brain, thinking
rationalization. Some ideas about diversity emphasize the uniqueness and potential in each individual and posit that all differences across individuals count the same as long as they are “true to themselves.” The disconnect is that people often adjust their beliefs and desires to match concocted ones. It’s about how we transfer information between the different kinds of processes and representations that influence our behavior. 

I recently came across a post on Facebook and it went something like this: “We’re all the same.” I’m a big advocate of looking for similarities across cultures. As an equity advocate, I equally delight in the differences offering proclivity towards uniqueness and self-growth with a firm belief that everyone contributes to the greater world.

Here’s the thing: as I reflect on my perspective of equity consciousness, I can’t help but wonder whether this mindset is truly embraced in a world where rationalization disconnects us from reality, where information is transferred through influencers that alter our behavior. How can we grow in resilience and open-mindedness as we navigate the complexities of similarities and differences if our lens is tainted by concocted beliefs? Here’s a news flash: equity consciousness is hard work most of the time, requiring diligence and awareness, dare I say encouragement to question what is recognized as uniqueness and potential in each individual.

Over the pandemic, all of us have been living in perpetual crisis mode. We have all been faced with incredible amounts of self-reflection head on. For me personally, having left a steady job, starting a nonprofit and navigating the unpredictability of a pandemic forced me to take a different approach to adulting in this new context. I have come to understand, though I don’t agree with, why the provocation of rationalization creeps into the psyche of some in this every man for himself environment. But for others, the act of rationalization was in existence long before. Recognizing the disconnect is hard, it takes perseverance which isn’t always ‘Facebook-worthy’ or easy.

Living purposefully, requires  recognition of our grit levels. Some have been regularly tested airing darker sides many of us have not addressed nor do some of us recognize. Here’s the thing, is your passion and perseverance showing strength in your character in building up others, or, is there opportunity for reflection on your ability to flip rationalization from impossibilities to possibilities. Angela Lee Duckworth (2013) connects different contexts with grit as a predictor of success defined by, among other things having stamina, having a stick-with-it-ness, and working really hard toward your goals. It’s the power of passion and perseverance.

Equity consciousness is leaving our comfort zone

Equity consciousness requires us stepping outside of our comfort zone and into ‘discomfort’ zones. With new approaches come new stressors with hard-wiring to respond in 4 ways: fight, flight, freeze, or forge forward. Choosing to keep forging forward when our initial response mechanism is to get on the defense, run or numb ourselves from the discomfort can be uncomfortable. Forging forward steps us out of our comfort zone and brings us to the mindshift necessary for an equitable and inclusive approach to thinking highlighting differences for the betterment of the whole rather than neutralizing the awesome uniqueness of others.

Equity consciousness is a choice, not a feeling

Just because we feel like something isn’t doing any harm, doesn’t mean it isn’t. While this might be highly ‘liked’ content on social media, I believe the soundbite offers others the opportunity to justify behavior that is marginalizing others, undermining two important truths: 1) we are capable of standing for what is right; and 2) we can stand in community to take the discomfort and make a change rather than inadvertently deliver discomfort. Sometimes this requires us to put our feelings to the side and to choose community, even when we don’t feel like it. Repeat after me: just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Basing a decision on how one feels can paralyze us in not taking the right step, which is the next step, big or small.

Equity consciousness is being brave and scared, at the same time

The great and powerful oz reminded the cowardly lion, “you have plenty of courage, I am sure. All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger.” (Frank Braum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). Whenever I read this quote by Frank Braum, my mind immediately turns to fear and the shaking of the lion’s knees. What relieves me from this fear is knowing I am not alone in experiencing the multiplicity of human emotions. There can be no courage without fear. When grounded in the truth, the courage within us can do powerful things.

Did you get that last part? A major part of having equity consciousness is in facing rationalizations head on remembering we are not alone.

Equity consciousness is about disturbing the habits and behaviors that do not serve an equitable nor inclusive view on universal learning and living. If you want to meaningfully alter your life and those within your sphere of influence, start here! Be equipped to share how you’ve moved toward a more equitable and inclusive way of learning and living. Share how experience in reflecting on your equity consciousness helps you see things differently – what you want to be free from, but also on what you are now free to become. 

It’s a game changer. There are several ways for you to be a part of the movement. Pick one, or two, or three, or all. You’ll be so glad you did. 

  • Share. Spread the word through Likes, shares, and following us on social media.
  • Reflect. Be a part of our research study by completing our Equity Consciousness® Teaser Test.
  • See it. Be it. Sign up for one of our pilot study discussion groups.
  • Network. Subscribe to our community so we can continue the conversation.

You can listen in through PodBean.

Skip to content