Expectations of Growth

Expectations of Growth

This was originally published August 27, 2021

The process of learning and growing, changing positions, and deepening understandings of issues is rarely a clean and straightforward one.

We have normalized harassment, cruelty, dogpiling and a culture of immediacy that says that people must change their minds immediately and sufficiently perform that process to the satisfaction of hundreds if not thousands of onlookers.

We say that people’s mistakes are proof of their inherent badness and claim that if only we kept inherently bad people out of our communities that we wouldn’t have to be subjected to people’s bad takes.

Ultimately we have deep disrespect for the process of growth and learning every one of us is going through at any given time, and in the process treat the humanity of others with utter disregard.

We use the mistakes of others as an outlet for our outrage, as a platform to signal our own goodness and rightness. We force people into positions of either doubling down or offering performative attempts at appeasement.

The question we should be asking ourselves is:

How can we hold space for others to do the grappling necessary for coming into deeper alignment with their own integrity?

What if we treated others like it’s their job to be well differentiated and in healthy interdependent relationship to their communities rather than treating them like it’s their job to conform unquestioningly to our expectation of them?