Click on the link for this short film from the Ad Council, which makes its point rather effectively. The Ad Council comment runs:-
‘While the vast majority of Americans consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. This may be a significant reason many people in the U.S. report they feel discriminated against. Subconscious prejudice—called “implicit bias”—has profound implications for how we view and interact with others who are different from us. It can hinder a person’s ability to find a job, secure a loan, rent an apartment, or get a fair trial, perpetuating disparities in American society. The Love Has No Labels campaign challenges us to open our eyes to our bias and prejudice and work to stop it in ourselves, our friends, our families, and our colleagues. Rethink your bias at lovehasnolabels.com.’
Here’s the direct link:
The song is ‘Same Love’, courtesy of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert.
We all inhabit our culture, and we all carry what is here referred to as ‘implicit bias’. For the writer, what matters is that we acknowledge this, and work with it in awareness – as opposed to taking refuge in the belief that we have transcended or can transcend it.
There’s an analogy with the therapeutic process. In therapy, the task is not for the therapist to ‘leave their stuff outside the door’ (despite the frequency with which this – impossibility – is held up in therapy training or by some therapists as an ideal/intention). Instead, the therapist and the person they are working with share a primary focus on, and attention to, that person’s process. As therapists, we offer a working alliance based around our commitment to serving the other person. To support this, our task is to be fully, humanly present in relationship with that person – which involves being with ourselves, just as we are, offering ourselves attention, presence and the core conditions, whilst simultaneously offering our attention, our presence, the core conditions – and that primary focus – to the person in the chair across from us.
Becoming a human being who is able to sustain these awarenesses, and these qualities of being, is a lifelong work in progress. It cannot be delivered by any training course, or by any course of study, or by membership of any professional organisation – only through personal intentionality, and willingness to live that through, fearful, faltering, unknown step by fearful, faltering, unknown step. As Rogers acknowledged:-
“I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.”
On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter