How many times a week do you enter a room where there are already people talking? A lot I bet. Here are three possible scenarios for your entrance. First, everyone drops what they are doing, jumps up, hugs you and tells you how glad they are to see you, That’s a keeper—rare, but a keeper. Second, everyone pretty much appears to keep on doing what they were doing, There’s an occasional, “hi, how’s it going?” This one happens all the time and everyone settles into a nice comfortable silence. Third, when the door opens to announce your arrival, a lively conversation comes to a screeching halt. You can hear the proverbial pin drop and you have the distinct impression that you might have been the subject of the now ended conversation. All of us have found ourselves in each of these situations. The first is great but almost never happens. The second is business as usual and we probably don’t even take note of it. The third brings a basic reaction of attack, flee and what’s wrong with me? I’m bringing this up, because this third reaction and a person’s reactions to it happen every day and are the bases for prejudice, racism and misunderstanding in our society. If we feel that we are being shunned for no reason, we will either strike back or decide we deserve the attack and crawl into a shell. That situation has happened to all of us sometimes, but imagine that it happens to you every day because of the color of your skin, your gender, your age, the clothes you wear or the amount of money you have. That turns into a lot of striking out or a lot of self blame. The point is, we should never be part of a room that is unwelcoming to anyone who enters it. If we are, maybe we need to get out of that room or change the way it feels.