Don't forget the outsiders

The outsiders never complain. Or if they do, you don't hear it.

It's relatively easy to make insiders happy. They'll tell you what to do. They'll give you applause when you please them and poke you when you don't. Pay attention to them and you might experience comfort and peace, the silence of squeaky wheels greased.

I know this because I'm often an insider. My gender and skin color and background and profession and education and experience give me access to huge megaphones and tremendous influence in my small worlds. I've seen leaders smile when I tell them they hit the ball out of the park. I try my best to encourage frequently and well, to do this out of love. But this gives me influence.

The outsiders have little influence. I know this because I often feel like an outsider. My blend of ethnicity and frequent hopping around, my strange interests and stranger training ... these often leave me on the outside looking in. Though my above-mentioned advantages give me a megaphone, I'm often standing shoulder-to-shoulder with people who just don't feel heard. I'm not in their shoes, but I can see their laces.

What will you do with your access, if you get it? Will you remember those on the outside? Will you speak up for them? Will you find ways to amplify their voices so they can speak for themselves?

Or will you do something else?

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