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October 10, 2020
Maturity Is More Than Age
Way back in the 80’s, I argued that the new push for “political correctness” was a joke in itself. I was a lot younger in years forty years ago, but I was much more immature than my thirty-four years. It would be several more years before I would begin to understand the hurt of even unintended insult. At the age of thirty-seven, I was a project manager for a multi-national, multi-trade contractor at the under-construction Chrysler Tech Center in Auburn Hills. For a while I had a secretary, a black woman who was a retired district manager for the Secretary of State. She worked for our company for almost a year before finding a better paying job elsewhere. Over those months, she was helpful to me in discovering how comments I might make, however innocent as I may have intended them, were insulting and disrespectful to people of color, and to women. Our discussions were productive and corrective for two reasons: She was patient and kind; and I cared. In the months we worked together, I aged only a bit, but I matured greatly.
In the United States, there is a “movement”, BLACK LIVES MATTER. For some people, even myself, there was a kneejerk reaction to say that WHITE LIVES MATTER also. But then, I listened to someone explain that the proclamation was not insinuating that any other life mattered less, but addressed the reality that for many people in the U. S., black lives do not really matter. The movement is spurred out of years of frustration by a people who every day are required to justify their existence because the color of their skin made them “invisible”. Designed to help break down the cultural blindness, social scientists began to develop programs of Cultural and Diversity Sensitivity Training. Despite the disclaimer of President Trump, these programs have been proven effective in changing the culture (cf. https://scienceforwork.com/blog/diversity-training-effectiveness/).
Our nation is over two hundred and forty-one years old. But over the last few years, we have behaved like bunch of schoolyard bullies. Far too many people tolerate public defamation of people of color, immigrants, physically and psychologically challenged by the person who was elected to represent the United States of America. America will never be great until America matures. America will never be great, will never live up to its founding principle until all lives matter; Black, White, Brown, Red, every life!!! America will never be worthy of nationhood when truth is not demanded, equality of value of every person is not everything, and belittling anyone is ever allowed.
Roseville, MI 48066-1400