My Mom loved watching figure skating. And so we did too. Every winter. For those of you who don’t know, figure skating is a kind of dancing on ice which include jumps, twists, spins, and many other incredible moves. All while wearing a pair of razor sharp blades on your feet. It is performed to music in solo or in pairs. Every time I see it now, I can hear Mom’s ‘wow’s’ and see her mouth open wide in astonishment.
The music was always classical music and almost always without words. Weirdly, I never thought about this, it was the way things were. Until I came across this. A black man figure skating to completely different music. It was wonderful, exciting, joyful, fun, but different to anything I’d seen before. And yes, I could still picture my Mom with her mouth open wide, with squeals of ohhs and awes, and wows. Plus her hand grabbing whosever arm was beside her.
It struck me me how weird it was that I’d never seen something like it before. Why is wasn’t ‘allowed’ or ‘accepted’ in the Olympics or world championships.
But life is like this in some many areas. This is the way we do things around here. This is the way it always has been. And while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that way is right or the only possible way. The way things are done around here is one way of doing it. However, organisational culture, societal culture, takes it and makes it the Truth. It makes it right and every other way wrong.
Culture changes when people show us another way, another possibility. And no, when a different possibility is shown things don’t change immediately. However, what does happen is it makes others think that change is possible, perhaps even possible for me.
And it’s that seed of hope planted a thousand times over that creates change.
Thanks for sharing this. Have you listened to the podcast ‘You’re wrong about’? They debunk a lot of social misconceptions mainly from the 90s. There is a really good set of episodes about Tanya Harding and her experience as a figure skater in the 90s and how she was treated as a working class skater. And its a good laugh too!
Hope you guys are doing well.
I have not listened to that one, but will check it out! Thanks Dee!