I highly recommend this timely, perceptive and intelligent thought leadership piece from my friend and colleague, Dr Poli Tan on the tricky issue of Intercultural Development at this very sensitive and difficult period in our history. See Pause for Inner Research on Racism.
Having worked with Poli on my own cultural profile, and found myself in what she describes as the “Minimisation” orientation, it seems that, despite my awareness and sensitivity for cultural differences, I still have a lot to learn on this topic.
As Poli says “Individuals at Minimisation orientation also may want to be perceived as ‘tolerant’ and avoid ‘stereotyping’ and perceive tolerant as sufficient, hence lacking appreciation of diversity as a resource. When confronting the current Black Lives Matter issue, many ‘Minimisation’ dominant culture individuals, may now be afraid to speak as they may be trying to be sensitive or are ‘afraid to make a mistake’. Despite this, Minimisation individuals having super good intention to offer change or very often, they fight for ‘change in others’, these individuals tend not to have the urgency to change themselves”.
I was reminded over the weekend that China once went through a “cultural revolution” (from 1966 until 1976) and effectively destroyed everything and started again from scratch. Without wanting to trivialise or minimise the enormous disruption and pain caused by this process, the experience of the last 50 years has suggested that you can emerge from a dark period like this and prosper again. Is it possible that the west is now on the edge of its own “cultural revolution”?