Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.
Day 3 of 31- The Distraction of Ignorance
I find most people are distracted. Distracted by their bills, worries, jobs, health problems etc. I get those distractions. It’s hard to focus on other things when you have a heavy deck of cards on the table and they have to be dealt with. What I don’t get is distraction to the point of ignorance. It’s an intentional distraction from anything and everything that truly matters. This permanent vacation many people are taking from being cognizant of the injustices experienced by others, the manipulation of circumstances and situations to advance political agendas, wars, blatant discrimination is astounding.
I wrote some articles about race relations between the end of last year and the earlier part of this year, because my heart was heavy. While my focus is generally business, HR and all things talent management, I could not sit on the sidelines and not say something about the ignorance that is so prevalent in this country. I felt I had a duty to speak up and I felt comfortable with what I wrote, because I was aware. I was aware of what was going on, the situations, the people involved. the timeline for how an entire country ended up at odds over race. So, I came here and to my LinkedIn blog and wrote about what I was seeing and offered some suggestions for how we begin to solve these race relations and civil liberty issues.
In return, I had a slew of people providing half-ass summaries of the events that took place. There were some that even had the nerve to make generalizations about blacks on my thread and had no data to back it. I’ll share some of what was said in a future post, but the point is we have become a society of distracted, opinionated simpletons that jump on and off of bandwagons surrounding critical issues -without having the decency to be knowledgeable about the issues at hand. Just today, I read a thread of a friend on Facebook where a gentleman made the comment that “all adults that are making minimum wage are worthless”. He backed this assertion by saying: “if you’re struggling with a minimum wage job, you went wrong somewhere.” I don’t have to tell you that all of those making minimum wage and otherwise pounced on him pretty well. In his mind, there is no possible way that a recession, elimination and outsourcing of jobs, or socio-economic marginalization could be variables contributing to this recent epidemic. Surely, all people surviving this way are just inept and worthless.
You can be ignorant and humble-in that you recognize and accept what you don’t know. However, when you are arrogantly making generalizations and assertions about people, cultures, situations, experiences- you are not only unrealistic but dangerous. The strength of any society is in its people being aware and participating citizens. I see a lot of people tired of the ignorance, but I see many more participating in the privilege of being distracted and ignorant.
You may wonder if I am concerned with the impression prospective clients, colleagues, or people in general have of me when I address these issues. The truth is every time I tackle a controversial issue, I am not looking for concurrence but constructive dialogue. Anyone shooting from the hip, without facts, data or a nary a personal experience related to the issue is certainly not anyone I would do business or break bread with.
Czarina’s Lesson: Ignorance is bliss until you find knowledge. Investigate before you pontificate.
I’ll say it.
If people can talk about others, call folks “twats” “douches” “ass*oles” “b*tches” “c**ts” and “c**ks” on HR blogs and no one makes a peep, in fact it’s celebrated and glorified then why can’t every once and awhile a minority writer or in your case a double minority writer express themselves without all the criticism. And without worrying about losing opportunities. I see some real bold, brash and common people saying some really stupid things and their opportunities seem endless.
Oh I’d better quit it before my comments go viral and someone wants to have a one-sided conversation with me.
I’ll say it. The reason is we are already in the wrong for being a minority in the first place, making anything we say unworthy of understanding, acceptance or respect. Also, there is an assumption that when women speak about certain issues that they are less knowledgeable than men. I have proven this notion to be false over and over again; but it is nonetheless irritating to those that wish they could throw me in a convenient bucket of being a woman of color and dumb, Sorry suckers…not me!
Ignorance is one path to winning a Darwin Award 😉
If that were true, surely we would be extinct already. ; )