Monday, June 23, 2008

Making Distinctions

Discrimination: def "Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit."

Lives take shape in ways we cannot always predict or fathom. People are complex creatures with a myriad of ways to look at life. Few embrace life as is without placing judgment as good or bad, comfortable with or fearful of…the blacks and whites of this world with little grey… Most people see life from a perspective of their own history, rather than looking at how to create a life they love because of it and in spite of it.

I’ve witnessed and experienced discrimination on many fronts from racial, religious, level of education and yes, even colour of one’s hair. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I intimidate because of the level of work I do and yet I’m a person just like anyone else. One is judged by how little education they have to how much, whether they work in powerful circles or, perhaps drive a bus (I’m just using this as an example not as a slur to bus drivers). In some ways it’s a mirror of what one doesn’t want to gaze at within themselves. Excuses aside, as a Shadow Coach™ I observe people in their worlds and can help them look at the filters through which they look at life. Whether or not they change them or remove those filters, is their choice. I can deal with being the recipient of discrimination, but I will not make excuses for who I am because of it.

I tell my students “What someone else thinks of me is none of my business” and then we look at just what that means. If I constantly change myself to suit what someone else wants me to be, I am no longer my authentic self. To do that not only compromises my personal integrity but fundamentally breaks down my person foundation from which I build my life. If I did constantly change myself to suit others, who would be me? How could I ever think of coaching anyone else in alignment with their personal values and ethics if I don’t live by my own?

So as life comes full circle, I might not be able to predict where mine might be going but I can make choices in the present to create a future that will blow me away. It’s about paying attention before possibility goes poof into the night…..

Donna Karlin

Note: Tuesday, June 17th our newsletter is about 'change'. 2 minutes reading time or less. To access it click Remember to opt in so it'll come right to your inbox.

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