Healing: agency, accountability and action

 

Two weeks ago I wrote about how the US election had galvanized me to think about the power of acceptance, openness and curiosity in the process of healing. This week I want to continue that discussion because I believe that this power is only available to us with three additional components: agency, accountability and action.

Acceptance is not resignation. Acceptance involves seeing reality as it is, starting where we actually are, not where we would like to be. To accept reality does not require us to assent or accede to the rightness of being in that place. In other words, acceptance requires recognizing and claiming agency. Resignation is the abdication of our agency. It looks at the world from a stance of fear and paralysis. Acceptance, on the other hand, operates from a stance of hope and creativity; it tells others that we are ready to investigate where our values can help us alter our reality for the better.

Openness is not “anything goes.” When we are open, we seek to understand what might be driving people’s behavior, rather than dismissing them out of hand as crazy, stupid or incompetent. This is not the easy stance of rubber-stamping all points of view or all types of behavior, however. Instead, openness is accompanied by accountability. We hold ourselves and others to the standard that words and actions have consequences. Nor, moreover, does being open mean we take the pressure off those acting in ways that cause pain or harm or violate the principles and ethics we believe govern a fair and just society.

Curiosity is not passive voyeurism. To be curious means to fight apathy, boredom and indifference. Curiosity is more than that the blind consumption of whatever information is offered to us. It is the active search for truth and ability to face that truth honestly. Being curious obliges us to examine our beliefs and assumptions and seek data sources with regard to their accuracy, authority, timeliness, objectivity and completeness, as opposed to whether they support our personal position or the received wisdom. Curiosity also means that when we take action based on the best available data, we reflect on the outcomes we get and adjust our actions accordingly to improve performance the next time.

Acceptance, openness and curiosity involve work. Let’s do that work together and find out where agency, accountability and action, and our diverse approaches to healing, can take us.


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The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Healing: agency, accountability and action

Getting down to the work of healing

“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past…I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.”

Donald J. Trump, 9. Nov, 2016

Back in January I began The Diversity Dividend with a piece about three qualities, openness, curiosity and appreciation, and how the cultivation of these qualities could lead to leveraging the best that is in all of us. In the job of healing our country after a divisive election, I believe that these qualities must come to the fore.

When you are open, you can make connections. When you exhibit curiosity, your connections are deepened as you move toward a better understanding of what it is to walk in this other person’s shoes. When you show appreciation, you let the other person know that they have been seen, heard and valued.

Let’s, therefore, not underestimate the possibility for positive change going forward and accept the opportunity President-Elect Trump has afforded by offering our guidance and help. As people who work to help foster diversity and inclusion:

  • We are no strangers to difficult conversations
  • We wield tools that can help to steer conflict in productive directions
  • We embrace “both/and” thinking, can sit with ambiguity and endeavor to see the glass as half full
  • We celebrate growth and seek to validate multiple routes to personal development
  • We recognize that awareness that there is a problem is a crucial first step to making progress in unraveling that problem

From where I sit, our work is now more rather than less important. Let’s demonstrate the power of openness, curiosity and appreciation and seize this moment to lay the groundwork for an abundance mentality.


Creative Commons License
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Getting down to the work of healing

Der Pulsschlag unserer Natur

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Im Herbst fällt das Laub von den Bäumen und übersät die Gehwege. Wenn wir über das Laub spazieren gehen, bringen wir das zum Rascheln. Wenn wir dieses Rascheln gut zuhören würden, würden wir die Botschaft begreifen, dass jetzt die Zeit ist, loszulassen. Genauso wie die Bäume, müssen wir bereitstehen unsere Aussicht und Aussehen umzutauschen.

Obwohl wir oftmals verbinden Wachstum mit Entwicklung, Entwicklung hat auch eine Beziehung mit Loslassen, weil «entwickeln» etwas mit entfernen zu tun hat. Laut dwds.de hat die Vorsilbe «ent» Bedeutungen wie „rückgängig gemacht“, „weggehen“, „wegnehmen“ und „herauslagen“. Es erfordert zwar viel Mut, seelische Belastungen loszulassen, aber wenn wir nicht so viele negative Sachen tragen, haben wir die Kraft und die Energie uns zu bemühen. Dann könnten wir uns, wie die Blätter, bunt verfärben, um unsere Vielfalt besser auszudrücken. Wie Laub, haben wir immer unendliche Varianten drin, egal ob wir die erkennen, bestätigen, befreunden oder ausrufen.

Die Steigerung der Finsternis kommt noch im Herbst dazu. Aber wir müssen nicht gegen die Finsternis kämpfen, sondern begrüßen. Sie schenkt uns die Zeit, ein neues Lebensmodell herauszubringen. Absichtlich und nachdenklich bereiten wir den Weg für etwas Neues. Was uns nicht mehr passt, was uns Sorge macht, was uns nicht mehr gefällt, was uns nicht mehr guttut: Einfach loslassen. Und auch weg mit den Vorurteilen, Vermutungen und Missgunst. Aus der Asche dieses Loslassens wird einen Schimmer in der tiefsten Dunkelheit erzeugen. Es fängt mit einem kleinen Schritt an – hör zu dem Pulsschlag unserer Natur.


Inspiriert von Im Herbst – Heinrich Seidel und Herbsttag von Rainer Maria Rilke
Creative Commons License
The Diversity Dividend by Katherine W Hirsh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Der Pulsschlag unserer Natur