We get to decide how we want to be in the world

Pic by The Digital Artists

Our internal and external world is shaped by the cumulative impact of our daily choices. Whether we achieve a socially just world hinges upon every citizen’s daily decisions. It depends upon how we use our power in any given moment. We always have power and choice. It’s up to us to decide if we want to use them.

Every day you get to choose to use your power to work towards a socially just world or stifle the development of it.

Truth is, social change only occurs when we use our individual choices to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. We bend a society towards the moral arc of the universe when we create a collective of individuals using their power and choice for social justice. That collective becomes the Beloved Community used to push systemic change. A system changes when a group of people decide to use their collective power to force gatekeepers to create processes of fair and just treatment so all stakeholders (regardless of their identity) can benefit from the resources. We saw this happening when activists successfully got school districts to redirect police funding towards restorative justice and counseling programs. Culture changes when people come together to use their personal choices and power to resist racist norms that dishonor identity groups. Individual choices to create social movements led the way to remove Native American mascots and Frito Bandito.

1970s Frito Corn Chips Ad

Simply put, we can’t move forward with changing our society until folks make the personal choice to do better in their individual interactions. In fact it is the sum power of seeing one’s ability and power to make change at the individual level that sparks the courage and bravery to go after large-scale systemic change. We have to stop looking for someone else to give us the power to make change and do it ourselves. Social justice starts with you being more intentional in your daily interactions. We start by asking:

This gut check can slow you down to be more thoughtful about the equity impact (fairness and justice) of your interactions with others. As always, I leave you with my 4-step consciousness-raising process to help you integrate intentional power and choice into your daily interactions.

Choice: Ask how do I want to use my power, to treat people fair and just or to harm them with discriminatory actions?

Presence: Asking the question slows you down to reflect, how am I currently using my power?

Self-Awareness: You can go deeper to ask, are my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors advancing or stifling social justice?

Intentionality: Ask, how can I use this interaction to contribute to our global goal of a socially just world? Choose the best course of action that promotes fair and just treatment.

The current times beckons a return back home to the real you, by embracing the power within. Every time we use our power and choice to create fairness and justice, we get closer to achieving a more socially just world.

Annice is the CEO of The BEE FREE Woman & Developing Capacity Coaching. Her writing is a freedom tool for people ready to use their power and choice for change.

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