Updated: Sep 4, 2020

Yesterday I watched a movie called Miracles from Heaven. To my surprise, the story took place not far from me. It's about a girl who suffered a rare disease but was fully cured after her near-death experience. The mother who had lost her faith throughout the journey later realized miracles were everywhere. And in her belief, miracles were God.

What touched me the most is that as the mother talked about the miracles at the end of the film, flashbacks of various

encounters appeared one after another. As I watched the movie, I thought to myself, aww, at each flashback. Not even I realized these were miracles. No spoil alert if you haven't seen the movie. You can catch it on IMDb.

A dream-come-true opportunity took an unexpected turn and came to a halt in the past month or so. What meant to be a few days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. There was nothing any of us could've done to expedite the process.

My initial cry out was Why? Just why?

All of a sudden, I have all the time I never had before. Between panic and go with the flow, I went with the latter. By now, almost 50, I have learned to let go of the things I have no control of.

Throughout what appeared to be the wait time, I wrote more posts for this blog. I took a course on Coursera on Social Psychology. Absolutely fascinating. I was able to drive my son to and from the doctor's when he had minor surgery. I also had the time I did not use to have to be involved with a movement called the Ordinary Angels. Similar to our everyday miracles. That is not it. After so many years, I was finally able to pick up drawing pencils and complete a sketch of my dear mother!

These are my miracles (and more) during what could've been a depressing, self-pity circumstance. As the tide turns to stay; we resume living in our dream and doing our dream work next week, I can say that I am fully refreshed from this much-needed break.

The tide has turned to stay, for the universe has the right of way. -The Magic Path of Intuition

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

One of my favorite habits in Franklin Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People being the 5th habit: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Oftentimes our human brain starts drafting the response before we hear the entire story. Even though we would love for others to give us the time to get our points across, we often fail to offer the same courtesy to others. In the past, I would find myself in a scenario where the other person starts talking at the same time as I do, and vice versa. Does that sound familiar to you?

When we are quick to respond, we allow our unconscious bias to pilot the response.

unconscious bias: a prejudiced judgment either in favor of or against a thing, group, or a person.

Sometimes I feel it is difficult to draw the line between bias and preferences. I experienced it firsthand yesterday.

It started when I expressed my preference disfavor the opportunity to report to millennial. In my statement, I emphasized that I favor and have always enjoyed working with millennial. However, having to report to one is different. Thus the difference between working with and working for.

The type of leadership I admire combines not only with the solid hard skills, but mostly soft skills collected from our everyday life. Just like the older generation has its disadvantage when it comes to knowledge in today's technology, the younger generation has its own downside. Their disadvantage being having less life experience compared to the older generation.

I have worked with leaders whom I consider as my lifelong mentors. I have worked with leaders whom I never want to see again and wish they would burn in hell. Gathering all that experience, I established my preference for selecting an ideal employer:

  • the company value reflects all c-level personal value

  • the company fosters transparency

My preference for an ideal leader (whom I report to directly):

  • worked his/her way up throughout career journey

  • a lifelong learner

  • (when possible and applicable) diverse friends on Facebook

I will elaborate on both lists in a separate post. For now, let's get back to the experience I encountered.

Once I expressed my preference for disfavoring to report to millennial, the unconscious bias was taped to my forehead. The immediate responses were

"You're painting them with the same brush."

"I am dumbfounded you would even think this way when you come across as a nice person."

I am fully aware there is no justification for what appeared to be an unfair judgment the second my preference is being labeled as the unconscious bias. I did not feel the need to further defend myself as the people who made these comments did not intend to first understand why I said what I said.

So here are my reasons why working for millennial would not be my first choice:

  • the ability to identify hidden talents

  • the maturity in offering objective and constructive criticism

  • the ability to nurture the team (beyond fully stacked snack and Happy Hours)

  • the ability to provide or recommend promotions and not allowing nepotism being in the way

Granted, some of the baby boomers fail to possess the ability and maturity mentioned above. None of the people who rushed

in to reply to my preference asked why I felt that way. The truth is I have had worked for millennials before. Twice. Similar to being in a toxic relationship, my workplace drama led to sleep deprivation. Not to mention how it affected my mental wellness. It's a simple been there, done that scenario. Do I want to risk again by giving the benefit of the doubt? No, I do not.

We can see people are quick to argue and cannot be bothered to first understand the entire story on social media these days. Like Franklin Covey's quote: "People do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." Taking a minute or so to fully understand the situation could avoid heated arguments, counter-productive meetings (workplace), misunderstanding, and, most of all, hurting people's feelings unintentionally.

With that said, should any millennial demonstrated the four skills above, would I reconsider my choice? Abso-tootly, I will.

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

This morning I came across multiple posts in regards to a trombonist and her racist comments on social media. While I do not condone any of her opinions, one particular post caught my attention and made my heart ached.

The person who shared multiple screenshots of this trombonist's social posts voiced his opinion--that this musician should not be involved in the music world, let alone being an educator. One of his social media friends, let's call him Innocent for the sake of confusion, chimed in, and NOT to this trombonist defense, but merely reminding all not to lose our compassion amongst hate comments. Innocent was then being scolded message after message; from the person who shared the post as well as his other social media friends.

Innocent's intention came from compassion (and compassion does not mean condoning). The intent of his very first comment best described in 1 John 4:20. He was trying to remind us not to lose faith in humanity, even when this person is extremely racist, as her fellow musicians or colleagues, perhaps we should try to influence her before making her lose her job.

In social psychology, we once watched a video of a magician performing card tricks. Like any other magic shows, we were all in awe of his trick, and no one noticed he and his assistant both changed their tops and the backdrop. This is called Social Blindness when people see what they focus on seeing without paying attention to other crucial factors within the same environment, which perfectly described the incident I mentioned above. In this case, all the ones who rebuked Innocent misjudged his true intention because they were so focused on the anger towards the trombonist.

Let's pause for a second.

What about discrimination? Discrimination is acting on one of the thoughts of racist and sexist. A less-severe discriminatory behavior is called favoritism. Hence, racism, discrimination, and nepotism might be in different compartments but, truth be told, they all share the same lid sealed on top.

As a parent in the same school district this social post owner is from, I have witnessed discrimination, favoritism, and prejudice demonstrated within the music programs, sports, and other activities. So do we expose such behavior on social media and shame the teacher with no mercy? Heck, today, the trombone player racist comments geared toward a specific race in general. But when you practice discrimination or nepotism, you are hurting the person DIRECTLY. Believe you me, the pain these students go through is no different from facing racism. The way you devalued their worth isn't any easier to heal than the people who deal with racism.

Public shaming through social media isn't advocacy, and by all means, let's not mislead our students with such a mindset. There are better and proper ways.

Be a role model.

Update: the entire post was removed by the afternoon. Thank goodness.