A 3ACT Story: To BE Or Not To BE

“There once was a little black girl” who grew up to learn that life isn’t always fair. You don’t necessarily get what you want or expect but if you look for the lesson, you may just get what you need with the justice scales balanced. Perspective matters immensely so check out this little story for your own enlightened “unveiling.”

We’re all taught that to be a team player is a very valuable attribute. I grew up believing this and willingly joined a workforce team to achieve its stated corporate goal. Each member had a specific role to perform. I was young and eager to prove myself wanting to contribute as much value as I could. We all collaborated within our “diverse” team (primarily white with two blacks) to make this happen. The success of this project garnered the attention of a high profile, national media publication which validated our project and generated much pride within the group. Our team jointly worked to develop the strategy for how to present our corporation and  “unveil”  our specific project  in the most accurate and favorable light. Once again, I fully participated in planning for our national media guest’s arrival only to discover that I was not included or invited to any of the final meetings or events to formally greet or engage with our visitor. Ouch!

Did I feel disappointed and disrespected? Yes. Yes. Yes. But more than anything, I felt betrayed. All the “team” work rhetoric was really BS and the smell and sting of possible discrimination lingered in the board room. I continued to do my job but must confess that the enthusiasm and late hours no longer resonated for me. On the BIG day of the media guest’s arrival, I received a surprise visitor, a fellow non-black tribe member and future mentor, asking me if I had met the guest. She proceeded to tell me that the media guest was black unbeknownst to my “team.” I had not met him nor did I really care to since my “team” had already excluded my participation. My tribe member and I both laughed instinctively knowing that my “team” would be bewildered as to how best to handle this new bit of information. We both knew that the internal mindset of some of my non-black “team” members would trigger them to resort back to deeply held racist views about diversity and inclusion as a PR stunt and not as a valued and necessary component of good business.

Within a short time, I received a visit from a member of my “team” asking me if I could join them and the media guest for the night’s prearranged dinner. My response was “no” since I already had plans (nothing critical but I had no interest in aiding their new agenda). I proceeded to call another black tribe member and mentor who ultimately shared my outrage but she also had wisdom gained from having lived a lot longer than me. She advised me to go to that dinner, not just to help benefit my “team,” but for my own self interest. Why? The media guest was a real “BOSS” whether my “team” chose to give him his credit or not. There could be no doubt that a man in his position, EARNED his way with both talent and fighting many obstacles to get there. The opportunity for me to meet him would, in fact, provide me with a chance to learn something about success and how to play the game called life. I eventually conceded and did go to that dinner (cancelling my plans LOL). Over time, the media boss become one of my best male mentors and a father figure. His wife and family sort of adopted me when I got a BIG position in his city of origin. There is a lot more to “unveil” in this story (1 Corinthians 10:13) but the main point now is that it taught me a lot about some “teams” and understanding when and how to be used in ALL relationships and circumstances.

Planting Seed Lesson: No matter the life event, try to find the opportunity hidden within the situation. It might be small or big (not obvious or even tangible)
but you just might benefit in some way in the long run.

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