Updated: May 30
For centuries, racism has been the gap that prevented collaboration among races. Skin color has become the calling card that frames the differences between ethnic groups. From skin color, we’ve created group-related plights that has become the subject of conversation in equality and acceptance.
When it comes to racial reconciliation, the church is crying oneness through the blood of Yeshua (Jesus) on one end of the spectrum, and on the other end, marketplace leaders cry diversity and inclusion. America has become proving grounds for all men being created equal, but the gap continues to grow as wide as the drinking fountains that divided humans during the days of segregation.
What can we do?
Sure, we’ve made advances in our society, but the cry of different groups proves that we continue to come short in moving attitudes and behaviors forward in building value beyond skin color. In 2018, the Washington Post reported polls that revealed 6 out of 10 people saying that racism remains a major problem in our society. In the same year, Time magazine reported that seventy percent of Americans think that race relations are worse.
The percentage of people who think race relations has gotten worse is not the issue. We should be startled that we are still having this conversation after so many Civil Right participants gave their life to close the gap between races. More than fifty-years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. death and we are still struggling to march to a cadence that mirrored his dedication for equality.
The question remains, what can we do to optimize the soul for purposeful attitudes and behaviors that lead to oneness?
Preaching and Policies
For years, the church has attempted to leverage the love of God to bridge the gap between races by preaching oneness. On the other hand, corporate leaders created policies to govern oneness in the workplace. Both the church and marketplace must be commended for recognizing the need for reconciliation among races, but oneness in more sophisticated than preaching and policies.
Preaching inspires people to be one and policies build the framework for oneness through intercultural competence. However, oneness is not a matter of inspiration and intercultural competence. It’s the product of using purpose as the genius for exploring the collective power of human potential.
Dr. King alluded to the genius of purpose in his last book, Where Do We Go From Here, Chaos or Community? He declared,
Power when properly understood is the ability to achieve purpose. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that oneness leads to power, but it does take raising the Purpose IQ™ to harvest the energy of purpose to build oneness beyond skin color.
The Primary Source
Co-Founder for the Harvard Center for Negotiations, Nikos Mourkogiannis, stated, “Purpose is the primary source for achievement.”
If we desire to achieve anything significant in race relations, we must explore the sophistication of purpose beyond what we do with our gifts and talents.
Yes, all men are created equal, but equality begins when all men exercise the ability to harvest the energy of purpose. Purpose is the primary source for closing the gap in race relations. Inspired preaching leverages the power of love for oneness, and well-crafted policies leverage working relationships for oneness. Both are noble attempts to bring people together, but oneness is a product of the soul’s ability to harvest the energy of purpose for Meaningful Excellence™.
Robert Kegan, retired Harvard professor of professional development and psychologist stated, “The process of growth involves the evolution of meaning, marked by continual shifts from periods of stability to periods of instability leading to reconstruction relationships between persons and their environment”. We are meaning-making machines and the problem with race relations has always been our lack of insight on how to reconstruct meaningful relationships.
Purpose is the primary source for achievement. – Nikos Mourkogiannis
Meaning equates to value and when value is missing from race relations, it becomes a recycled subject of concern for generations. Instead of improving race relations, each generation struggles to manage the purpose of our global community.
America has proven to be a leader in technology but remains a laggard in advancing the purpose of the human soul.
We can send probes to conduct deep space exploration but struggle to look deep within the soul to find answers for bridging the gap between races. Meaningful Excellence™ is never a subject of conversation when it comes to bridging the racial divide. It’s the quality or state of being outstanding or extremely good at sustaining a strong sense of purpose under all circumstances.
It was never mentioned in the Civil Rights movement because it was demonstrated through non-violent protests. Committed people displayed that their strong sense of purpose was more powerful than dogs and water hoses. It took more than church bombings and racial slurs to kill their strong sense of purpose. Their actions spoke to the intuitive side of purpose to wake up the conscious of our country and recognize its errors in purpose. We are a content rich country, but the human soul is bankrupt when it comes to building value beyond skin color. It’s great we can exercise our freedom through inspiring messages and work with a diverse group of people to establish economic mobility.
However, if we are going to close the gap in race relations, we must sharpen our meaning-making skills to create new models that fuel our growth beyond negative biases.
Even though we’ve advanced from the era of slavery that plagued our country for years, very little has changed in the way we displace unconscious biases. We must develop new models for correcting errors in purpose so we can move attitudes and behaviors to close the gap between races.