Injustice in our country must be addressed.
It begins, as all deep work does, by looking inward.
This is precisely what Michelle Obama highlighted in her public statement May 30, “It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own.”
When true leaders call for introspection first, this is not a platitude. We hear this as an invitation into deep, soulful inquiry, to confronting the ugly, the twisted, the ignorant or neglectful parts of yourself.
This is not easy work. It requires fortitude. It demands courage.
Introspection will make you uncomfortable. If it doesn’t, you haven’t reached deep enough yet. It will make you feel: sad, mournful, ashamed, resigned, angry, confused and conflicted.
As busy humans with a tendency toward self-comfort, those are feelings we don’t like to tussle with, let alone stir up ourselves.
And yet, introspection is the first most powerful step toward change because it forces us to touch reality. It pierces the insular wall of illusion. It helps illuminate any distancing we have from the suffering of others.
With introspection inevitably comes the assessment, the weighing out of what we say we believe with how we behave.
With introspection comes holding up a mirror that does not lie. To be exposed in this way can create fear and shame. Yet when we continue to look into the mirror, we see truth.
Our mission is to inspire leaders – all humanity – to go inward. We do this through the timeless practice of introspection.
We strive for integrity, so right now we are practicing introspection ourselves. It’s murky and hopeful work. It’s painful and enlightening, too. The beautiful mess.
If we were granted one wish, it would be that every leader would go on this journey right now. It would be that through true, deep introspection, they might open and learn and then take action.
Because the events unfolding around us are not separate from who we are, they are who we are. The separation between business and social issues has long been a comfortable illusion.
And the only way we know to confront this illusion is through introspection.
We share some questions for introspection below.
- What’s bubbling up inside of me that I don’t want to look at?
- When and what parts of me are reacting from assumption or fear?
- What have I accepted that I should not have accepted?
- What feelings or realities have I been insulating myself from?
Once introspection is done, it is time for action.
We cannot remain in introspection.
As the former First Lady put it, “It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.”