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Day 2 - JEDI Work & The Warrior Archetype

Tenneson Woolf and I are called into lots of spaces to do what we call JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) work. In these times lots of people are turning to DEI work to try to make sense of where we are and how we go it together now. My experience has been that as a whole we are still missing the boat. We are still having most of these conversations as if nobody is talking about it but that's not the case. Everybody is talking about it but most of us don't yet have the maturity or depth of relationship that these conversations require.

Often when in these conversations I think unconsciously we slip into the warrior archetype. The issue with this is at it's best we move into convincing energy, at it's worse we move toward total destruction of the other. We do this mostly unconscious and mostly because we aren't trained to be warriors. We mistake soldiering for warrioring. You see, soldiers are more like hired guns but warriors are fighting for a cause, they are standing for something not just against something. Of course we can be none of these, either one of these or we can be both.

I believe the warrior archetype has some wonderful tools for these conversations. I will list a couple below...

  1. Warriors understand that there is a cost to the journey: They know that you can't get something new without giving up something old. They know that the cost is often steep. They know that they can lose and still be victorious and they can win and still lose greatly. They know that the journey itself requires a cost.

  2. Have a deep love and respect for the person on the other side: Warriors know that the other person loves and cares about their cause just as much as the warrior does theirs.

  3. Warriors are willing to go in the mud and the dirt with you: Warriors understand that battles are messy, they require us to go places that we don't often go. They can require us to be brave and take on things that otherwise would seen unthinkable.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
~Sun Tzu

As I said above most of us aren't trained to be warriors so I see our job as preparing warriors not sending people into war. I trust warriors to know what battles are theirs to fight and which ones aren't.


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