Monday, October 08, 2012

Diversity 2012 - Day One

The first rule of Diversity training is: you don't talk about Diversity training. So I'll skip the fine details. The heart of the matter is that I had a fantastic day with my fellow Diversity Champions as we helped coach the next generation of champions through their first day of training.

Andra Berry is one of the Founding Fathers of MGM's Diversity. He's a seething fireball of energy and inspiration. I enjoyed every moment of his presentations. Even when they brought us to verge of tears. It was a rare treat to work with him and I am only saddened to see him once a year.

I'll say this about Diversity training: It is a very different experience to go through the training the first time than it is to help coach new students through it their first time. To see the change as it swept across the class was amazing. To observe them the first morning, all sullen and suspicious, then compare it against their faces as they leave.. it bordered on magical. But it was painful not to help them through certain exercises. We had to let them fail. Then we picked them up. And encouraged them. Before sending them out on their own to try again.

On a personal note, Andra hit a surprising note with me. We were talking about his last visit and he remember meeting me. Said I look much happier, now. Smiling more. Standing straighter. Holding my head up. He asked what was different. Why the change? I brushed it off a little, glad that outwardly I appear as happy as I am internally. I said things were clicking better in my life for me. Training and such. He said, to paraphrase, whatever has happened to me has happened for a reason. There are no accidents. We are the architects of our own happiness. And whatever I'm doing to be happier, stick with it.

That really hit home with me. As well as the rest of the day. It was all exciting and enjoyable and enlightening. But it tires you fast. And I'm ready for some sleep at the end of Diversity 2012, Day One.
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