A World Without Bias Starts With Us
Imagine a world where we were not judged by the color of our skin, religion, political affiliation, orientation or way of life. A world where everything we do is for the betterment of the common person and we as a collective society. Even a world where a sense of entitlement doesn’t exist. We do what we can to make the lives of our fellow person better, all while living in our own world with a sense of fulfillment and wonder at this beautiful life that we have been given.
While that may not be our current environment, all it takes is each of us living our truth to begin to bring that world to reality. I recently went through a diversity training at work. It was probably one of the best I had ever been through, put on by the Pillsbury Theatre Group. When I watched the acting that was taking place on the screen, I cried. I saw people I knew and even myself in scenarios that I have seen and experienced that were so unnecessary. The different scenes highlighted situations that I may not even had previously considered offensive to those around me. They made me realize that I have unwittingly participated in bias, without even realizing it. That is not how I was raised.
From an early age my brother and I were taught respect. While we didn’t have a lot, we never wanted for anything. We did fundraisers and other activities to help make others lives a little better. As I grew up and went out on my own into the world, that compassion always stayed with me. I always tried to remember those teachings of my youth, but that didn’t mean that bias didn’t find its way into my life, whether I realized it or not.
Never have we been more divided, biased and separated as a people and society, as we are in this particular time. With cell phones in hand, our every move is watched, recorded and often displayed on social media for the world to see. We see the best of humanity and more times than not, the worst of humanity. Our bias, whether subconscious or conscious, has reached a heightened level that has forced the need for us to look deep inside ourselves and determine who we are and who we want to be.
Maybe I am an optimist, but I have to believe that our current situation is reversible. However, for that to happen it has to start with us as individuals. We have to evaluate our own actions and the effect those actions are having on the behavior of those around us. Especially the younger generation who often learn by our example. When we start to realize, admit to, and own our own bias, we can begin the work that is necessary to change it. Our change is often contagious. One by one that change has the ability to transition ourselves, those around us, our communities and eventually our world.