I've been thinking about the tremendous amount of sadness in the news lately from around the world. There are big things like war, famine, and blatant violations of human rights happening all the time.
Isn't that last comment enough to make you sick? These issues are so common we're not even phased when we hear about them.
Hate and indifference fuel these disastrous situations.
I've discovered over the years that I have a tremendous amount of influence in my life when it comes to hate.
Sometimes the hate is subtle in the workplace...a quiet joke about someone who might be gay, or a crass comment about a female leader who is driving change. And the room is filled with a mix of nervous laughter and heads facing toward the floor.
Why is it that difference becomes a threat?
Why is it that so many "professionals" don't realize that they are showing their true feelings when these not-so-subtle comments are made publicly? Seriously, when I hear these things I now react to them...and simultaneously lose all respect for the person saying it.
I may have to work with you, but I will never cut you any slack again. Ever.
What strikes me as the ultimate in ironies is that the leaders that make crude comments about race, gender and sexuality also expect to be treated with the utmost respect. Ha! Good luck with that one.
"The same people often use religion as their cannon fodder for hate. I'm not a biblical scholar, but I don't recall Jesus saying 'let the white christian straight children come to me.' He actually invited all children to join him."
It's a shame so many leaders today fail to appreciate that message.
How About You
The world is changing...albeit slowly. No longer will the generation that is going to dominate the world of work accept these bigoted and outdated behaviors. Not to mention the legal infrastructure that is finally catching up to a civilized view of the world that treats all people with respect.
It's time for each of us to evaluate the words we use, and the challenges we make to these tired and embarrassing comments in the workplace. Stand up and let your voice be heard.
I'd love to hear from you.