Wear a Pink Shirt on Feb 23 because we need people to (feel safe to) be themselves

I was in an online discussion group with a bunch of smart business types from all around the world – all keen to understand how to create more regenerative systems, in finance or leadership or cities or agriculture or design, and one thing came up – that most business leaders don’t feel as though it’s okay to fully show up at work and definitely don’t feel it’s okay to bring love into the workplace.

Huh?

How can we do anything without love and hope for a good outcome? How can we spend all our hours in a workplace that is asking us to put on a mask and play-act a role and then only step back into our own skins, our own selves, our own unique genius, when we’re off-duty? What recipe for dissonance, loneliness, bad behaviour and poor decisions is this?

How do we make workplaces safe spaces for people to be themselves?

Well, maybe we start by making sure schools are places people can be themselves… not play-acting some part of someone who fits what everyone else thinks they should be. We don’t need drones or obedient little soldiers, if we want to regenerate our systems and contribute to thriving life on Earth. We can’t be pretending to be someone we’re not, if we’re going to have any chance at bringing our gifts to the table.

Nature needs diversity. That’s what generates resilience.

We need to be cultivating resilience in every single way we can, right now. And nature is a wonderful teacher of that.

Our local schools will observe Pink Shirt Day on Wednesday, February 23. It’s an opportunity to don a colour you might not normally choose, as a stand for kindness. It’s a signal that you welcome diversity, that you will do your best to celebrate what you don’t understand, be curious and kind towards what is unfamiliar or different from you, and appreciate how much richer our lives can be when we move towards each other.

Pink Shirt Day aims to reduce bullying by celebrating diversity in all its forms and supporting schools, workplaces and communities to be safe, supportive, welcoming and inclusive of all people.

Lift Each Other Up is this year’s theme.

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