Over the last few weeks we’ve all been impacted in some way by the tragic death of George Floyd. The impact of a single event has resonated with many lives and reminded us how little progress has been made in tackling deep seated racism in our world. The surge of voices, the protests, the tearing down of symbols have conveyed absolute outrage that we continue to live and tolerate so many things in our societies and communities – our history is bleeding through from our past and ever present in our day to day lives. This is sometimes explicitly seen, but most of the time hidden, subtle and insidious.
We can no longer ignore racism’s presence! We are all having to deeply reflect, face uncomfortable truths, and engage in profoundly difficult conversations about how racism manifests in our thoughts, feelings, our conversations and the communities we live in. Indeed, recognising, valuing and celebrating difference and diversity is easy to do when everyone around you is white and from similar socio-economic background, but to step out, and seek out conversations with a black person about their experience of living as a black person is so much harder, but so needed right now.
As I’m thinking about how I may do this, I’m aware of how I could face my uncomfortable truths with a desired future in mind – one with hope, connectivity, reparation and restoration. I’m minded of my work around Appreciative Inquiry which can sometimes be viewed as just focusing on ‘feel good’ and positive things but is actually more about a deep sense of self-inquiry, a deep reflection on something the really matters. Using an AI lens, I’m wondering how I can discover a time from my past when I’ve had a deeply uncomfortable conversation that’s brought positive, enabling and powerful change. I wonder what dream I can have. What destiny I desire? It’s now time for me to act, to address my own ongoing dissonance, to find a future that values all human beings equally.
“Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of [what is morally] right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways.
I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”
Tim Coupland – Consultant, The Wellbeing Collective.