Where Is The Love?

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know that running and music tend to get my brain working. Yesterday morning on my run, a song came in the cue that was just what I needed to hear that day. It’s the song Where Is The Love by Black Eyed Peas. Here are some of the lyrics:

But if you only have love for your own race

Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that’s exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love this’ll set us straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love y’all

People killin’, people dyin’

Children hurt and you hear them cryin’

Can you practice what you preach

And would you turn the other cheek

Father Father Father help us

Get some guidance from above

‘cause people got me got me questionin’

Where is the love?

I’ve been asking myself that question quite a bit lately. Where is the love? I’ve noticed I can go from zero to angry over the littlest things. Anger and hate are not emotions I like in myself. Earlier this week I attended a training on Creating a Transgender Inclusive Workplace. During the training we were encouraged to share our pronouns with each other. Before this training, I hadn’t felt a desire to use or share my pronouns. I’m a woman, I have a female name and I’m feminine. What I learned is when we create opportunities for people to share their pronouns, it helps us to not make assumptions about people based on their appearance. One of the facilitators shared their pronouns: they and them. They also shared that many times people  refer to them as she and hers and it makes them so frustrated, sometimes to the point of being angry.

Growing up my name was Lisa Gislason. I remember people had a difficult time pronouncing my last name correctly. I’d get called Lisa Giflason. (What? Where’s the “f”.) Or Lisa Giluckson. (Seriously?) It was very frustrating. Sometimes I took it personally and would snap at the person. “It’s pronounced Geese-luh-sun!” I vowed to only date men with last names like Smith or Jones when I got older. Then at the training I realized that by sharing my pronouns and asking others to share theirs, I was able to refer to them in the way they identified. And that helps people feel seen and respected. At the end of the training, we were asked to write down three things we were going to do as our part to create a more inclusive workplace. My three things are, be kind, be curious, and remember it’s not personal. Because it’s not about me. It’s about showing kindness and love to another person. And that is one thing that brings more happiness and positivity into my life.

How will you show love?

Lisa Hylton (like the hotel, but with a “y”!)

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