When a cisgender person chooses to display their pronouns, many people ask, “Why?” The undertone of that question is, “Isn’t it obvious what pronoun you identify with?” And that’s what makes it all the more important for cisgender people to share. Those in dominant positions of society – those with platforms, privilege and/or power – have the ability (I would also argue the responsibility) to normalise behaviours that prioritise inclusivity and dignity for everyone.
Let’s be honest: “switch off” is a misleading phrase. There is no switch that would cause us not to keep thinking about what’s on our mind. That is why people often remark that the first few days of a holiday do not really feel like a holiday at all. We cannot turn concentration or care on and off.
Do I trust everyone and hang all hope on just remembering when we get to July and rip into planning? Is “just remembering” a sound business strategy, ever?
With our personal lives, we usually know what to do to solve our problems. But the ones we’re paid to be solving are nuanced, fraught with risk and unlikely to have a solution that pleases everyone; as Seth Godin rightly says, all the easy problems are taken.
Hearing Bas’s story, it’s reminded me of the situations where another perspective has helped a lot more. Sometimes we don’t need expertise. We need a reframe.
Not the movie. A thing. THE thing. A place, an achievement, a title, a certain amount of money, an experience. That thing we desperately want. The desire to be in the next place.
We can learn how to make a space safe. We can practise making a space safe. This takes time and trust and buy-in from everyone. It also takes someone to take the first step.
These lines sit in the back pocket of my diary, and I pull them out when I need some grounding. When the achievement means more than who I am becoming as I work towards the goal. When I get a head full of self-importance and how I treat those around me suffers.