My parents raised me well. I was raised to believe that each person is of equal value while also being a unique individual. Naturally, my faith helped with that outlook as well. My mom especially ensured that I met and socialized with people of many races and socioeconomic statuses. As a result, I grew up treating people of various races and genders as unique individuals, each having inherent value.
Those lessons followed me into adulthood, both in my personal and professional life. And not surprisingly, that had a significant impact on who I surrounded myself with. In general, the people I surround myself with judge others based on their merits, not on their skin color or gender.
What I didn’t realize until recently was that I had effectively isolated myself in a bubble that made me unaware of what others go through. In the last few years, I started asking myself some questions:
“Tim, do you think maybe some women, including women you know, have ever been discriminated against because of their gender?” The answer, of course, was yes.
“Well, then don’t you think that even people of color that surround themselves with people that don’t discriminate still run into people that discriminate against them? Or at the minimum make assumptions about them based on the color of their skin?” Again, the answer was yes.
I’m a white male, so I can never know the experience of either a female or a person of color. But I know the quote attributed to Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” And according to Jesus in the Bible, the second greatest command is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So I will continue to seek to understand and to demonstrate that neighborly love.
I’m both proud that we in Edmond have elected our first black mayor, Darrell Davis, and at the same time wish it had happened far earlier. I have interacted with Mayor Davis on a couple of different occasions and found him intelligent, thoughtful, and kind. I hope that we in the Edmond business community will continue to judge people not based on their gender or skin color but will love them and give them every opportunity in both business and life.
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About Tim Priebe
Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.
Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.