Updated: Jun 5
Dictionary.com says that Rose-colored glasses allude to a cheerful or optimistic view of things, usually WITHOUT a valid basis. Try thinking of one of the most unpleasant experiences you’ve had and not being able to find anything positive in it. Then, trying to make up something positive about that experience anyway. I’m not even going to try and plant anything in your mind with a story of my own. You know what your lived experiences have been. And I’m sure you can think of something in your life that you might have tried to hold an optimistic view about without a valid basis for it. Other than the fact that you’re still here to tell the story.
Finally, Urban Dictionary explains the meaning of the term rose-colored glasses as NOT wanting to talk about something because it might upset you or somebody else. I found this definition the most thought-provoking and relevant, especially considering the work I do in the Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging space. Let’s examine this definition through a couple of different lenses that aren’t rose-colored.
What immediately came to mind for me was the fact that many people are under the impression that diversity conversations are difficult and for that reason, they choose not to engage in diversity conversations because it might upset them or somebody else.
The question I have is, what’s to be upset about? Diversity conversations don’t have to be difficult, but they are without a doubt different for many of us. Diversity conversations don’t have to be hard, but we must acknowledge that they are complex. And complexity requires humility to admit it when we don’t know what we don’t know, and a willingness to have our awareness raised so that we CAN know what we NEED to know.