In March, we asked to redefine professionalism. In response, we opted for grace and now we practice. We consider the Goliath size of systems in need of rewriting: Nothing but collective effort will do. How do we call for help, and how is is offered? What does it feel like to finish a job and how does that prospect affect how we work together? And then, what happens to this social contract if some jobs should never end, like keeping the -ism's in check? Join us as we set new, humane standards of movement.
May 6, 2021 Reflections on Learning (by Julia)
We asked, "As you were introduced to the grown up world, what surprised you about how adults work together?" We shared awe at the lengths people will go to avoid discomfort, perpetuating inequity by simply staying in one's lane. We children were also told that loving is simple, we should love everyone regardless, that if we are kind that the world shall reward. Yet, we find that love takes work (parents worked at loving), and all work is hard. That's why it's work. We balk at the introduction to adult gossip, even having recognized adults in our childhoods complaining about bureaucracy and toxic co-workers. We expected them to figure it out but realize that age does not necessarily mean wisdom. Some still "play adult", appreciating the power but not the responsibility.
Once we learned what "Dad does all day" , we take their experience, this work inherited, and find new purpose: the actual work is about relationships. We learn that process is just as important as product. Relationship growing is different here in the Pacific Northwest, each geography has a different way of grown up work. Seattle folks be extra petty tho! But regardless of where we grew up we remember that children, that childhood is in itself, a great teacher. We learn from the compassion of children, their sense of fairness and unconditional love. And, in some places in the ancestral world, we are all ages; we are both infant and elder as the day alone repeats itself. This is life work.
From our shared childhoods, we look to the future. We asked then, "What happens if the job should never end? What does it take to keep the -ism's in check?" Better known as, "The Work". Knowing the tenacious nature of racism, sexism, colorism, ableism, all the isms, we appreciate the need to walk away. We know what resilience feels like, why it's needed, but we also need rest. We rest while others pick it up. We rediscover personal boundaries (loyalty at play), while "finding our tribe". We seek comfort and communion with those who understand and support so we may honestly ask, "What is mine, what is not?" and value the ability to let things go. And to hold things when needed. "You've been warned once, twice, three tiiiiimes" a lady but now with two middle fingers at the ready. While our needs for help are diverse, we all have one in common: We need each other, we need our tribe.
Next month, inspired by our learning about helping each other finish the job, we talk about The Tribe. As we build a nation of those capable to consistently and humanely address inequitable harm, we find relief in each others' power. Stay in tune.
Julia Ismael hosts monthly Listening Circles for the masses as a way to stay informed and to find new and meaningful ways to create connection. Julia is the founder and Head Architect of Aspirations of The Equity Consortium. Monthly Listening Circles are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month, and what is learned from these circles is shared here. Please enjoy our stories.