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What the Hell!

2 Apr

“To not know is bad, but to wish to not know is worse.” ~African Proverb

I usually have many trains that spontaneously leave the station of my mind. They head out on different tracks to process their load through the twisted turns and straight paths laid before them. They leave at once and send back their respective data to my centralized brain. I calibrate the input and inform my next steps. Meanwhile, I spew out the thoughts, some processed and some not, to the listening partner without contextualizing the “Grand Central” starting point. And here we go.

Whistle blow…all abooooooaaard!

Rivka Bent

My husband and I often remind each other of the fact that “we cannot unknow that which we know.” The notion nods to the African proverb I stated at the top of this post, one which I learned through the teaching of the gifted Professor Starla Lewis “…to wish to not know is worse.” I have been engaging directly with the learning and teaching world of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The process really began in the fringes as I was in the early stages of my current employment. My boss began talking about equity. Hmmm, equity. I’d heard of equal, but it is truly she who introduced me to the notion of equity. Then one starts talking equity and next justice pops onto the scene. Hmmm, justice. That’s a hard concept, or was a hard concept for me at the time because my world had been turned upside down by the unjust death of my son. Unjust because…well that’s a train I’ll save for later.

Anyway I got wind of this equal is not equity thought and the choo-choo’s scattered. Did I mention my Grand Central Station is a slow processing machine? Yep, I ruminate on information for a long while, usually trying to figure out how I feel or fit with the intel. Not too long after being introduced to the big “E” I was further immersed in the study of DEI through my major, Organizational Leadership. And then continued to chug along by working, conversing and processing my collected data through many learning forums, books and one most particular guide the very gifted DEI practitioner, Dr. Steven Jones of San Diego. So this time last year when the Black Lives Matter cry broke through the white sound barrier and compelled this US nation and our world, I was at least a bit more ready (to listen and learn) than I had been years prior.

This is the story of learning. Learning anew. And actually learning how to ask questions with an invested interest. Wishing to know dispatches the trains. And now I cannot unknow that which returns to the station. This process is profoundly interconnected–imagine a field of same species flowers, they begin to sprout at the same time but at slightly different rates. They bud individually and yet together, thereby their bloom process erupts showing only flecks of color dotting the field in the beginning stages. Then with a sprinkling of hours it seems the entire field is awash in color, hundreds (or thousands) of flowers emanating their oneness–even though each flower took its own time to present its bloom. The same goes for the learner. I actually began this post to talk about a book I was gifted just this week, All Stirred Up by Laura Kumin. But to get there I had to start here. Trains leaving the station, flower dots in a field and the hope I will get to my chosen title.

End – part 1 “What the Hell!”

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