Through Someone Else’s Eyes (#715)
How would it change our conversations and perceptions if we could see our circumstances through someone else's eyes? Our default for processing life is incredibly self-centric— thinking our way of looking at things is the only way to look at things. Arnita Taylor, one of Wayne's coauthors for A Language of Healing for a Polarized Nation once again joins Wayne for a conversation about the gift of being able to look at life and circumstances through the eyes of another person and getting a sense of what they are seeing and feeling. If we can play with that possibility, how much would it make us more compassionate and change the world we live in.
A Language of Healing
Previous Podcasts with Arnita
If You Can Help Us in Kenya
Wayne and Arnita,
Once again after listening to the podcast last night I am left inspired and filled with regret. I was raised in an environment that lived by the false narrative of being “color blind”. So many things have come up for me since hearing your first podcast together. I never would have come close to identifying myself as racist in the past, but sadly that is not true. I base much of that statement what I have failed to do.
I was immediately taken by your picture, Arnita above this podcast. The light in your eyes. I remembered my years in HS. It was an all girls academy with about 100 students in my freshman class. There was one black student. In the four years I attended that HS I did not reach out to her once. Regrettably I lacked the curiosity to reach out to her. I don’t even know her name. I saw her in your picture. I carried sadness and regret as I walked this morning. There are many attachments to this sorrow, far too many to name. All of the many missed opportunities over what I have failed to do. It may sound strange but even though the sorrow is heart wrenching I see that as a good thing. I wrestled with the content of your conversation throughout the night as past memories came to mind.
Since hearing the podcasts there have been a few opportunities that have come up to engage in conversations that quite honestly have been pretty uncomfortable as I am getting more honest with myself. I do find my knowledge, awareness and sensitivity increasing, yet I know I have a long way to go.
Thank you both for another enlightening podcast. I am very grateful.
Much love to you both..and to Bob!
Pat, thank you for sharing your honest words and discovery. Can’t we all look back at our lives and see opportunities missed because of the environment we all grew up in? It’s important to take note of it. It’s great to have some time of sorrow and regret. And it will be great to channel all that forward in looking for ways to look at my world differently and see what opportunities God might give me today to initiate conversations and connections with people different than me. Love this!
I so appreciate your vulnerability about your response to this podcast. I am so honored to be a part of your personal reflection. I hope the regret you feel will be short lived. There is no shame in admitting if we could do some things over we all would. And we would do them differently. It is never too late to start relating to different people. You will find that opportunities will present themselves frequently, especially now. Thanks for listening and your response. My heart is full.
I love that Wayne confesses how knowing Arnita has changed him. I LOVE that. How has knowing Wayne changed Arnita? At the risk of sounding like a white ingnoramus I feel like the focus is always on white people needing to change, wake up, be aware, and I agree!!! But, the lack of self awareness by black folks is absolutely taboo to talk about. Also, in this culture, my poor neighborhood and mixed race community, in which SO many white people live, it would impossible for me to not interact with black folks- to include police, doctors, grocery store employees, city employees etc… This stereotype of white people is just as tired the black stereotypes. I think that white guilt and the constant pummeling in every damn movie, commercial, and p.c. culture narrative is getting us nowhere. Dare I say that pc pressure and blaming is only widening the divide. A soft answer turns away wrath. The liberal bent of this podcast comes out in a lot of ways I never saw before this dialogue. The issue with BLM is nuanced and not necessarily black and white. MLK may have had legitimate issues with some involved in BLM which are frightening. The means does not justify the end always and we need to think critically on BOTH sides of this issue. I believe black people truly have a special powerful place and calling. We all would do well to educate ourselves and be responsible for what our biases are. In particular the democratic party’s attack on black men is an atrocity, thank you bill clinton for giving us legislation and laws for imprisoning 1 out of 3 black men. It is a travesty of justice. I so appreciate this podcast and this conversation and even though I am challenged by it, I believe it causes me to grow. Thank you both.
All of us truly need to see through the eyes of others. Clearly this is what Jesus wants us to do. Agape love is impossible, in my opinion, without seeing people from their point of view.
But we should also see our selves as others see us, both good and bad.
I think it is hurtful to us that are called “white” to accept that nomenclature. Consider other ethnic nomenclature for themselves: African American, Native American, Asian American, Latin Americans. What does white mean? It says nothing about who we are. It is a blank slate with no history. Yet we have a history, and a profoundly good history mixed with an evil history. We are European Americans, not just “whites”. This matters because Europe for a thousand years had been the bastion of Christianity. And this is the memory that is trying to be erased from our own minds.
African Americans have a similar mixed history, too. In Africa, it was other African tribes sold competing tribes into slavery with European and Jewish slave traders. Despite the atrocity of slavery those tribes were sold into, in America, many African Americans embraced faith in Christ, that would not have happened if they remained in their shaman religion of satanism.
Let us see the whole picture, and remember our European roots which, while filled with evil history was also filled with good history.
A phrase came to mind, as you talked about how maybe black achievement month isn’t for everyone or even your new book may not be for everyone, that relates from my line of work. “Don’t yuck someone else’s yum.” Just because it may not interest you does not mean you should voice that and tear down someone else’s delight in it. Love the podcast for the past 10 years! Thanks for all you guys do and voice! Ang