Lifestyle Defining ourselves by what we do and the problem with conscious bias

Defining ourselves by what we do and the problem with conscious bias

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We are so often defined and labeled by what we do. In fact many of us who have lost our jobs no longer feel validated as for the longest time we have identified ourselves with what we do, not who we are.

Do you notice how often one meets someone new and after asking their names the next step is often to ascertain what it is they do for a living and then pigeonhole them accordingly in your mind based on their profession and very often it is also based on one’s ethnic background. Many of us have conscious bias.

A case in point is Enrique Camacho. Enrique Camacho was a colonel in the US Army which really is a big deal kind of job if you think about it. He worked for the most recognized names in defense and served at national agencies.

“Then I started Model Citizen Coffee Company and realized I need more Money! So between writing business plans and developing product lines, I drove an Uber and managed a 4.99999999 star rating -thank you Mr. 3 Star, blew-up my 5-star rating.”

Camacho spoke about his life changing experience as someone who is used to having people look up to him and literally salute him everywhere he goes. It was a huge change. Driving an Uber was a whole different ballgame.

“Here’s what I learned in the experience. Nobody cared that I was “Kind of a Big Deal”. I asked my Uber riders a lot of questions and empathized with: the guy who just caught his fiancé cheating on him; the single mom dealing with teens while going to her second job; the Women’s National Figure Skating champ working on her program for Worlds; and the PhD candidate returning to Haiti to improve his country.”

What he found was strangely enough as much as he knew their stories nobody cared to ask him about his.

“Funny thing is, only 3 out of 453 passengers I delivered ever asked about my story. Perhaps the 450 thought Enrique Camacho, was a middle aged immigrant supporting his family the best way he could, with a limited skill set and future.

“Truth bomb hit me, We’re only as a good as our last race. People don’t care what we’ve done. They’re interested in what we can do for them today and tomorrow. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a realization that we must continuously learn and grow so we don’t stagnate.”

Camacho said his experience really made him sit up and take notice of people around him and how we often treat people based on what they can do for us.

“My hope is that when we encounter Enrique Camacho the Uber driver, waiter, clerk, truck driver, cable guy or hammer wielder, we’ll engage them with the same curiosity we engage those we deem important. Be brave and enjoy our fellow man/woman’s story. It helps us develop new perspectives and appreciate others, which ultimately makes us all better.”

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