What You Don’t See

You see a group of “white” people

Doing what white people do

According to your beliefs and experiences.

I see John, who lost his father and his job on the same day.

I see Jane, who eats and shops to soothe her self-hatred.

You see a group of “black” people

Doing what black people do

According to your beliefs and limited experiences.

I see Martin, who supports his ill mother with his professional degree.

I see Tamara, who honors God with her business and her life.

You see a group of “Hispanic” people

Doing what Hispanic people supposedly do

According to your beliefs and experiences.

I see Juan, who started a business so he and his family members would have good work.

I see Lynette, who works in a grocery store and cleans homes while she goes to school.

You see a group of “Asian” people

Doing what Asian people do

According to your adopted beliefs and lack of experience.

I see Larry, who balances tradition with innovation as best he can.

I see Sue, who is now too American to be fully accepted by her family.

You don’t see how much they are like you,

Just trying to make the most of what they have available to them

And to leave the world a bit better,

Whether for their families,

Their communities,

Or something bigger.

You don’t see their pain and loss.

Maybe it’s too familiar.

Maybe you need to believe they are inferior

So you don’t have to be responsible

For your mistakes and prejudices.

You can hide behind them,

But you will miss the joy of connecting,



And leaving a new legacy.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, mediator, and conflict resolution coach based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick, where she and her team of employees, vendors, and strategic partners deconstruct conflict and re-create it as opportunity, using a holistic, integrative approach. Nance resolves conflict and cultivates leaders, using her EEOC training, as well as her proprietary Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, which is described in more detail in her first book, DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master. She is also an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (2013 Pitch Competition finalist).