This week, June Sarpong briefly explains the remaining five Degrees of Integration (the first being: check your ISM). She also encourages us to take steps (easy ones!) to become more diverse, inclusive and open in our daily lives, especially with anyone we might have previously considered ‘OTHER’.
Here’s a little more on each Degree of Integration and a little exercise on each you may want to try out for yourself. Let me know how you get on!
Degree Two: Check Your Circle
June encourages her readers to look at their immediate circle of friends and family. Does that circle reflect the larger society/community they live in? If not, why not do something as simple as joining a community group that brings neighbours together – every area has one you just need to do a little research or check out your local paper. Pop along to a local festival – in Britain we all love our festivals – why not experience one outside of your own community group. A festive atmosphere, by its very nature, is always welcoming to strangers!
Degree Three: Connect with the Other
June freely admits that this degree can be daunting. It is one thing to experience different cultures – it is another to actively seek out a connection with someone you consider ‘OTHER.’ Here is June’s advice: “The cornerstone of Degree 3 is the ‘one in six’ equation: out of every six new people that you are able to ‘choose’ to connect with, make one of them an ‘other’ – someone different from yourself. It’s through genuine interpersonal relationships that the magic happens and the barriers come down – it's then that hearts and minds are opened.”
Degree Four: Change Your Mind
Become “individually conscious of how and why we feel and respond the way we do.” Basically challenge yourself, question yourself and push yourself to learn about what it is like to be someone other than YOU. Learn as much as you can about what it is to be ‘other’. Often with knowledge comes understanding.
Degree Five: Celebrate Difference
Degree Six: Champion The Cause
June urges everyone to spread the message – to embrace the ‘other’ and shape a more inclusive and understanding society – together. She gives lots of ways to go about championing the cause – with pointers on what you can do if you only have an evening to spare, a day, a week, a month – a year. So there’s no excuse!
Remember any questions you’d like me to put to June regarding the themes in Diversify – send via my social channels!