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Thirsty Thursdays: Our Collision Course

Thirsty Thursdays: Our Collision Course

As an HR Practitioner, the more and more I see conflict erupt in our society the more terrified I become.  At home, at work, at school, on the playground, in our neighborhoods, even at church we have become a society that can't civilly disagree.  We raise our children on participation medals and perfect attendance awards.  Showing up, and showing up all the time fails to measure and account for the individual's personal effort, contributions to the "cause" and their accomplishments towards the goal.  Our society is becoming plagued with the inability to disagree, cope with disagreement and disappointment, and we're resorting to more and more outrageous behavior to get noticed and heard.


Our country was founded on some of the noblest ideals that human kind could envision.  Freedoms that so many people in other parts of the world can only dream about.  These are things we've taken for granted for so long because it is all we have known all our lives.  Freedom of speech, of religion, to enjoy unfettered privacy, own property, the assumption of innocence and right to fair process.  We have the right to be tried by a jury of peers not just by the State.  The progress we've enjoyed through an open society is more than any other nation can boast.  I realize it has not been without its strife and shortcomings but on the whole it is truly amazing what we have been able to achieve as a culture.

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But in our various, personal ways we've come to take our freedoms for granted and the social strife has reached a dangerous crescendo.  Today it's only the most and more outrageous behaviors that get noticed. The boundaries of decency and professional disagreement have been replaced with a belief that our individual views are superior to everyone else's.  Anyone who feels differently than we do is not respected and valued in having their own opinion but wrong.  And to win the day we have become louder and louder to drown out those who disagree.  Indeed our actions have risen to a great deal of violence and it's a shame how low we've stooped.

Shine the light on our differences

The video shows that kids get it.  And by "get it" that means they actually don't see characteristics like color or socioeconomic background.  To be fair they are kids, right?  So they struggle to find differences on their level because they haven't been exposed to the bias and issues that are so prevalent in society.  But think about this...if we're posed a question that we are struggling to find an answer to don't we all go to the simplest answer to get off the hook?  Then why wouldn't these kids point to something so obviously different like skin tone to answer the question and get the spotlight off of them?  Hmmmmm

In reality we need to take this lesson about being blind to differences and translate them into our adult lives on both a personal and professional level.  Kids really do see differences.  Helping them recognize and understand differences allows kids to experience them in a non-judgmental way which should be our goal as stewards of our youth.  We see differences and have to stop shouting at each other over them.  Stop trying to win the day with your viewpoint by overpowering the voices of others.  Agree to disagree.  Agree civilly and respectfully.  Embrace equality and resist the urge to go beyond freedom of speech and expression to the unhealthy world of Superiority.  Raise the bar, don't lower your standards.  Be an example, not a warning.

Thirsty Thursdays are about our collective thirst for learning and knowledge.  It’s not about Beer:30 [although HR4ALL is all for that, too!]  We hope this weekly nugget of knowledge opens your mind and gives you a reason to pause and think differently.    Have a great weekend everyone! 

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