Ripples #825: Openness.
Mar 16, 2015
Openness may not completely disarm prejudice,
but it’s a good place to start.
-Jason Collins, shared by Danielle in Jacksonville, FL
Embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by your energy; every problem solved by your wisdom; every soul stirred by your passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by your determination will ennoble your own life, inspire others, serve your country, and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth. -Madeleine Albright
You may have heard in the news this week about several examples of extreme unkindness: hurtful chants from a busload of college students, acts of extreme violence against individuals and groups both here and abroad, and the ongoing and fiercely stubborn resistance against our society’s ever-evolving attempts to include those who have historically been excluded. It is tempting, and understandable, to become disheartened and discouraged when it seems like things are getting worse instead of better.
It is important to remember that while we have a long way to go in completely eliminating oppression and inequality, there is lots of evidence that we’ve come a long way and that we continue to take important steps in making the world safer and more inviting for people to bring their best selves to work, school, and life.
I believe a really useful next step would be for each us to be more open in identifying our own limitations, concerns, and fears; and also creating safe spaces for others to do the same. This would allow us to improve our individual efforts at reducing oppression and expanding inclusiveness, and will pave the way for sustained improvements in how our organizations and communities value difference.
I hope you can spend some time talking about this with people around you this week; classrooms, staff meetings, and/or family discussions. Talking isn’t sufficient, but being open with ourselves and those around us is a necessary first step to making the world better for us all.
The Ripples Guy