• Zoe Thompson

Let's Talk about what is going on in the World

This month the theme for all the Phoenix posts, blogs, quotes, affirmations etc. is our 'values', 'needs' and 'purpose'.



values

principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life

needs

require (something) because it is essential or very important rather than just desirable.

purpose

the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

A month where the world, through the challenges of COVID19, has continued to force, or create space, for us to all evaluate what is important to us.


At the beginning of lockdown, we were all finding that some things were more important to us than we had been truly aware of, whilst at the same time we were giving our attention and energy to things that were not truly important to us.


As the lockdown came into place, and now as lockdown starts to ease and we start to move towards creating the ‘new normal’ that everyone is talking about we have an opportunity to sit and reflect what we want to exist in our ‘tomorrow’. What is important to us that we want more of, and what is not so important that we want to leave behind.


COVID19 has impacted us all in different ways. I think we can all say that it has given us all an opportunity to reflect and reassess on what is important to us.


We have seen differences in values for people, how they have assessed what is important in life and behaved in a way that has reflected that.

We have seen behaviours that have demonstrated what is ‘essential’ for people. What has been necessary or a need, and how they have had to adapt throughout COVID19 to meet those needs in a different way.


I have seen through my coaching work more people wanting to live more purposefully. They want to put their energy and time into the things that are important to them. People are consciously choosing to live in a more mindful way, to live with purpose.


This has been a month where the world has highlighted the inequalities that many of us have been privileged to have been blind to, either consciously or unconsciously.


Over the last few weeks we have seen people all over the world stand up for:


Value: Equality and Equity


Need: To make conscious changes to our ‘system’ (laws, legislation, processes, procedures), to challenge and change the beliefs and the behaviours of both individuals and as a collective society that do not treat people as equal humans.


Purpose: To create a present and future where truly all lives will matter. Where skin colour is neither a privilege nor a disadvantage. A world where we are judged on the content of character not the colour of our skin.


Many of us are privileged to be able to close down social media and not have to think or worry about it. When we are upset, angry or tired of seeing how people have been treated, and in so many cases killed because of the colour of their skin we can just close down the app, switch off the news and walk away from it.


This is our privilege to not have to see it or experience it or fear the possibility of experiencing it.


That does not mean that we have not been, or can be, sympathetic, or empathetic.


The question now needs to be, what are we doing about it?

Being aware that this problem exists is no longer enough.


Saying nothing is saying something.


The world needs to change, and change does not happen without disruption.


We all have a responsibility to disrupt our way of thinking, to challenge what we think, what we do and be a part of the wider change at the top, the laws, the legislations, the systems in place, that hold people back.


We can all be part of the change.

We all should be part of the change.


This is never going to be comfortable. Change is not comfortable, the transition from acceptance to a new normal is never comfortable.


These conversations will at times be uncomfortable, they won't ever be as uncomfortable as the experience of inequality and differential treatment.


I know that I have never been told that my natural hair is unprofessional, I haven't changed my name to make it easier for people to say. I haven't ever been told to 'go home' or asked where I am 'really from'. I don't have to carry my vehicle documents in my car. I am not judged by the colour of my skin before I speak. I do not have disproportionate access to healthcare, education or wealth. I am not treated differently/more harshly by the criminal justice system.



Whilst some people are fighting for a new normal, others are still in denial that a change is needed, others are in the frustration anger, upset, fear phase. We need to be cognisant that people will feel differently at different times.





We also need to be respectful of how people feel, even if it is the complete opposite of how we feel about the situation.


Now more than ever, we need to #BeKind.

We need to listen. We need to really hear people.


A difference of opinion can come with kindness. Let’s not forget that.


Comments and posts across social media will reflect our personal values and beliefs. Social distancing has reduced many ‘in-person’ conversations so we are seeing many of these conversations online. However… We need to be open-minded, open to listening, open to hearing other points of view, experiences and perceptions. That does not mean we need to tolerate or accept hate or abuse. There is a difference. Connect with people who you can learn from, listen to their experiences, talk about why you may have differing points of view.


Your thoughts, opinions and viewpoints do not overarch someone’s experience.


Other peoples experience could/should be helping to inform, challenge and maybe even change your opinions and viewpoints.


Are you listening with an open mind?

Are you listening to learn and understand?


Are you able to let your ego go; the need to be right, the need to know more? Can you let that go to really listen, to really understand and to empathise?


There is huge value in spending time with people who see the world differently and opening your peripheral vision to the world.


I often talk about being your own critical thinker, challenging your beliefs, challenging the thoughts that personally hold you back.


What about the ones that impact how you see the world and other people?


What are your unconscious and implicit bias?

How does this affect how you see the world?

How does this affect how you see people?


Educate yourself.

Expose yourself to people with different experiences and views.

Empathise.



Ubuntu. Afrikans word describing our human 'interconnectedness', compassion and humanity.

"I am who I am because of who we all are. We are who we are because of who I am"

I am really questioning what I am contributing to helping bring about a much-needed change. On both a personal level and through my Coaching. How can I do more to support equality, equity and justice? Not just how. Specifically what and fundamentally/critically when.



I was asked this week, "Zoe why are you worrying?"

My response;

"Why are you not?"

Have you heard of Jane Elliott and the 'Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Research? If you have not then I encourage you to take some time out and watch this.

Glossary


Implicit stereotype

An implicit bias/unconscious bias, or implicit stereotype, is the unconscious attribution of particular qualities to a member of a certain social group. Implicit stereotypes are shaped by experience and based on learned associations between particular qualities and social categories, including race and/or gender. Individuals' perceptions and behaviours can be influenced by the implicit stereotypes they hold, even if they are unaware/unintentionally hold such stereotypes


Systematic racism is a set of practices that discriminate on the basis of race.


Systemic racism is a system that has racism inherent in how it operates

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