Labor Day – Deeply Respecting the Resilience of Our Workers
Today is Labor Day in the United States, a national holiday created 125 years ago to honor the struggles of working class people to unionize and earn a decent living, to gain a fair wage and stable employment, to be treated with dignity and respect for their hard work that keeps us all afloat. That struggle continues today with the loss of jobs and the economic fallout of this coronavirus pandemic.
Labor Day also marks the end of my semi-official August 2020 “sabbatical-sort of” – my intentional deep dive into learning how to better navigate our deeply unsettled and increasingly polarized world – choosing to read books and articles, view webinars and listen to podcast, talk with experts far more knowledgeable and visionary than I [the short list is at the end of this post] about what the new dots even are, what the new vocabularies of antiracism, diversity-equity-inclusivity, class and caste even mean. Trying to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the “intersectionality” of race and class and gender and all forms of “othering” so pervasive and predominant in our larger society.
Yup. An ambitious project while double-sheltering from the pandemic and from the smoke from the wildfires still uncontained here in northern California.
Early on in that sabbatical-sort of, I was asked to create a webinar for my local professional organization on “Strengthening Resilience in these Challenging times of the Pandemic, Racial Injustice, and Social Inequity” for mid-September. A timely opportunity to pull all that I was learning together so that I and my fellow clinicians could become more “competent, creative, and contributory” in helping clients strengthen their own resilience mindset, deepen their moral compass, and respond skillfully and effectively all the challenges we are facing that are not going away anytime soon.
My sabbatical-sort of has certainly generated more questions than answers. From the plaque above the entrance to the electrical engineering lab at SRI International:
We have not solved your problem.
In fact, we have more questions than when we started.
But we believe we are confused at a higher level
And about more important things.
I will return to posting these Resources for Recovering Resilience daily through December 2020, intending to be highly relevant and very practical and helpful, along with the occasional poem or good news video to remind us that joy and delight are part of resilience. [See last year’s Labor Day post Honoring Good Hard Meaningful Work for an excellent exercise in doing that honoring.]
I’ll be creating new online courses and webinars under the Resilience 2.0 umbrella.
I did learn from a talk by john a powell, law professor, African American Studies professor, and director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at U.C. Berkeley, that no one is resilient all by themselves. “Resilience is a team sport.”
I’ll continue to learn from many, many others, inquire into the questions and integrate the answers as best as I can. Here’s the short list of resources should you be so inclined for a deep dive yourself.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
The Velvet Rope Economy: How Inequality Became Big Business by Nelson Schwarz
And many YouTube videos and podcast interviews by the same authors.