“The best gift you are ever going to give someone- the permission to feel safe in their own skin. To feel worthy. To feel like they are enough.” -Hannah Brencher
Our lens for Understanding and Implementing Diversity and Inclusion in this world is new. In the US, it has been only 50 + years since the Civil rights Movement. Every human civilization has promoted segregation of some sort based upon a dimension of diversity. Even globally, think about it. We are one world, but we have learned to divide it into sections and create our sovereignties based upon our differences, religions and denominations, dogma, and political officiations. We allow all of this to separate us. It is the way of the world; we don’t do well with differences. But have you ever stopped to wonder why? The answer is straightforward; we have a moral deficiency. We say that we know that all people are created equal, but we don’t know how to live that out. We suffer from the supremacy of self. We have not fully learned how to see someone as an equal when their way of being is different. We have not yet learned true acceptance.
Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition without attempting to change it or protest it. We have yet to realize a way to stand in the truth of who you are and what you believe, and still accept, without trying to change or protest, another. There is much we can learn from one another when we stop seeing life as a competition between our beliefs and ways of being. We can all win. However, when we believe that we can not, everything becomes a race. With that mindset, us vs. them, given a choice between self and others, we will always choose ourselves. This is why the concept of diversity and inclusion is so difficult for some people to accept.
So how do we overcome this challenge? Traditionally, we have learned to address the symptoms. We have created laws to encourage compliant behavior. Consequences are not the most effective means of changing behavior. We change behaviors through the practice of shifting our midset. Our emotions control our mindset, and our feelings are our lowest level of understanding. So it stands to reason that practicing emotional intelligence can assist us in learning how to walk in acceptance of others.
There are five key components of Emotional Intelligence:
Social Skills- rules of engagement when interacting with others, being fair, valuing everyone, and how they present in this world equally.
Motivation-being interested or motivated to improve how you interact with others
Self-Awareness- understanding when your emotions are out of alignment of acceptance accessing why you are feeling what you are feeling
Self- Regulation- being able to control one’s emotions primarily when they are not in compliance with acceptance.
Empathy-the ability to understand or sympathize or relate with the emotions of others and their experience and expression
With our acceptance, we will develop a deep value for all of the differences that present in this human experience. We will begin to see variations in this human experience as a strength to be welcomed and not a threat to be avoided. We will learn to value the lessons that others can teach us about ourselves and our world. We will finally learn how to work together to create a world that works or us all. When this is our focus, we leave the title of Diversity Professional or advocate behind, and we become Oneness practitioners. We can practice the art and science of embracing ourselves and others equally, and together we become co-creators of a system of acceptance. We will no longer focus on trying to fix a system that was created to be divided and broken. And we can step out of reactive roles and become the change we want to see, as we live as examples for others to follow. We will live in high fidelity to acceptance and give others the pleasure of watching us, as we practice Oneness.