UAC 166 | Political Issues

 

With the presidential elections fast approaching, the political issues that polarize the American people are once more at the core of many conversations. In this divisive atmosphere, it becomes all the more important for us to shift the conversation into how we can work our way around these polarizing issues and achieve unity. Why is diversity of thought important? Why is empathy critical? How do we get over our tendency to label and classify people according to their stances in specific issues? In this episode, Thane Marcus Ringler and his wife, Evan Ryan Ringler take a moment to sit down for a couch conversation to tackle this sensitive topic.

Listen to the podcast here:

Couch Conversations with Evan Ryan Ringler: On Politics And Our Current Cultural Moment

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We are sitting here on the couch in our usual spot. What’s going on, Ev?

Thanks for having me.

It’s my honor and privilege. We’re sipping on some steam, which is the neighborhood espresso bar. We got a little Americano here. What are you drinking?

Spicy chai oat milk. I need to look into how much caffeine is in here. I don’t drink a lot.

Inaction doesn’t lead to more unity. Click To Tweet

It’s a black tea. I know that. Black tea is one of the lower amounts of caffeine. Green tea has more caffeine from what I’ve heard.

I don’t feel the jittery after.

The fall season is upon us. It’s been getting a little cooler here in Denver, which has been fun. The leaves are starting to turn. I’ve missed fall. I haven’t had a good fall in a while. Living in California, you don’t get the four seasons. You just get one with some slight changes in temperature, but I missed the fall colors, the changing and the brisk air. It’s something special about it.

It’s my favorite. I think maybe coming from Kansas so that was why. Kansas has some beautiful falls.

What is it about the fall season that fills you with glee?

I liked the smells. Some of my sweetest memories with my friends, I feel like we’re in the fall like grabbing coffee before high school or football games. Anticipating holidays and time together, also the crispness of the air and all the cliché things.

There are great memories. Even growing up, I remember back in the day driving on fall evenings and playing music with the windows open. The atmosphere and the air is so fresh and nice. You hit the nail on the head with the holidays coming up and all the cool memories. It is the anticipation of that, which is sweet. With fall and with 2020, we are approaching very quickly one of the most loaded, divided and tense elections we’ve ever experienced in our lifetime. With that approaching, we both thought that this couch conversation could be on politics. It’s this side versus that side. It’s us versus them.

UAC 166 | Political Issues

Political Issues: If we all think the same, it would take away the depth and beauty of our own experiences.

 

I want to have a disclaimer of, I don’t know that much and also, I can speak from my experience and what I do now.

What we want to lead with too is similar to what George Towers said in his interview was that, “I may be wrong on this. Give me permission to be wrong.” Over the last couple of years, I’ve changed my mind. That’s part of growth. I know that my mind will change and I will do things differently in the years ahead, in different ways, in big ways or small ways. I don’t know but I can guarantee you that my perspectives will shift and change the older I grow or the different seasons I’m in or the more experiences I have and that’s a good thing.

It’s a part of being a healthy human, of growing. We want to make that caveat disclaimer and to say that we’re having a couch conversation. Our goal is to try and provide some helpful perspectives to help us all think through this better. It’s important to always say the goal and it is how we can be more unified and see each other more as human beings. It means the two things I always love saying. You’re creating the image of God, divine worth and value that no one can take away no matter what you look like, where you live and what you do.

The second is being centered. We’re all fallen. No one’s perfect. We all mess up. We all make mistakes and because of that reality, we can see every single human being the same as us. It gives us the ability though it’s hard and daily, it’s a battle. The goal of this conversation is to better see each other as humans and to hopefully have some inkling of more unity. We’re going to go through where we are, what we’ve seen and our thoughts on what’s hurtful and what’s helpful. Now, where we are. I think it’s heightened more and more that this is unprecedented times for our lives.

I feel that tension is thick everywhere. I look at and hear conversations around race. To broadly stroke it, it feels like you’re either too racist or you’re not anti-racist enough. It’s an either/or. There’s no gray. I see a lot of people, myself included disengaging because it’s like, “If I engage with them, I might be shamed for not knowing enough. I’m not engaging it in the right way. You should watch this, you should read this.” I feel that things are tense. It’s a lot of either/or thinking. If you’re for this, you’re against me.

It ranges from if you’re against wearing a mask for COVID all the way to the presidential candidates with racism sprinkled in there. I feel there’s a lot of things that have come up in COVID that are important things to address and to consider. I see a lot of people disengaging because it is overwhelming especially when there’s not an environment that is safe for you to engage or be curious or try to learn. That makes sense to me why people are choosing not to engage because why would you if you’re going to get your hand slapped or what do you know? That’s not inviting.

