Go and Do

As the world is continually made smaller through social media, I find some of us are lulled into thinking we “know” people and things because we read a post about it. Or that we are somehow worldly because we have a few friends in international places. My challenge for you is to go further in 2017. Do not hide in your own neighborhoods, with your own friends. I can think of no more important message than this: go places, and do things.

This is the way the world can be made safer – this is how we begin to dismantle hate and bias. No class or workshop will fully teach you how to value others – only your relationship with others can do that. Despite what you may hear from the highest political leaders in our land, the path to peace and happiness is through embracing differences, not hiding from them or sending them away. Here are some tips to get started and get the most out of your “going and doing”:

  1. Locate a place that is “culturally” different from you (e.g., another part of town, another city/state/country, a place of worship where no one talks or looks like you, etc.). Notice these don’t require a lot of money to do this. Of course maybe you do have resources to spare and do want to travel across the world – that is good too.
  2. Before you go, read something (objective/academic) about where you are going. This will help you a great deal in appreciating the “going and doing.” This means you look outside of the popular news media to gain understanding.
  3. Tell people about it! You never know who may want to help you get there, go with you, or have experience in that culture. Share what your going and doing goals are so we can support you!
  4. Meet someone while there and exchange information with them. Follow up with them on a regular basis. Wanna know how to lead and follow in diverse environments? Build relationships with people different from yourself – you’ll be forever changed:)
  5. Write about it. Don’t let the feelings, the ah-ha’s, the anxieties escape you. John Maxwell said that reflection is like the crock pot of the mind – let the thoughts simmer until they are ready. You have to capture those moments if you are ever to make meaning of them.

Now share this with people you care about, and set out to do it!

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Political Discourse The Right Way

Sometimes I come across a regular, common sense post on social media that is profound because of it’s simplicity. This is one such post – that is pasted below in its entirety – from one of my former students at the University of Louisville. Thank you Tyler (AKA Fish) – for schooling us on how it should be done. And let me add that this process doesn’t have to be laborious, it just takes longer than the few seconds it takes most people to word vomit on their page. Don’t be lulled by the thought that you have to respond immediately to anything; you don’t! Think before you speak, even when you’re not speaking…

Think Before You SpeakFrom Tyler Lance Walker Gill on Facebook:

“This is my advice for everyone when it comes to getting involved in political discourse, which I believe we all should do: The next time you are tempted to watch the “news”, don’t. Instead, go turn on C-Span (1 or 2). You’ll notice the extremely boring nature of this programming. You’ll also get to hear all the bullshit without the “media” filter, straight from the horses’ mouths. This, my friends, is politics. Beware: this is no place to find truth or facts of any kind. After you’ve gone straight to the source, do your best to find a good secondary source or two – just be careful, and pay attention to where their money comes from; all it takes is a google search to find out whether or not a source should be trusted. Now, see if you can find a good study reinforcing what you heard from our representatives. Find something that uses math and numbers to reinforce findings. Politics should not really be entertaining, and this method of ingesting information is not fun. It’s actually a lot more like homework. But, you have to stop trying to find something that sounds good to you and reinforces your opinions, and go searching for some facts. This is the only way to really get involved in the discussion, and I promise, you’ll feel empowered by information, and you’ll find yourself caring a lot more about whatever issues you find most important. When we all know the facts, we can stop wasting our time arguing over our opinions – two very different things. Then maybe, if we’re lucky, we can more easily hold our representatives accountable.”

Please, share this with someone that may need it!

Dr. Anthony