There are no easy solutions for conflicts of race, class, gender, societal roles, and economics. It’s only our individual work chipping away that will get us to a new place. It’s up to each of us to bring change.
A few years ago I gave a lecture at a medical school. My talk was followed by a panel of medical students and residents. One of the students related this story, and I was taken by the sheer number of overlapping layers of social conflict. I tracked the student down and she was kind enough to share her story in more detail and give me permission to write about it for the Lancet:
It’s always gratifying to tackle a problem in an essay and then work your way toward a grand solution over the course of 1500 words. Regretfully, this rarely happens! But even more so in a story about how we deal with conflicts of race, class, gender, societal roles, and economics. There is no easy solution and there never will be. It’s only our individual work chipping away that will get us to a new place. This is not, of course, to minimize the effects of major legal and political shifts that are critical to attaining equity. It’s just that those transformative leaps are beyond our reach when we are dealing with such conflicts in the moment. It’s really up to us as individuals to force the change.