October 2012: Stay In Your Lane!

[First in a series, to show my appreciation for New Day Slang]

Many markers show which decade, era, area, etc…you were reared or most influenced you. Nowadays it is hard to tell because of our advanced means of communication. One area that most impresses me when it comes to today’s youth or anyone a score younger than I: their slang. In the 80’s, my crew, we had cool words, like chill, butter, fly, etc…but our words were very uni-dimensional. Today’s slang is of metamorphic proportions.

For example: Stay in your lane! When spoken person to person or relates to a specific body, it works well as a replacement for the old time favorite: know (or stay in) your place. What differentiate this particular command are the questions it forces one to ask. How do we determine “lane”, particularly if we do not know what path we are trekking, or race we are running?

image by by Veggie Burglar flickr 22760723 N02 2496431818
In sprint-related track competitions, your lane is well-defined. So, if you believe that life is about the quick, the fast & the furious, then you are correct in that others must stay in their lane – whether it’s a dash or a relay. But, what if life is really long distance running, a marathon or a NASCAR event, which most times it resembles based on the volume of unresolved conflict around the world?

Unfortunately most of us are not professional drivers; so think of your journey in life as driving a bumper car in an amusement park. Your skill-level as to where you are, where you are going is about the same as a five-year old in a bumper car. So, make sure you are having fun.

The great thing about life is that it is not a race. We are literally sitting on a fireball in the middle of nowhere. Yes, we’re spinning and as time marches, we are getting closer to each other. During my lifetime, two items have made staying in one's lane pretty much impossible: music videos and the internet. Combining the two begets youtube!

If I find the concept of “stay in your lane” impossible in these times, why do I like the words so much? Well, every day, I walk in Manhattan and I am constantly getting bumped into, so I often find myself thinking or yelling: Stay in your lane!

This month, I bring you two friends who want to blur the lines and remove the concept of lanes when applied to groups.

A multi-talented, educator from my alma mater, I had the pleasure of attending his most recent play, Black & White. Like his Facebook page and see what he has coming up next:

A dynamic personality who has always blazed paths of inclusion, Darrell operates Butler Consulting Group. For now I would like to highlight the work he does when it comes to Diversity and Leadership training: Empowered Inclusion