When I was a new lawyer, I was blessed to be mentored by several more experienced attorneys. While this was a difficult and challenging time for me, it was also very exciting because I was finally getting to do what I had always wanted to do. One of my mentors was a guy named Mike. If I had a question, I could always grab Mike* and discuss the issue quickly in the corner of the courthouse or the attorney room. Mike had gorgeous silver hair and a wonderful spirit. I always greeted him with a hug and a kiss.
After I worked for more than a decade in courtrooms all over Los Angeles, I finally rose to the level of a professional peer with him. Then one day I learned Mike was transitioning and would in future forever be known as Mia*. Intellectually, it didn’t phase me. Afterall, I am an educated woman, liberal and I live in a progressive urban environment. But, the first time I ran into Mia in court I was awkward and unsure of myself. I didn’t know what to do.
It was then that I learned to meet people on a heart level. I remembered that we are all just spirits wearing these human suits. Character and honor are what matters is not our ethnic, racial, cultural or gender identity. Mia’s character had not changed. I reminded myself of the truth, and I quickly recovered. Mia’s gender is not an issue for me or anyone in the Los Angeles professional legal community, and we learned an essential life lesson. It’s unfortunate that we don’t often stop to meet each other at the heart level, but we should.
Today I invite you to consider the people in your life on a heart level. What lessons can you learn from beyond the constriction of their human suit?
To learn more about Mia go to miayamoto.com
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