Mike A. Bryan, Staff Writer
A truck with a mobile, interactive multimedia exhibit arrived at the Recreation and Wellness Center’s parking lot C on March 6, ready to open students’ minds and give away some tasty cupcakes and T-shirts as well.
The exhibit was brought to campus by Express Scripts in conjunction with CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, an organization made up of over 350 CEOs from various industries dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. CEO Action signatories support a document designed by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders from Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, the Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New York Life, P&G and PwC. Express Scripts is also a signatory and participated in the event with human resources representatives ready to talk about internships with interested students.
Students braved the 40-degree temperatures and winds up to 20 miles-per-hour to line up outside the interactive exhibit, which featured a short video and six-question quiz. Both the video and quiz dealt with the idea of “blind spots,” a sociological phenomenon that involves making judgments about others based on cognitive shortcuts derived from past experiences.
The idea of blind spots is that everyone makes snap judgments and has misconceptions about others, and these cloud one’s ability to communicate and interact with those people. The phenomenon is evolutionary and cannot be avoided. The exhibit was all about being mindful of these tendencies in order to better ourselves as humans. In other words, all of our perceptions are constantly, subconsciously clouding our ability to judge and interact with others.
A famous philosopher, Ram Dass, puts it another way in a beautiful quote about trees: “When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You just appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” If we can all practice turning people into trees more, then we can reduce our blind spots.
Everyone suffers from “blind spots,” in work, classes, and even dating and friendships. This touring exhibit addressed being mindful of what is going on beneath the surface of everyone’s minds, in the subconscious. The unavoidable preconceptions that exist there are a part of the fabric of society, based on simple evolution, but one can become mindful of such tendencies and attempt to be a less judgmental person. The Blind Spots exhibit stressed the importance of mindfulness – always striving for improvement.
A campus-wide email the day before announced that Express Scripts will be offering up to 50 internships at the event. The internship program is 12 weeks long and begins the third week of May. During the internship, there will be the opportunity to meet with Express Scripts executives, including Tim Wentworth, and they will be exposed to all aspects of the business. Students were asked to bring their resumes to the Nosh of the Millennium Student Center after going through the event in parking lot C.