Life in a tunnel

Human beings often get stuck in tunnels. It’s pretty natural and nothing to be ashamed of. It just happens. You either constructed the tunnel yourself, or maybe the people you’re with constructed it, maybe the people on TV constructed parts of it.

Reality is a strange thing. Things happen, but whatever happens has a different meaning depending from what tunnel you’re viewing it. One person might view a rock crashing into the earths’ atmosphere as a falling star ready to fulfil your wish, the other might see at as an omen for dark days to come. But the rock itself, didn’t mean anything by it, it was just following a fixed path through our solar system and earth was in the way this time. It just happened.

Crazy things happen when other human beings step into our vision. With our tunnel vision glasses on, we seem to know exactly why other people do certain things and how angry we should get about it. Especially when it isn’t according to our carefully constructed rules of our tunnel.

One person might decide that getting angry and violent at a seemingly gay couple holding hands is an appropriate reaction to people not abiding the rules of the tunnel. The other might decide a violent massacre is the appropriate response.

These are the worst of situations where people are restricted in living on this earth, because they don’t follow the rules of someone’s tunnel. In the luckiest of cases you’ll just get a frown and a conversation about you that your behaviour or the way you dress is “not appropriate”.

It’s extremely common for people to talk about what things are appropriate or not in certain environments, because everybody’s tunnel has rules about these things and it’s easy to find people who have similar rules. Tabloids and celebrity gossip shows abuse the heck out of this nifty little thing about human nature, to bond about the rules of their tunnels.

But when a couple is walking on the street, and they’re in love, and they feel they need to express their love for each other, neither is thinking about any rules, they just want to love, hold hands, kiss and dance. Because that’s what sometimes reality is, it just happens, it’s not to annoy you, it’s not a cry for attention, it’s not intended to affect anyone but themselves.

The only reason why it affects you in any kind of way, is because you’re looking at reality from that carefully constructed tunnel you built for yourself. The tunnel that has rules for just about anything, because you figured there was an opinion to have about it.

When people tell you you should “live life like it’s your last day”, or “follow your heart”, or any kind of silly – easier to say than to execute – phrase; it’s mostly about getting rid of your tunnel vision. Getting rid of that tunnel that started to live a life of its own, making you angry all the time about all sorts of things that don’t actually affect anyone else in actual reality.

When you should decide to keep living in your tunnel, or a different version of it, perhaps consider and ponder about the concept of freedom. All kinds of freedom. And not just for yourself, but consider letting other people have the same freedom. Freedom to love whomever they love, freedom to feel and express however they feel, freedom to dress however they want. And most important of all: the freedom to not fear for their lives.

Let’s talk diversity

Context

Diversity is a hot topic on social media. Depending on who and what you follow, you may have missed everything completely or got flooded with for a couple of weeks now. (Taylor Swift, Matt Damon, League of Legends, SC2 (and many more esports) but you can click on these links for reference about recent events)

Definition

So you can look up diversity in the dictionary, but who really uses that these days. Let’s just suffice it to say that whoever you employ in whatever you’re doing, you get a diverse spread that is representational of the reality outside this little world you’re creating. This can really be anywhere; in the regular workplace, in film, also in esports. We’re talking minority races (non-white and non-white-passing), genders (women and non-cisgender) and even sexualities (lgb+) that need more representation. If you do it right, your products, your reviews and influence can go pretty far, but I’m not here to talk about the many benefits of diversity.

Defending lack of diversity

I want to talk about the thing that people somehow learned to say in defence of lackluster diversity; that whoever is best for the job will get the job.

It sounds so idyllic, right? There’s no racism or sexism at hand, the people we see now are simply the best choices. What if indeed, whoever did the hiring, was indeed completely neutral in their hiring. Maybe that person was even convinced of this. I’m definitely not going to claim that I know of anyone that is consciously making sexist and racist decisions. Heck, even people who are actually saying racist and sexist nonsense preface their nonsense by “I’m not a [insert a discrimination category], but…”

Why you shouldn’t defend it

People aren’t aware of their socially inherited prejudices because our society has this normalized to a point where gender* and racial stereotyping are something you experience naturally as part of this world. This isn’t actually your fault. It’s never one person’s fault. It’s just, there. In a lot of cases, subconscious prejudice just happens, whether you consider yourself someone who discriminates or not.

So the reason I have a problem with the defence of “the best person wins” *, is that this is based on normalized racism and sexism. The reason people want diversity, is not just because we want to thwart your experience and get mediocre quality, but to make employers aware that they’re not helping to improve the world we inherited.

Building up

Role models are also incredibly important when it comes to minorities. Not looking hard enough to employ in a diverse manner is a missed opportunity for minorities to grow to equal levels of this supposed greatness our non-diverse groups of people are praised with.

I would even argue to just stop defending these organisations that we’re trying to call out on diversity issues, simply because it’s actually their responsibility to get it right, not yours. But, hey, this is the Internet.

*) Read more about normalized sexism here
*) See how I didn’t write “may the best man win” there, go look at this as to why