I Want to Share An Experience With You

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Brian Kight

A few readers replied to yesterday’s Daily Discipline email expressing disappointment and criticism. They were kind and critical, sharing from a place of genuine care. I appreciated that.

I deal openly and honestly and prefer to learn from real experiences rather than theoretical ones. This moment presents another great opportunity.

In yesterday’s email I provided an example list of people who we could say have disciples. The examples I provided happened to all be white males. This was the disappointment and criticism I received. It’s a fair observation.

First the facts: The list I created, while only for example purposes and nothing more, was all male and white. There are tons of examples of women and people of color with disciples. I just didn’t use them in my example. I had Brené Brown and Jimi Hendrix in my rough draft. I did not include them in my final draft.

My experience: So the criticism in this case was accurate. The list did not include examples of women or people of color. I believe I missed an opportunity to include examples which might have been useful in this case. 

The truth is I was focused on creating a list of people from diverse environments and professions and I didn’t consider gender or race. Three of the examples I used are from South Africa, Belarus, and the UK, though that wasn’t intentional either.

Is that bias? No, I don’t believe so. Others may disagree. Is that a blind spot? Possibly. My focus was intentionally on a different element of diversity. Expanding my perspective now in retrospect, it makes sense to add other elements of diversity. At the time my focus was on different factors of value. Feel free to agree or disagree with that perspective and my choices.

One last thing. I shared something with one of the disappointed readers yesterday that I’ll share with you too.

Please know that while not all my emails will speak to your situation, reference a current reality for you, or use examples of people like you—that does not exclude you. I understand you might feel different about that right now and this note from me may not make you feel any differently, but it’s important for me to share with you.

I cast a wide net in my messages, but an individual message will sometimes not strike the right chord with you or another reader from time to time. Most weeks I get praise and criticism from readers for the exact same message. I understand and accept this.

Thank you for allowing me to share. I hope there is value here for you to learn from my experience and our experience together.

Everything is training for something. Do the work.

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