Personally, I know that when I am unsure about something, like when I don’t know the right answer, action or thing to do, I always freeze. This could be anything. If someone texts me and I don’t know what to respond to them, I will often not get back to them if I don’t have an answer for them. It then ends like a week later and then I texted back that I’m feeling bad because I didn’t respond for a week. It just shows that within us, when we’re unsure, we often freeze. We often don’t do anything. It’s not always a bad thing but that habit doesn’t lead to more unity. It’s good to pause and consider, but by being frozen in action, then we aren’t being a part of a solution or a part of unity.

Unity is not uniformity. Unity is only possible through difference. Click To Tweet

Along with that is where we are, the biggest factors affecting us right now are the mass dissemination of news, media and individual voices through the news outlets or the internet and social media. From that, we all feel more pressure than ever before to have an opinion where we don’t need to. Not everyone needs to have an opinion on everything. We also get to reinforce our way of thinking by filling it with more voices of the same. As we watched in The Social Dilemma, social media companies and tech companies are good at feeding us what we want to see.

In that documentary, they highlight how individuals can ask themselves, “How can they see all of that and think that way?” The reality is they’re not seeing everything you’re seeing on your feed because your feed is much catered to your clicks, likes and interests. I feel like the end goal is people are wanting people to think like them. Why do people need to think like you? God made us all different for beautiful reasons. If we all think the same, then we’re robots. We’re not an individual and that would take away the depth and beauty of our own experiences. It’s unrealistic to think that everyone’s going to have the same opinions and think the same way as me when they’ve had different life experiences and they come from different backgrounds.

Maybe it would be helpful to start there and I also want to mention where we are is in part of where we’ve come from. Thane and I are both from Kansas, a known conservative state. We come from conservative nuclear families. We have people in our non-nuclear families, but in our family, all the same, that I would say are almost on the other. We mirror that same intensity of conservatism. I feel we have been exposed and have experienced people we love on both sides of the spectrum.

To underscore what you said before that on this idea of unity and what you’re saying is unity is not uniformity. Diversity of thought is helpful, not hurtful. Having different perspectives and views is a stronger place to be than everyone thinking the same. That’s group think, that’s hive mentality and tribalism. You can fill in the blank. The point is we should be much more for unity than uniformity. Unity is only possible for difference, which our pastor, Rob, talked about just to underscore what you said there. Us sharing our backgrounds is hopefully you can understand where we’re coming from. As we move into what we’ve seen, we are talking from our experiences like you said.

From our experiences within our families, the people we love and communities, we’ve experienced a wide range of conversations, opinions and views as I’m sure most of you reading to this have. It’s because it’s filtered or funneled or fed into all aspects of our lives at this point partly due to media, the internet and technology. I feel like in Denver, it’s a neutral place, meaning that there’s almost an equal amount on both sides. In our daily lives and maybe you can speak with several more I found honestly, within our community here in Denver, we have a large population on both sides.

Colorado on the outskirts of Denver is conservative and then Denver is “more liberal.” We have engaged in conversations with people who are on both sides. I do feel the majority of our community is 50/50 which has made for beautiful conversation and growth. Something that I’ve enjoyed about living in Denver is I feel people are open to hearing. Why is it? Why do you think that way and why do you lean that way? Help me understand and that question is beautiful when it comes from a true place of, “I do want to understand why you think that way.” Instead of, “You shouldn’t think that way.” I want to ask you the same thing about what you’ve seen in our families and our community around politics.

What I’ve seen is I feel a lot of the time, there’s no hearing going on. It’s a lot of as soon as someone says something that you don’t agree with, you classify them as “the other.” You then wait for them to stop talking so you can regurgitate something you heard from your new source. That is not attractive to me. It’s not enticing to me. I don’t want to engage with those conversations. I feel when I have tried to engage in those environments, it’s a lot of, “What do you know? Your age is just naive? You don’t want to engage in politics.” I’m sitting there like, “I’m almost 30. When do I get some credibility for I am a thinking individual and I do read and research?”

UAC 166 | Political Issues

Political Issues: We get so caught up on specific issues that we forget that what’s more important than the issue itself is providing a support system for the people involved.

 

I was listening to a podcast and they were talking about how there’s this whole movement around young Republicans, that is much in support of the climate ordeal and how can we help, serve and protect our planet. At the same time, I know people who would classify themselves as progressive or liberal and they would tell me that all Republicans hate the world. It’s become to me this demonizing of the other of, “If you think that, then you’re this.” It’s like, “I’m not. I’ll be vulnerable and speak of an issue that is a tough issue of abortion.” It’s hard on any way you slice it. I love Jesus. I believe Jesus is who He says He is and I would consider myself a Jesus follower. With that, I think people are going to get abortions whether it’s legal or not. Would that mean I would get an abortion? I hope to never get an abortion. I don’t think you can truly speak to that unless you’re there. Humans are capable of anything.

