I do believe that uncertainty is a given and that there are some phenomena we can only but scratch our heads in wonder "how did that happen" or "what made this or that occur?". I have lived UK all my life and as one can imagine growing up in a time when it was common for me to see signs in various business windows "No dogs, No blacks No Irish" was a degrading and dehumanising experience. Much in the way of explicit notices like these are a thing of the past, however, racisim still exists and has the potential to perpetuate the 'status quo' unless the individual who faces such inqualities has the 'agency to transcend' that which is embedded in society.
We can change the world one man or woman at a time. For me this means changing myself first which, begins with the Ancient Greek aphorism 'Know thyself"
As therapist self-awareness is (I believe) of the utmost importance because we, like every other human being carry within us 'unconscious' or 'bias' conditionings that if left unchecked can continue to perpetuate and reinforce the status quo. Interestingly there are very few institutions that are exempt. I found this to be the case when studying to become a therapist and had to navigate and make sense of the culture within Higher Education whilst coming to terms with what I now believe (for now) will not change in my life time.
However, to give up is to accept the status quo.
Martin Luther King Jr said...
"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the birght day break of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word"
So, how can we begin this process of transformaton and/or transcendence?
"...transcedance is the becoming more and when we speak of this more clearly we do not mean a quantitative more but a qualitative more, a deeping more, enhancing and enriching of life, or if one prefers a fuller, truer humanising of life" (Macquarrie)
I think as therapist if we are courageous enough to be this "more", to really engage in 'dialogue' about such issues as it relates to us then we are, I assert, in a better positon to change the world one man or woman at a time. I also beleive we have a social duty to do so, starting with ourselves and the many diverse human beings we will encounter along our journey.
By Derek Mckenzie MBACP, PG Cert, BA Hons, FdA .