I Don’t Feel Different. Do You?
So, Theresa May is our new Prime Minister. Do you know what, she is probably the right person for the job in these difficult times. She is one of the toughest politicians around, and I feel confident when I think about her going into battle for our country.
Oh, and by the way, she is a woman. But in my view, her gender is utterly irrelevant.
When we assign labels to strangers, we mark them out as being different from us. This aspect of the human condition has helped us to stick with “our own” and survive the challenges of the evolutionary process, but in our 21st-century world, the “them” and “us” basic instinct doesn’t add any value to our lives anymore. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have these thoughts every now and again, but we owe it to the world to reject these thoughts, and even more importantly, talk about why they are not relevant.
I have written about this before, and I am writing again. We are all different in our personal individuality, but when it comes down to it, we all function in the same way. Nationality, race, gender, sexual preference, age – yes, these form the thread of our life story, but how our story is written is up to us…. At least it should be.
This is where prejudice and all sorts of discrimination come in. This is where it gets sad.
The horrific recent online video of the police shooting of a black man through a car window is a tragic reminder of what can happen when extreme prejudices guide our actions. He was apparently reaching for his driving license, but the “law enforcement” officer decided that he was about to pull out a gun, and therefore shot first…. The victim is no longer able to write his own story. His life was extinguished because of the colour of his skin.
He was murdered because he was seen as different, and therefore inclined to act in a certain way. Come on everyone, really?
Working in recruitment, in a small way, we are the gatekeepers of diversity. We pick the best candidates for the roles, but it is hard for us to influence the numbers of women in the finance industry if they are not being promoted internally. You can’t suggest someone for a role if they have not had the requisite experience. Women still simply aren’t getting the opportunities at work. Why? Because too many men still think that they are fundamentally different.
I’m not sure how long it will take for us to see each other as equals. In voting for Brexit, the British public (incomprehensibly) rallied against the “tide of immigrants” that are seemingly ruining our country, while utterly ignoring the ongoing issues with education, youth underemployment, and our bloated welfare system. Immigration has played a huge part of what makes Britain “Great” – yes, we may need to control it a little better, but viewing immigrants as the root cause of problems in society is utterly wrong. Them and us…. Again.
So Theresa, can you help our Kingdom to feel United again? We may all be different, but we are essentially all the same.