What Do You Do? (Take 2)

postoffice boxesI’ve always hated the question, “What do you do?” So rarely could I fit into the little boxes of traditional jobs that I feared were the only acceptable answers.

And here I am in a month’s long quest to answer that very question for myself. At sixty, however, I am willing to create my own little boxes (or circles or triangles or blobs).

Today’s answer is that I am a Diversity Partnerologist. In other words, I am a specialist in the science or knowledge of forming sustainable partnerships across diversity. It is a field filled with experiments, stretching past the boundaries of good old American independence grounded in the values and perspective of Euro-American patriarchy. There are gems and wisdom to be found when everyone’s wisdom is heard as together we understand, define and envision ways to work together to attain common goals.

In the last year, I’ve been playing with different responses when someone asked what I did. Here are two of my favorites:

Big Topics Wrangler—I was born in Texas, after all. I like to “round up, herd and take charge of” conversations and actions around the drove of big topics that seem to roam—and sometimes stampede—freely today’s world.

Conversational Catalyst—I place myself in the middle of hot topic conversations where the chemistry of conversation has too long been reactive and divisive, in order to precipitate the possibility of transformation and healing—without being personally damaged in the process.

That’s me, for today anyway. What do you do?

Illustration by Khara Scott-Bey

Illustration by Khara Scott-Bey

I shouldn’t be surprised to discover when I came to post this blog that this is the second time I’ve written here of  this question that has haunted me most of my adult life. it is fascinating to see how it keeps moving, clarifying, deepening.

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