This year-2020, has been the most unique that I have experienced in my whole 50 plus years on this planet ( and I have lived!). I use the word unique lightly and in place of so many other adjectives that could appropriately fit! My wife and I have had SO MANY conversations about how we FEEL about this or that. During the first 6 months of this year we have spoken more about Politics, Systemic Racism, Entitlement, Professional Evolution, Virtual Work Opportunity, Uncovering of racist inside of our circle, Pandemic Stuff…SO MUCH to talk about! In my opinion, this is a season of tremendous self-reflection and opportunity for growth in our thinking and becoming. Are you talking about things? Important things, with people that think differently than you, and allowing for an opening of new thoughts and values. Those are the sexy conversations!
Now, I am NOT talking about social media trolling and fighting! I personally think this is the war cry for the under exposed, confidence deficit, under connected humans. Seriously, don’t you have some real people in your life that would encourage your ideas and concerns without sacrificing your entire social influence and possible professional bottom line? Self control is very necessary on all social sites today!
I am talking quality conversation with a trusted circle, interrogating your belief system and exposure to “the other side” of our deeply rooted opinions. It is this flavor of diversity that encourages inclusive conversations, work places, social circles, etc.
One of the topics that has me so baffled is the controversy of face coverings and how this topic has turned from a conversation of public respect for one another to a conversation about protecting our rights to self expression. I am working hard to understand the other side of this debate and haven’t yet heard an approach that sounds like anything other than entitlement and political blah blah blah. I think about this like I do commercial air travel. My wife and I travel a lot ( or we used to pre-pandemic). We typically fly first class because I like to stretch out and truly work while we travel. We are not on the plane 5 minutes and I have already unpacked my laptop, planner, journal, recorder, phone(s), etc. There is something about travel that brings forward the creative in me and I create some of my best content during this time. During a commercial flight, no matter where you are seated, there is a predictable moment when we are directed to ” put everything away for a period, raise seat backs, turn off devices, and return tray tables”. When this announcement is made it is always followed by the flight crew walking the plane to insure expectations have been met. If someone hadn’t made the necessary adjustment, they are politely, but forcefully reminded to comply. No matter how people FEEL, if they want to leave, fly, participate in the flight- they comply. Should someone decide that they do not want to comply, they probably list these as reasons that they don’t fly. I remember when travel changed as a result of 9/11. I remember how simple it was to move through security. I prefer that any day over the undressing, shoe removing, sometimes pat down and removal of all of my prior mentioned devices. I also understand why it’s necessary and if I want to travel, this is the process. Help me to understand how this example is any different than what is happening in our world today? Forward facing environments have expectations, that apply to all who enter, to wear a face covering. The reason why is an agreement that we don’t necessarily have the authority to exercise. I will do what so ever I can to protect others, myself, and those I love. If the simple action for this temporary time is to put on a face covering while with others, so be it. Because, if it makes someone else feel better, it’s the least that I can do during this obviously sensitive time where it feels like we have so little control of positively impacting others. As a Gay, African American, Woman- there have been many “no’s” that I have had to navigate. It seems that this is a reflection of some human’s aversion to “no”. I hope that we can all work together to prevent the spread of this terrible disease and empower companies to open, people to stay in business and profitability to lead. It seems to be the only band aid for this boo boo that has no cure, yet. Here’s to a band aid free time in our near future!
Yours in positiveness, productivity and pandemic prevention!
Sherry Swift –