Integration: ‘To value the act or instance of combining into an integral whole.’ 

Yes. It feels good to say: “I value respect, togetherness, curiosity and entrepreneurship.” To be part of a project about Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. To care about the environment and about female empowerment. To gather and write stories around these themes. It makes my heart sing.

But… then, at times, I wonder. These are ‘just’ words on paper. And they remain static words on paper if I don’t inject them into my conversations. If I don’t become a living example of what they mean.

And that might be, again, someone that’s learning how to act in alignment with her words.

I might not always say or do it right the first time. I might ask more questions than give answers. I might listen more than I say. But that is because I am listening without judgment; trying to see from someone’s else’s perspective. A view I might not have seen before. I am learning. Learning to act in alignment with my values.

It is normal to feel shaky, nervous, on edge – because this is new territory. It is also normal to feel excited and curious. These emotions show up when I’m learning something new. When I’m pushing that invisible border of my comfort zone.

Today, at VISTA college we sat down in front of the camera to have an open and honest conversation about safety. About topics such as homophobia, transgressive behaviour, social media... I felt so grateful to lead this conversation, to make sure everyone’s voice was heard. I felt utterly content, as you can see.

It makes me wonder about VISTA’s slogan ‘We see you’. About how it actually might mean: “We see all the different ways that you see.” It is more than being open-minded, it is being open-sighted, if that is even a word.

Thanks to the amazing skills of Koekoek Film the result will be a beautiful video that reminds us of, and shows us, the importance of communicating. Of not remaining silent with whatever it is that we see, hear and feel. Talking, as you will see, can create the safety we’re longing for.

Coming back to Integration: the video we recorded today, is more than a video. It is the ‘Integration’ of something important at VISTA college: our values. We are becoming conscious employees, and human beings, who live and work in alignment with our, and our organisation’s, values.
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