Privilege. Respect. Accept.
I think we can all agree that the last few weeks have been overwhelming to say the least. Between the Corona Virus and now, violent acts of hatred, everyone has been impacted by this challenging season of turmoil in some way.
I'll be transparent. Watching this string of events play out has been both disappointing and frustrating for me as well. I have found myself on multiple occasions leaning into the fear of what is unknown and questioning everything outside of my control. In short, even I have been struggling to live fearlessly. However, with great struggle comes an incredible opportunity for growth in our ability to accept others. Here's what I've learned.
Acknowledge to Accept.
The act of accepting another human being for their strengths, flaws, and everything in between is an action that should be practiced on a consistent basis, no questions asked. However, like most standard practices, this is sometimes easier said than done. The question still remains, As a human race, why do we STILL struggle to accept one another?
While I don't believe there is a simple solution to this question, I know that the journey to acceptance begins with YOU and the recognition of your privilege.
Before you ever interact with another human being, YOU have to define for yourself what it
truly means to show gratitude for the experiences you've been given. Understand that regardless of where you come from, there has more than likely been an opportunity that others haven't had. Realize this. Express your gratitude. Recognize the power in humility and demonstrate it often. Beyond privilege, the process of accepting others also focuses around your ability to listen, demonstrate curiosity, and comprehend. So much of recognizing our differences centers around the intention behind getting to know someone and their stories. If someone believes something different from you, listen to their why. Show interest in their story and work to understand how their privilege aligns with their opinion. Most importantly, respect every aspect of the story, belief, and background, even if this differs from yours. Put it Into Practice. The maturity to look outside of yourself, recognize privilege, and genuinely listen to those around you are the building blocks to accepting another human being. However, these tools are not beneficial without the ability to eliminate the subconscious bias we may face internally. News Flash: This requires a fearless mindset and it begins with YOU. I challenge you to find the strength to have those difficult conversations with yourself. Be fearless while walking in the shoes of another person. Be brave enough to recognize the privilege you have. Be humble enough to demonstrate gratitude. Above all, be intentional about the bias you possess. Work to eliminate it. Acceptance, while seemingly simple, is extremely complex. It requires work and incredible detail. I encourage each of you to research ways in which you can better demonstrate a life of understanding and kindness, in the face of differing opinions. Share your knowledge with others. It is no longer sufficient to be silent in today's social climate. It is time to use our voices for good and be fearless in the acknowledgement of the power our words and actions possess.
Together we can create a ripple effect of change, but it has to start with YOU.