I have had a blessed life. I am fortunate to have grown up in a suburb in a house featuring a huge backyard complete with my mother’s flowers and my father’s vegetable garden. My sisters, brother and I walked to school. Education was valued; family was our mainstay. Sunday dinners, birthday parties, picnics and holidays – all celebrated with love and lots of family and friends.
We didn’t have a lot of money but we had a mom who knew how to make a dollar stretch. I babysat from the time I was twelve years old, then I waitressed throughout high school and by the time I went to university, I worked retail as well. My mom instilled a strong work ethic in all of us. I am sure it was important to her because my dad was an entrepreneur before his time (meaning he didn’t always have a job).
Of course, life was not always perfect, no one’s is. My dad was born in Italy, my mom in Hamilton of Polish descent. I wore glasses from the time I was six. My name was Audie Tatti (when girls’ names were Susan, Linda and Jane). I was subjected to a fair bit of teasing; but nothing more.
Black Lives Matter, Residential Schools, misogamy, homophobia, racism…the list goes on.
I have a blessed life.
Reflection is a tool we can use to remind ourselves that not everyone grows up in the same circumstances. I never fear for my life just because of who I am. Reflection is a tool that opens minds and allows individuals to view the world not as they see it but as others live it.
In her book, BIASED, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt says training can educate but not eradicate bias. Training is a step in the right direction. For some, concepts discussed in implicit bias training will be new, for others, it will be part of the journey to increased understanding, caring and action.
Habit 5, Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand” has never been more important than today.