To provide insights from our community here at Intact, we invited some of our employees to share their Black History Month stories. Today, get to know Chris Arnold from our IT team.
Tell us about a moment in black history that influenced or shaped your career?
This moment isn’t a famous black history moment, but it is a black history moment in my life. When I was a teenager approaching college, my father, who was never short on life lessons, sat me down for another talk. He explained that as you go through life, there will be individuals that will target you without you knowing. People who will be kind to your face but malicious when you turn you back and there isn’t anything you can do about it. The only thing you can do is have a correct moral compass. If you are leading from a genuine place in your heart and with love, nobody can tear you down.
This is the guiding principle of my life still to this day. The conversation wasn’t around being black; it was about being a good human and having character. When I look back and sum up those who have shaped the history for African Americans, I would say that’s what it’s all about. You, as an individual, regardless of race or ethnicity, at the end of the day, just be a good human being.
Favorite Quote or Mantra?
“Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes” – I love this quote because this is my reminder that I’m in control of the changes I want to see. If I don’t like the way something is going, it’s up for me to change either my mentality or offer up suggestions on how to do it differently. I use this this mantra within my workspace but also when it comes to my fitness and running goals as well. Doing the same thing every day will only get you so far. As you set new goals you also need to change the behaviors to align with the new goals.
Why do you think celebrating Black History Month is important?
Today we are a community that is filled with instant gratification loops and fixated on our digital social connections. At times we can forget how we were afforded today’s luxuries and the individuals who fought for change. By celebrating Black History Month, it’s an opportunity to spotlight those who stepped out against the norm and challenged the rules and regulations that were in place. It also provides us as parents an opportunity to have conversations with our children about our history regardless of our race or ethnicity.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by any individual that is dedicated to honing their craft. The relentless pursuit of improvement no matter the outcome. Win or lose, they are always finding the small things to do better next time. Any person who is looking to become 1% better each day, is a person that inspires me to do the same.
If you could have a conversation with a civil rights activist, who would it be and why?
I would love to sit down with Booker T Washington. It’s amazing to think that he was born into slavery and then several years later he was helping to create the Tuskegee Institute. I couldn’t even imagine the adversity he had to go through in his life. To hear the stories and different chapters of his life would be fascinating.