By Derrick Brown (follow on Twitter @dbrowndbrown)
Life is a series of opportunities.
Here's how I approach life ...
I listen, because I don't listen well.
I am quiet, because I am not quiet.
I observe, because I can't see.
I know, because I know that I don't know.
I speak like no one else is ever going to speak for me.
I do like no one is ever going to do for me.
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Opportunities are always disguised as work.
This work always involves details.
This work always involves people.
I respect and engage details, because I have paid a dear price for ignoring and disrespecting them.
They show you what you cannot see.
They help you learn *that* you do not know ....
... by showing you *what* you do not know.
I also respect and engage people, because I have paid a price for ignoring and disrespecting them.
I engage people by observing how they view and handle details.
People are quick to oversimplify and minimize details.
In doing so, they exaggerate their own importance.
They believe that someone else should handle the details.
In doing so, they marginalize and disrespect that person's
role and essence.
They treat 'em like fractions.
Like "3/5 of a person" fractions.
My approach to life and opportunities can lead to conflict when collaborating.
When I co-labor, I demonstrate both my commitment and expectations by submitting to and engaging the work's details.
I engage according to my abilities and the opportunity's requirements.
My eyes observe the following - engaging *details* that people think are "beneath them" leads them to treat *me* like I am beneath them.
My spirit observes it differently - engaging *details* that people think are "beyond them" leads them to treat *me* like I am beyond them.
Either way, this leads to the same mistreatment.
It results in the same marginalization and disrespect of me - and my important work.
I accept this as a clear, sober warning that I need to choose co-laborers carefully.
Here's another sobering thought - I have this experience often and equally with Black and White people.