How Bias Got Burned Out of My Soul
When I began leading seminars I was a pile of bias, a judgment machine that ran without the benefit of truth. A bit of compassion might be in order, I had almost lost my life to differences and bias – several times – and had the deep wounds to prove it.
So, if you walked in the door to an Inspired Work Program, I would silently judge your political party, education, clothing, regional accent and especially, where you lived.
A few years before I launched Inspired Work, the Jonathan Club, LA’s bastion of the downtown power elite, was in the midst of a bitter class-action lawsuit. African Americans and women were not allowed to join. Every morning on the way to work I would do a drive-by flipping of the finger or thumbing of the nose. Six years later, I was asked to give a keynote speech at that very club. There were two women and one African American in the crowd. When I opened my mouth, words would not come. I blurted out that I had never dreamed I would be speaking to “the enemy.” Somehow, I navigated through my fear and gave what I came to contribute. They gave me a standing ovation.
During Q & A someone asked, “What happened that allowed you to be with us today?”
I told them of standing at the door in the early days of our seminars and judging everyone. I told them that my moral commitment to not use bias against anyone had caused terrible internal pain. I told them of thinking, “Oh, he’ll never get it. He’s the opposite of enlightened.” But, the very people that I silently put down were the ones who had breakthroughs before the first break. Over time, I witnessed that when our participants reached that tipping point, a spirit stepped forward that was so powerful, it took over and did the right thing for that individual and the world around them.
Everyone’s political, belief, religious, economic, sexual, and geographic differences proved to be so superficial in the face of that spirit that I grew tired of feeling superficial.
We waste so much time putting each other down. I believe that behind that anger is the fear there isn’t enough for all of us, that somehow, we have to go for the throat to protect our turf. That is natural to a degree, but it has reached such heights that it is unnatural and not who we really are.
You were born as a much bigger and unlimited soul. To remind yourself, go find someone and give them your love. Make it safe for them to show you their spirit, make it safe for them to do that and watch what happens.
It will change your life.
The very people I used to quietly judge and put down? I look at them today and see that potent unlimited spirit either fully at play or quietly waiting for the opportunity to jump. I see a power that is boundless. Seeing the transaction between a man or woman’s mind and soul has turned me into an eternal optimist.
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
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