Born White…

“My mission in life is to connect people with people and people to ideas that cause us to pause, reflect and learn.”
– René Delane

As I write the first blog of 2016 the topic was never in doubt.

It’s about lessons learned as a child living in a values-rich but economically poor family where books, learning and curiosity were the staples of our daily life.

Going to the local library or the rare big-city trip to the Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum followed by a meal in an ethnic restaurant eating matzo ball soup or fried rice became my idea of a splendid day.

Then, as a young girl I joined Girl Scouts for about 2 years until my parents could not pay the dues when my father was laid off from the Union Railroad.

But…it was long enough to instill the most profound lesson of my life – the beauty of our world is in the diversity of color, culture and customs.

It resonated so powerfully because these lessons and values had already taken root in my young heart and mind.

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”
– Henry David Thoreau

See the actual quotes below from my now tattered Girl Scout Handbook contained in chapter 12 titled, Community Life” followed by chapter 13 “International Friendship” that resonated with me.

“The only thing that is exactly the same in all people is that they are human beings. In other things they may agree or differ.”

“All humans being have similar needs. They want to love and be loved; they want to be dependent and independent; they want to create; they want to worship; they want to feel secure.”

This does not mean I don’t have unconscious bias.

It means because of my experiences I’ve become increasing aware of the privilege bestowed upon me at my birth solely because I was born white. I received another ‘bump up’ because I live in a world largely governed by others of the same color.

So, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a wise woman.

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
– Maya Angelou

Be good to yourself,

René

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