Tip of the Iceberg
We know practically nothing about other people, and that's a problem
This segment appeared in Picture Imperfect, the December 2022 episode of Exploring Atlanta. The content below serves as an outline for this discussion…
Circles of Familiarity
Circles of Familiarity — we all have them; the further out we go from our bedrooms, the less familiar we are with people, things, etc. that we encounter or hear about
Acknowledging that the body of knowledge that is unknown to us is vast, is the first step
Exploring is the anecdote — you have to make an effort; challenge your assumptions
Relative Realities — we all live in them
Biases — we all have them
All we see is the tip of the iceberg…
Take the wealth gap, for example. The gap we “see” (income, neighborhood, car, etc.) is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s really the end result of several lifetimes (generations) of socio-economic differences. Consider a child (white or black) who grows up in a family of means vs one who grows up in poverty.
Their environment; inside (home) and outside (neighborhood). Driving around every day.
Love and attention / nurturing (or lack thereof) the child receives throughout his/her lifetime, but especially in their formative years
Influence of family members, role models
Childhood experiences (sports, travel, museums, restaurants, toys, scouting, social impact work)
What shapes their definition of success? (business, relationships, financial)
Education (quality of teachers / facilities, fellow students, study abroad)
So, the “gap” is much more than just a financial gap or even an educational gap. It’s a lifetime of observations, interactions, influences, experiences that shape our world views. Ultimately, these inform our decisions and manifest themselves in our behavior. They affect our ability to live (behave) within a societal construct.
Childhood Trauma: Mother of All Root Causes?
“Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.”
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
The older you get, the more perspective you gain because you have seen more change — both in the business world but also in the society. You begin to understand (view) the world around you differently, especially people.