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A Spoken Word Poet’s Call To “All the Little Black Girls With Big Names”

A Spoken Word Poet’s Call To “All the Little Black Girls With Big Names”

There are few things less irritating than having to spell your name out to people on a daily basis or having to tell people how to pronounce it. I've shortened my name and now introduce myself to people as “Sibby” due to the amount of times I had to tell strangers my name is not pronounced “Siob-han” and is not spelt “Shavorn”. But that's where my name's complexity ends, as although I have an Irish old-lady name and may have possibly been named after a member of Banarama, people do not judge me based simply off of my name.

Spoken word poet¬†Sha'Condria “iCon” Sibley on the other hand has been, because she has to “forever bear the shame of a ghetto ass name”. In her entry to the 2012 National Poetry Slam Championship she called out to all the little black girls with big names who have been pre-judged as dumb just because they happen to have what society has labelled a ghetto name. Sha'Condria makes an important point: that often these names actually have much deeper, meaningful origins, but even more importantly that a name does not make you, you rise and you make the name just as respected and known as all the everyday, boring names we hear all the time.

To All The Little Black Girls With Big Names | iCon The Artist

Featured photo credit: To All The Little Black Girls With Big Names | iCon The Artist via youtube.com

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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