‘One Love’ (one life)

It has taken me a while to write on the subject of #blacklivesmatter and the tragic death of George Floyd. I am not going to lie – I went through a rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety about what was the ‘right’ thing to say and do. I was appalled for sure- after all, I am a white person who could not relate to what or why that happened- but I absolutely felt pain. I wanted to do ‘something’ but I did not have any lived experience to speak of and whilst I’d been on a journey for some time to try and ‘discover’ what I needed to know – that was a very different world from talking publicly about it.

Why that incident – more than any other – affected me to take action I will never know. I am 43, I have known racism has existed for as long as I can remember.

It did however seem to bring about a marked shift at the same time to a lot of people in my position. I can only say the world had simply had enough – and for being so late to the table – I can only apologise profoundly but I have a duty now to keep up the momentum.

I moved however quickly from what can I ‘say’ to what I can do. I called out people who I had regarded as ‘friends’ because their views I found out were different from mine; I became much more vocal about things at work (even for me!) and the more I did this – the braver I became. I am lucky I have some amazing work colleagues who are happy to support and tolerate me learning. One of them said ‘ be brave, not perfect’ and that has stuck with me.

Then I was reminded by one of my favourite songs by U2 ‘One’ (well I prefer the Mary J Blige version) and these words:

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should

~ ‘One’ U2/Mary J Blige

So, I have a question – if you have children, nieces, nephews, friends with children etc…what world do you want them to grow up in?

I now have an ask – if you want the world to look different – what role will you play?

Vivian Acquah has put together Amplify DEI, an amazing summit and I am joining her with over 60 speakers to help change the world one voice at a time – I want to be able to say to my son that I did this for his generation and she has the same message. Please show your support by sharing #amplifyDEI; either liking, retweeting, or sharing this article on your social networks and do think about hearing from some amazing international speakers about equality, diversity, and inclusion and what role you can play to bring about one love.


Michelle Harte
Michelle Harte
Michelle Harte is the Founder of HREsQue, an organisation committed to bringing the best out of people at work. She is both MBA and FCIPD qualified and has over 20 years experience in both HR and OD. Along with undertaking largely culture change assignments Michelle regularly blogs and interviews thought leaders from across the leadership space as a committed networker to help build and share ideas in the collaborative space.

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  1. I saw this on LinkedIn, but decided to put my comments here. I have been on a similar journey, and your commentary resonates with me. In terms of what I want to leave my son…..someone on LinkedIn said “a safe world.” I’ve thought about that but that would not be my response. My first thought was “a challenging world” because it is through challenge that we grow. Then I chuckle to myself and say, “but not too challenging.”

    The question about what we want our world to be is a metaphor for today, I think. Everyone has their own idea and the ideas are as different as we are. But individual ideas won’t our world make. It’s going to take more. I see you are an OD practitioner, as am I, so I’ll use the word “dialogue.” We need dialogue. Thanks for starting the dialogue. The more we talk, the more we may realize we aren’t all that far apart…

    • Thanks Carol for your response, I agree dialogue and lots of it which will mean overcoming feeling uncomfortable which I admit I can find difficult. I am so frightened of getting it wrong! However I tell myself if my intention is positive and I stick to my purpose it will be ok. Hope the dialogue is going well for you and i’d love it if you help promote this conference for Vivian Acquah