As the fall TV shows came back this season, it felt like every producer felt the need to cover the hot button topics of the year that has been 2020. Racial injustice. COVID-19. Police brutality. Diversity and inclusion. And the list goes on.
At first, I thought this seemed trite or contrived as a way to ‘rip from the headlines’ to grab viewership and ratings. But as I watched some of my favorite TV shows I realized something important. We – and this includes me – have been living in ignorance for far too long.
Do you know the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss?” It means that if you do not know about something, you don’t need to worry about it – or essentially, ignore it. But isn’t that what got us here – where tensions are high and people are “digging in” on their side of an issue without considering all perspectives. Isn’t ignorance part of the problem?
I have learned a lot about these hot button topics this year. I have worked hard to educate myself so I would not be engaging – with people I agree with and those I do not – with an uninformed point of view. But this goes beyond debating with friends – and perhaps on social media with strangers – the merits of one position or another. It is truly about education and awareness and supporting those around us who deserve every right that we ourselves have.
It’s realizing our biases, unconscious or not.
It’s recognizing the labels, intentional or not.
It’s admitting lack of knowledge – ignorance – and taking the time to learn and understand.
It’s respecting different perspectives, even if you disagree.
It is silently supporting, but not being silent.
And for me, it’s getting out of my comfort zone and taking action on something that in the past I perhaps didn’t fully understand or made me uncomfortable.
As 2020 comes to a close, I urge us all to open our eyes to the opportunity to advocate for a more diverse, inclusive and empathetic world. Personally, my opportunity has been as part of Blue Yonder’s DIVE (Diversity, Inclusion, Value & Equality) Council – a cross-section of associates from all regions and departments to drive DIVE internally and externally. I have been able to use my knowledge of communications and marketing to raise awareness and help educate others. Along the way, I’ve learned so much, which is why I viewed the current events storylines on my favorite fall TV shows through a different lens this year. Those issues are more than just storylines; they are topical business issues, personal issues, national issues and global issues. It’s good to see screenwriters DIVE In.
Now the question is, what are you going to DIVE In to in 2021?