Lessons Learned

I learned some important lessons through recent personal experiences. I learned that no matter how much I know about consent, or how much I try to keep becoming more aware and inclusive of diversity, or how much I try to handle well any power that I might have…that as the world changes, I might not change fast enough along with it. What used to be OK in our community may not be OK anymore. What used to be OK with a friend might not still be OK. I should follow the same consent protocol with everyone, that I would follow with a stranger. I did not do that. I made a mistake, feel bad about it, and sincerely apologize. As much as I take it very seriously, that some people view me as an example of model behavior, and as much as I try to always do the right thing, sometimes I don’t. I know a lot, and yet, I still make mistakes. When I make mistakes, I take responsibility for that, apologize, learn and change, I now realize that I have to be more respectful. It is essential to keep reminding myself of what I know and to try to be better. I am reminding myself that consent is not permanent. I am reminding myself that I need to be extra thoughtful when interacting with people who are marginalized by society. I am reminding myself that being a medium fish in a small pond (or just being in a dominant role) means that even if I think someone sees me as their equal...I should always act as if they might feel that I am more powerful than they are. I hope that by me sharing these lessons publicly, that others might learn from my mistakes. I know that I have and that I will change my behavior.

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