I always thought that posting “Wake Me Up When September Ends” on social media was cliché.
Until September 2019.
I had to release a project that required 12 hours of work a day, including a few weekends.
My baby got sick— a week of cold and cough, then flu, and last diarrhea.
I received pressure from stakeholders.
Something went wrong under my watch.
I wanted to post Wake Me Up When September Ends so bad. I don’t think this post is cliché anymore.
Based on this experience, I want us to talk about two things: judgments and seasons.
We’ll focus on being judgmental in this devotional story.
1 Samuel 16:7
English Standard Version (ESV)
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God wants us to look deeper into people and not be distracted by appearances and stereotypes.
The sad part is that we’re not like God. We have hidden biases.
What is a hidden bias?
This is the definition on Wikipedia:
“Unconscious bias or usually known as implicit bias is a "positive or negative mental attitude towards a person, thing, or group that a person holds at a subconscious level".
Here are some examples from Ethics Unwrapped:
1. In a presentation, Professor Will Cox have showed two news photos published in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
One showed a young black man walking through swirling water holding a carton of soda. The other showed a white couple in similar water, holding a bag of bread.
The caption for the photos reads, respectively: “A young man walks through chest-deep water after looting a grocery store” and “Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda.”
2. Studies show that Latinos receive less pain medication than similarly situated white patients, that elderly women receive fewer life-saving interventions than elderly men, and that obese children are more likely to be assumed by teachers to be less intelligent than slim children.
Despite the drive to educate people about discrimination, it still exists. We must understand that we have unconscious bias. We need to be aware of what our implicit bias is so we could address it.
How to Manage Unconscious Bias?
I wanted to write about this, but I saw good content from Rework. The article focuses on unconscious bias in the workplace, but I think the steps here can be applied anywhere. Here’s the link:
1) Take the Implicit Associations Test.
The Implicit Associations Test (IAT), is developed by Tony Greenwald, a University of Washington professor who started researching unconscious bias in 1994.
Tony Greenwald created the test to give people awareness of their individual biases.
Reminder: You might disagree with the results of the test, and that’s okay. Use the information to check your attitude for your personal development.
2) Think Before You Speak
Be conscious of words that can be offensive. Pause, take the time to think before you say anything.
Some examples: Calling people "baby," "buddy," "participants and their wives," etc.
3) Search for Bias
Watch out for these:
How you choose your circle of friends
How you give responsibilities to others
How you evaluate people's performance
4) Imagine Positive Encounters
Visualise positive collaboration with everyone despite race, culture, gender, etc.
5) Everyone is Accountable
The first step to fixing implicit bias is awareness. We need a support group to make every member aware of their hidden biases.
New International Version (NIV)
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
We need to change. We can be better at handling our implicit biases if we work together and focus on Jesus.
Thank you for reading this devotional story and I pray that it encouraged and empowered you in your walk with Christ. Please read other devotional stories on the website. You might find A Mental Health Discussion, Embrace Change and Love People interesting.
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