As you are

The more I grow and heal and cultivate a posture of openness in my life, the more I find myself moved by small gestures of kindness and thoughtfulness. (Back when I was on Facebook, the videos of soldiers coming home and surprising their children at home/school left me emotionally incapacitated in the best way possible.)

I’m feeling a bit under the weather after producing an event yesterday and offered a disclaimer to someone I’m meeting with tomorrow that I won’t be in peak form. He—another straight black male—responded that whatever parts of myself I can muster will be just fine.

The world could use a bit more of this, and I’m grateful for the reminder that interrogating our ideas of what comprises black masculinity is worthwhile. However we want to show up is fine, and there’s nothing wrong with being soft and gentle and open.

Just as importantly…I needed that.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.

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