The shortest distance between 2 people is a story.
Every Christmas season we watch a variety of versions of “A Christmas Carol.” The George C Scott version is the perennial favorite. My favorite scenes are with the Ghost of Christmas Present (and in this version with the Equalizer Edward Woodland playing fabulously opposite George). When Ebenezer is viewing Bob Cratchit’s family meal and asks about Tiny Tim and the Ghost throws Ebenezer’s words back at him:
Ghost of Christmas Present: If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, none other of my species will find him here. But if he is to die, then let him die…! “AND DECREASE THE SURPLUS POPULATION!” Ebenezer Scrooge: You use my own words against me? Ghost of Christmas Present: Yes! So perhaps, in the future, you will hold your tongue until you have discovered where the surplus population is, and WHO it is. It may well be that, in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than MILLIONS like this poor man’s child.
You can see the light come on. It’s Tiny Tim’s story, Bob Cratchit’s story that brings the glimmer of understanding.
And that’s what it takes — that small glimmer of understanding. It is so easy to fall into the us vs them, to think of another group as an “other” “different.” We are programmed to see Others as a threat and it is easier to dehumanize a group than an individual. Which is why the individual stories are so important.
We’ve talked about this on every episode of #HRWonderWomen and most with Elena Valentine — because that’s what she does: tell stories. Elena tells stories with videos and helps companies tell their own stories with videos. You have to both see and hear the diversity to make it a reality.
As Anne and I work on moving #HRWonderWomen forward, we want to dig into these stories more. We want our guests to be able to tell their own stories, tell their stories as a black woman, a Latina, a Woman of Color, a lesbian or how ever they identify – and we are going to start asking because we think it should be normal to ask and not just assume.
I want to thank Elena for being the catalyst for this discussion. We had a great discussion on #HRWonderWomen, so give it a listen and don’t forget to rate & review!