smoothly at home, amazing things can happen at work, Julie uses one-on-one and group coaching to help her clients to define what matters most in their lives and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to implement habits that serve rather than sabotage their intentions. Her clients find more joy and less chaos in every stage of work and home one habit at a time.
Need a tip for reducing the “crazy busy” in YOUR life? ASK Julie!
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