Tag Archives: 2016 election; be the change; diversity

Be The Change #2

zzbethechangeIn my previous post, I asked my readers to identify their most important American values and share what they will do to promote those values in their own lives.  One of my readers responded that he’s recommitting to his part-time work facilitating diversity-training sessions.

And that gave me an idea.  Here is your assignment for this week:  Have at least one conversation with someone from a different race, religion or ethnicity than your own.  For some, that will be really easy.  But if your workplace and neighborhood are both homogeneous, it might be hard.  Do it anyway.  Deliberately go someplace where you will come into contact with diverse people.  Go shopping, or just walk down the street, in a mixed neighborhood.  Ride a bus or subway.  I dare you.  Make eye contact, smile and say hello to someone who looks different from you.  Start a conversation in line or on the bus.  It can be about the weather, about the upcoming holidays, about an article of clothing the person is wearing.  Maybe it will feel artificial.  Do it anyway.  Maybe you will be rudely rebuffed.  If that happens, I give you permission not to draw the conclusion that “they” don’t want to talk to us anyway.  You have my blessing, instead, to try again with someone else.

Many minorities are feeling worried and insecure about the results of this election.  If you’re a white Christian who is rolling your eyes and thinking they have nothing to worry about, I think you are wrong.  But, let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that you’re right.  In that case, prove it by reaching out.  Demonstrate that your position is correct, and they have nothing to fear.

Here are some small cross-cultural actions I’ve taken since Election Day:

  1. Started a conversation with a Western Asian family while we were on the hiking trail at Ohiopyle, about how beautiful the scenery was.
  2. Took a piece of cake to the African-American security guard in my building.
  3. Started a conversation with the African-American man who cleans our offices about whether he likes his job.

Every single one of those interactions was pleasant and gave my heart a warm little glow.

What will YOU do?  Let me know how this works out for you.  Post your results in a Comment on this blog, or message me on Facebook.