I think part of the reason we don’t want to talk about diversity, race, racism, and our thoughts, confusion, and questions about it is because it comes with a level of shame. We are shamed by what we don’t know, by the privileges we recognize (or refuse to recognize), by our (sometimes discriminatory or angry) thoughts and by our confusion about how to handle situations with grace.
I recently read a book called “Daring Greatly” by Brene’ Brown – which many of you have probably read. If you haven’t, you should. She wrote a passage that resonated with me:
“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable. … If we speak shame, it begins to wither. Just the way exposure to light was deadly for the gremlins, language and story bring light to shame and destroy it” (p. 58).
I hope this space (blog) can be a platform for all of us to fight our gremlins – by asking, reflecting and laughing. I’ve fought a lot of gremlins over the years and faced a lot of fears – mostly by admitting what I don’t know and letting go of the shame I carried for not knowing. We must be willing to be vulnerable.
I’ve learned to combat shame with an open heart, a focus on seeing from anothers perspective, and a willingness to listen, learn, and be vulnerable. I’m convinced that by sharing our stories and having (sometimes difficult) conversations we all grow a little stronger.