Reaction is one of those words that sometimes gets a bad reputation. Reaction does not mean that you are angry. Reaction does not mean being pissed. Reaction does not mean being hurt. Reaction actually means all of those things. A reaction is an action performed OR a feeling experienced in response to a situation or event.  Reaction is a 17th century medieval Latin reactio (done again). Unfortunately, today, our learned behavior is to react emotionally, with no action. Our goal in sharing this piece on reactions is to model for you a new behavior… expressing emotions and performing an action. We want to lead a discussion about re-framing how you react. Take the time to participate in this activity with us and hopefully it impacts you directly.

#ACT (Ask questions, Collaborate, and Tell your story)

 

#ACT A = ASK QUESTIONS

True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring […] I often feel like saying, when I hear the question ‘People aren’t ready,’ that it’s like telling a person who is trying to swim, ‘Don’t jump in that water until you learn how to swim.’ When actually you will never learn how to swim until you get in the water.
— Martin Luther King Jr

The only way to learn something you do not know is to ask questions. If you hear of an incident and causes internal questions for you… Find someone you trust (sometimes that person won't look like you) to ask those questions. Seek to find understanding. The only way our country can learn from its past is to LISTEN to the remnants of our past mistakes. The only we can respect each other as people is if we learn from each others' experiences. What does it mean to be black and pulled over by the police? What does it mean to be a woman and have to get an abortion? What does it mean to be gay and have to tell your parents? We have to ask the tough questions and listen.

#ACT C = COLLABORATE

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

You do not have to work alone to create change. In fact, it is encouraged that you work with others. When you have a reaction, explore why you are feeling your emotions, define what makes you passionate, and find groups that align with your purpose. Today there are organizations, groups, and forums getting together all over the company. FIND ONE! Get involved. Organizers need you. Bring your talents to the table and it's not always about physically attending events. Organizers need some of the same talents you bring to work everyday to make their events run smoothly.

#ACT T = TELL YOUR STORY

A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.
— Malcolm X

Please tell your story. Use your platform wisely. No one can tell you how to use Facebook or any other social media platform you have, however… consider explaining WHY you feel the way you feel. If there are instances where certain events resonate with a moment in your life, if you can, share the moment. There are people that may have questions (Point 1) and you can answer those questions by sharing your story. Sharing your story pays homage to your authentic self.

As part of our reaction…. on the morning of July 7, 2016 IRON pulled together some friends to model #ACT for you. Five contributors were all asked the same question: What was your reaction to the violence in the last 48 hours? Why? 

We are excited to be able to share the contributors’ thoughts and feelings with you.

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