Did You Matter Today?
How many days can you go without an encouraging word?
Have you seen or watched The Red Dot Experiment yet?
I have had a lot of wonderful feedback since creating it. Most of it has been very enthusiastic and encouraging and always there are also constructive criticism that I take very seriously as my desire is truly to have a well thought out experience. So thank you one and all.
Recently someone questioned whether it was necessary to give "awards" and recognition in the experiment. She felt that "there was a lot about recognition rather than a good life, etc... more normal achievements that people don't get to have." In essence she felt that awards and recognition are not necessarily a necessity in life...
Well below is my answer.
I actually chose recognition very purposefully. We might not think of it as such but in its essence recognition is the bedrock of society and in turn the very essence of a good life.
Try working at any job for any length of time and not being seen for what you do and see how long you will last and how long the business will last creating a culture of “not valuing” their workers.
Or even turn it on its head and make it even simpler …try raising up our own children where they are never recognized or rewarded for their hard work and their good behavior. Or imagine a year with a teacher that does not see them recognize who they are and feel the anxiety of what that year feels like for the parent and for the child.
Why are we anxious?
Maybe because we feel that a year of not being seen recognized and rewarded for their effort by grades, class awards, honor roll, dojo points...would lead to lower self-esteem. Maybe lower self-esteem decreases their desire to work hard after all their effort seems to get them nowhere. With no desire to work hard they underachieve and give up easily. Maybe we know if they do this over time and never have a change of heart or mind then this most glaringly will affect their quality of life in the future.
In the Red Dot I gave the kids exaggerated accomplishments and exaggerated awards in order to create the excitement and have them feel the investment. I went very macro to push the understanding of the disparity when it comes up later and they realize that they are the one with the red dot or not.
But let’s take a more basic example of working at a regular job let’s say working at a Bank. Let’s say you come in with a male counterpart during their community outreach at your local city college campus. You both start the same day and report to the same supervisor. Every quarter you are evaluated and both given bonuses and raises accordingly. This is standard practice for every type of job, evaluations, bonuses, raises advancement.
Each quarter you both work hard put in extra time and there is no blemish on either of your records Every quarter unbeknownst to you your male counterpart is given a bigger bonus and a bigger raise and promoted more often. Until finally in 2 years time he makes branch manager and you are a supervisor under him! WT! This happens all day every day all over the world and this is discrimination.
This effects her pay, her quality of life and the simple assurance that she is seen heard and valued.
To be seen to be heard to matter is basic humanness.
For the male point of view in the bank scenario, he will go through life thinking that he was just being (awarded) for his hard work. In fact, society says that right now.
But this happening to one gender, one race, one religious group, those without disabilities time and time again is the essence of the ugliness of discrimination.
Every person in every job knows the feeling of being overlooked sometimes but doing it over time and systematically creates social class systems, it creates gender disparity it creates the bosses and the workers. It creates hostility, anger, fear, resentment.
It creates the 1%
My greatest desire for the Red Dot is for it to sink into the skin and sneak up on you. For a person to think about it at the oddest of times. When they apply for a new job or the next time they are admitted to a school or let into an exclusive program or institution or given a bank loan or a raise or an award… for them to just wonder for a second if someone who doesn’t look like them would they be given the same treatment? What if just half of the men in the world did this?
Whether Male, Female, Black, White, Other, If Disabled or not, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Gay or Straight.
When we can all say yep same treatment ... well, congratulations there is no more discrimination.
Pushing the line of the mere understanding of what discrimination is and where it lurks and how it harms is what the Red Dot is all about. With understanding and clarity comes discussions. With discussions comes ideas ...and well we can only imagine what a new idea can do! #Lightbulb
Whoohoo the sky is the limit!!