COVID times have impacted all of us; buffeted us. Everyone has had to bounce back in some way. We respond. This is the reaction.
Hopefully, the response to it has not taken all our energy. There is an opportunity too, in all this maelstrom, to reflect. To consider how things were/are, perhaps to upgrade and finesse our lifestyles, perspectives, contributions.
I have had that time. Unemployment provides plenty of blue sky thinking time. I live a fairly simple life anyway, but I have pared it back further. Partly because of economics, but also considering the true value of things.
I have also had time to think about others more. Firstly, family. I am more connected. Secondly, community – I have been delivering groceries to those in need locally, to do my bit to help others.
Thirdly, my broader community and the workforce. Writing the book was a great review of how I show up and try to make a positive difference. Also, where I struggle, or smash around too much. Taking others on the journey has never been more important.
This week I completed the LinkedIn course on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. I consider myself fairly self-aware and woke, but there is always more to do. I understand my white male privilege better today than at any time in my life.
I was a little sceptical that a bunch of videos would give greater insight into the practices. But I was surprised. I found myself enjoying several parts of the process, rather than it being a well-meaning chore.
The world around us is demanding more of us, to see others, or the out-group, with a new lens. White middle aged men the most. My god, how much are we missing out on by sidelining or ignoring talent, wherever it comes from! It is simply undeniable.
I commit to
- a curiosity to understand others better;
- the courage to unlearn the layers of privilege that mistake opinion and opportunity for insight and talent;
- a compassion for ourselves and others as we move forward, together.
A constant refrain of mine is that work should be fun. We should look forward to it. To enable that, to unlock the energy, requires that everyone feels free to contribute, that they feel heard, that trust and connectedness extends across and through us.
That is the work.
This Much We Know.