One of my coworkers once gave me an activity to do called “The Trusted Ten”. It’s an exercise to look at the most important relationships in your life, outside of family, and to see if there’s any diversity in those relationships, or if you only tend to be close to those who are in the same demographics as yourself.
It’s not meant to make you feel bad about your relationships, but if there is no diversity in your top trusted people, it’s a good reminder to cultivate new connections. If we only ever interact with those just like ourselves, we lose an opportunity to see the world from other perspectives. We miss a lot of what is going on for other people, and how it’s impacting their lives, health, and safety. It puts us in a silo mentality, where our perspective is the only one, and it’s dangerous.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I’ve started going on Twitter. There are parts of it that I still dislike, but I also have a new opportunity to follow people who are from different backgrounds and experiences from me. And sometimes what they have to say can be hard to hear. There are things I’m learning about their perspectives that are making me question myself deeply. But it’s also helping me grow. It’s helping me educate myself, without me trying to place the burden on others to teach me. It’s connecting me with articles and podcasts and other sources that I might have otherwise missed. And it’s making me realize that I’ve been missing some voices in my journey.
So for today’s reflection, let’s take a look at the media and information we consume. Let’s look at who is writing or producing or promoting the information. We may be engaging with media that fits with our narrative, and feels progressive, but is it really? Who is speaking? Who is being left out? And how can we find ways to expand who we are listening to?