This is a question that I’ve seen being asked more frequently these days, instead of of a typical, casual “How’re you doing?” which many often say as a merely greeting without really wanting to know how you’re doing. Personally I’ve always found that a bit odd. Why ask it if you’re not actually interested in the answer?
Maybe it’s time to truly care about how others are feeling, especially during these challenging times. Perhaps this is a wake-up call for the world to realize that we need to have more empathy, embrace humanity in all its shape, sizes, colors and forms, and to ultimately be a good, kind human being. There’s a well-known mantra called “Don’t be a jerk” that many strive to live by, but surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, depending on who you’re talking to), it does not always come easily for folks.
What are you doing today to educate yourself on topics like systemic racism, diversity and inclusion and human rights? Authors I’m personally eager to learn more about and whose books I will be reading during our company-wide Juneteenth day of self-reflection coming up this Friday, June 19 include “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo and “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F Saad. If you don’t know where to begin, just pick one to start. Find a friend to help keep you accountable on learning about these critical topics, and consider starting a book discussion within your local communities.
It can feel overwhelming with all the news, dialogue and debates going on social media. Are you taking the time to self-reflect, process and internalize what’s going on in the world? Have you paid attention to taking care of your own mental health as well? If you’re an underrepresented minority who is feeling exhausted and overwhelmed at having to carry the load of explaining what’s going on in the world to coworkers or folks who aren’t interested to do the legwork and educate themselves, it’s OK to say no and redirect them to resources so they can put in the work to learn. PBS Socal also released a great list of resources to check out for both adults and kids.
It is my hope that the events of 2020 is a catalyst for real change, and that things will slowly but surely improve from here. As humans, let’s do our part and start by driving changes within our own communities and together, our efforts will change the world.
Be brave, friend – you got this!