Watching the students who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School become activists has both been beautiful and heartening. Seeing their grief and outrage evolve into a national movement that is shifting thinking and promoting action makes me feel hopeful for the future of our democracy.
Last week I read a blog post about those students that shook me up. It wasn’t the nasty vitriol accusing the students of being crisis actors or “deep state operatives”, whatever that means. It was a point of view that I hadn’t even considered. And it made me feel ashamed of myself.
Ashamed that I was guilty of exactly what the writer described.
Ashamed because I could see I had a blindspot.
Shame is something that we not only generally avoid experiencing, but we try not to talk about it either. But shame is a really useful feeling that helps us to understand when we are wrong, or when we act wrong.
I mulled over this vague feeling of shame in the days after I read the blog post. I might still be mulling except I happened to have a conversation this week that helped me put my finger on it. We were talking about how blindspots are part of implicit bias which reminded me that my discomfort – my shame at my behavior – meant learning.
I am glad to now have perspective that I was previously blind to. I’ll try to keep shining a light on my blind spot in the future as well as trying to remember to dig around occasionally and see what I’m missing. We are all only human.
I invite you to read the blog here.