Our daughters are both working and learning the hidden lessons of the professional workplace.
Interestingly, sometimes it still resembles high school.
There are the adults who take their job seriously, consider it a calling and have the foresight to encourage and train the future of their professions…and there are those who don’t.
Some adults seem stuck in the cliques and gossip and exclusionary tactics that could be such a painful feature of the high school years, and whether these are being experienced by my daughters or their friends, it seems that just as it was then, all we can offer is our encouragement.
I know they are competent, educated, and trained women and I know they will try to avoid the shoals of work politics and personalities, but occasionally a wave sneaks up from behind and just knocks us over. I remember that feeling well, and no matter how old, experienced and successful you become, it hurts not to be liked or included.
I have been thinking about this as the holiday season approaches; wars based on bias and prejudice threaten to engulf the world stage, and our political atmosphere in America becomes no less polarized.
Why do we have such a need to judge and split into herds?
I can only assume there are hard-wired survival mechanisms in our species that cause us to instinctively group into “us” and “them” and only self-awareness and effort allows us to overcome that wiring and reach beyond the like to the unlike. (Even though science has proved that there is no us and them…genetically, we are all us, all the time.)
So, just for this coming month of December, let’s try something different.
Let’s consciously make a choice not to judge, or even if you can’t keep yourself from thinking that initial judgmental thought, try your very best to let it go and don’t let it influence your actions.
Start each day with a choice to stay open, to say yes, and “sit with us,” and reach outside your comfort zone just a little.
Open your eyes to the good in people, even if the negative may be a more visible feature.
Include someone you might not have thought to include, and make an effort to be sure he or she is comfortable with the new surroundings.
These are all such small, incremental things, and yet, if we all did them, could we change the world?
I think it would be fun to find out. I am going to try it, and will let you know how it goes!
Happy Holidays, everyone, and may your New Year be the start of something wonderful.
Interested in learning more about the Kind Campaign? Click on this image and see what is happening at some schools around the country!