Experience and understanding

If you’ve never gone to bed hungry then you might not understand why some people work themselves to the point of exhaustion even once they’ve amassed significant financial resources.

If you’ve never experienced the satisfaction of learning a new skill for the sake of mastery and shipping a project that no one will ever notice or give you credit for, then you will never understand why some people work late into the night and toil on pet projects.

If you’ve never pushed yourself and done the best work of your life on something for reasons unrelated to pride and competition then you’ll never understand how some people can ignore others and show growth in what appears to be a vacuum.

If you’ve never experienced betrayal, heartbreak, jealousy, terror, and rage, then you might not relate to those who warm up to strangers slowly. It’s also possible that you never attended middle school.

And if you view people and events without developing an empathetic view of the world, then you are living life in black and white. The “real world” is strange, beautiful, unpredictable, and fascinating.

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.