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What Choice Will You Make - Deflection or Difference?

A reflection on the Washington, D.C., chaos of January 6, 2021.


January 6, 2021...Only six days into the New Year and Americans watched one of the most unbelievable moments we will ever see in our lifetimes.

Many went from triumph to disgust in a matter of hours – Georgia turned blue and Washington, D.C., turned into chaos.

While the breaking news was taking place, I had no idea. I had back-to-back meetings, so my focus was not on the TV or the texts I was receiving. When I had 10 minutes to spare, I decided to turn on the TV.

Like everyone else, I was in total disbelief. I could not believe my eyes.

After work, I checked social media and turned on the TV to catch up. Honestly, I was in a trance which led to anger, a sick feeling, pain and back to disbelief. I mean really…THIS IS 2021!

I decided to have a conversation with my daughter. The first thing she said was, “They went in there with no fear. Their faces had no fear”.

Think about that word “fear” and how the sequence of events over the last 8-10 months has caused all of us to have some level of fear. If they haven't, have the most recent events brought years’ worth of fear to the surface?

Effective diversity and inclusion initiatives can be a catalyst for true change where fears can be addressed from a personal and professional perspective. Like everything in life, it’s how you approach it.

When I think about the most recent events, two words come to mind: DEFLECTION and DIFFERENCE.

According to Merriam-Webster, DEFLECTION means a turning aside or off course; the act of changing or causing something to change direction. DIFFERENCE means assistance in pointing out the proper route; a guiding, governing, or motivating purpose.

In the past six days, most of us have made promises to ourselves publicly or privately. They may not be resolutions, but they are items that are important enough that we believe making a change will make a DIFFERENCE in our lives. Guess what? Events taking place on January 6, 2021, have been used to DEFLECT me and you from keeping the promises we made to ourselves.

While it is natural that we want to express our feelings and have conversations, remember what is at stake for you personally and maybe professionally. Don’t allow the events of the day to consume you. Believe me, I am talking to myself. Take that energy and invest in yourself, your family and your community.

The year 2021 is about DIFFERENCE not DEFLECTION.

I made a post with a picture of Stacey Abrams, Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. One of the captions read, “Make sure you are part of MAKING it happen”. We have work to do to ensure equity for all.

Don’t accept DEFLECTION as the solution. Be the DIFFERENCE.

"We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” (Maya Angelou)


Want to learn how you can make a DIFFERENCE in 2021?

Register now for the virtual webinar series, Empowerment Series 2021. During these free events, you'll learn how you fit within the larger conversation of diversity, inclusion and equity. You'll hear from J.A.D.E. Consulting's Lori Sutton and other business experts about the power of diversity, inclusion and equity in the areas of mentorship, career planning, entrepreneurship and balancing your 2021 aspirations through work-life harmony.

Register now for Empowerment Series 2021.

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