Yesterday, I heard a great story from a friend of mine who shared with me and Debbie about the Red Hat Society.
The Red Hat Society is a group of women who are usually older than 50 years of age who get together for a fun time celebrating life together. It sounds like something a lot of women would really enjoy!
Our friend shared that the beginning of the society began with a poem called “Warning” by Jenny Joseph in which she warns others that when she gets older she will begin doing whatever she wants to do including wearing a purple dress and a red hat.
Our friend pointed out the irony of her situation when she was invited to one of these groups. The entire point of the poem was that as an older woman you should have the freedom to do whatever you want, but if you want to join the Red Hat Society you have to wear a purple dress and a red hat. Our friend didn’t want to dress like everyone else, she wanted to wear whatever she wanted.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think women should wear purple dresses and red hats whenever they want, and it makes sense that the Red Hat Society involves women wearing red hats.
After hearing the story, however, I could not help but be reminded that we seem to be drawn towards conformity. In our businesses, churches, and in our lives – we tend to move towards getting others to look, act, dress, or be the same. What is much more difficult, yet even more amazing would be to draw out the uniqueness in each other.
How can we better celebrate uniqueness among those with whom you work or serve?
At Mosaic we have used assessments such as the MBTI, Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, and the Birkman Method along with conversations about people’s passions and gifts.
What are some other ways to help people discover their uniqueness?
Maybe there needs to be a Crazy Hat Society – wear any color you want! 🙂