To underscore that real quick, did Peter hope to deny Jesus three times? No. Did he do it? Yes. Do we still love Peter? Yes. Can we say that one action does not define who you are? Whether you have or haven’t had an abortion, it doesn’t make you a different person. You’re still a human being and we are not defined and judged by a single action ever. That’s true of some of our favorite characters in the Bible like Peter and Paul. If you look at these two guys and you see what they did in their lives, and yet we love and renown them. It’s no different.

That is the framework I’m operating out of. Peter’s like, “No, Lord. I would never do that. Are you kidding me? I’m you’re a most faithful disciple.” Jesus’s like, “Three times.” When Peter does that, Jesus looks at him, sees him and he still loves him. Could you even imagine being Peter like, “What did I do?” To bring it back, human beings are capable of anything. I’ve done things in my past that I’m not proud of and you have too. We all have. The topic of abortion, I don’t think it’s that simple as, “If you love Jesus, you’re anti-abortion.” I’m like, “People are going to get it regardless.” Would it make sense to have it be in a safe place where their body is still protected? There are more complex issues. I still don’t know about that complex issue. That’s some of the things I’ve thought of is I am pro-life and I don’t know.

We get caught up on the specific issue that we miss the point of what’s more important than the issue itself is providing a support system for the humans involved. Meaning, how can we better come alongside humans versus cast aside those humans? It’s the same with the prison system. I was listening to a podcast with the guy whose philanthropy working hard on prison reform and the recidivism rate of people in the corrections system or in prison is 70% to 80%. That’s a bigger problem than anything else. Why are we not providing services to help come alongside and do the dirty, heavy hard work of walking through a process with people to bring about healing and change versus it’s this issue or that issue?

It’s never as simple as this or that especially when it comes to humans. We’re way more complex or complicated than that. To your point of what you’re saying is, “Just because you think this, doesn’t make you that.” You can fill in the blank for a ton of things on that. Our current culture and climate are divided and we start taking these stances of saying, “If you’re for climate change and preventing that, you are automatically classified as a liberal. If you are anti-abortion, you’re automatically classified as a conservative. If you’re this, you’re automatically this.” That is intellectually dishonest.

To make it a little more personal, I feel on the track of demonizing the other, if you voted for Donald Trump, you are a Trump supporter and I don’t agree with that. We know and love people who voted for Trump, they voted for Trump because there were certain issues in policies that they agreed with that are conservative-leaning. It doesn’t mean that they support the individual. Generally speaking, we can all agree that Trump’s not that moral and he says a ton of ugly things, but so do a ton of people in that realm and so do we. We’re all human beings.

In an honest conversation, I think most people would agree that it’s hard to respect a president like Trump. He’s not a respectable guy. There’re many things that we would wish that our leader of our country would do differently. He’s broken some of those norms that I don’t think many if any people that are somewhat in the middle would agree with or standby. Alongside that, most of the presidents of our country have parts of their character that we wouldn’t agree with or standby either. We hold people to a place that they can’t reside in.

Empathy is an antidote to righteousness. Click To Tweet

The thing that makes me super upset in this sphere is how hateful we get to the people we love and how we define people by the way that they vote. It’s within our own families and our friendships. There so much more to us as we’ve been saying. I don’t want our president, whoever that is come November 4th to cause hate or division within relationships between parents and their kids, between friends, between siblings. That’s the most hurtful thing I’ve seen out of all of this is the hate and animosity we can hold towards people we love the most.

Moving to what we think is hurtful and what we think is helpful, you mentioned one of the most hurtful things is to breed more hatred and animosity especially towards people we love. It dehumanizes us. It classifies it as us and them as we’re the humans and they are the non-humans. As within our family and people that we love, it’s of the worst kind. We’re all prone to that. You and I are prone to that. Every single human is. Daily, we get the chance to work on that. For the rest of 2020, we are each going to be having opportunities daily to work on this.

In thinking about how can you be helpful in that, one of the simplest ways is to instead of respond, inquire, ask and seek to understand because if all we do is respond and react with our opinions, views and perspectives, we’re entrenching and that causes them to entrench, whoever them is. The goal isn’t entrenchment. The goal is understanding and empathy. The way you get there is by asking questions genuinely. Not asking questions to put yourself up in a position to win the argument, which is often what happens. You start framing this as like, “What question can I ask so that they see the superiority of my position?”

That’s me all the time. I feel like as a one, maybe not in political circles, but in everyday things, one’s like to be right. I’m like, “Maybe you should try to look at it this way, which is my way, which is correct.” Thane and I read this book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. Something I wanted to share from that is a quote by Jonathan. He says, “If you want to change someone’s mind on a moral or political matter, you’ll need to see things from that person’s angle as well as your own. If you do truly see it, the other person’s way deeply and intuitively, you might even find your own mind opening and response. Empathy is an antidote to righteousness. Although it’s difficult to empathize across a moral divide.”

I would recommend that book to anyone as well. He does a great job of trying to do a fair job of evaluating the landscape between conservative and liberal and breaking down a lot of the factors. Also, a lot of the irrationality on both sides that we all have as humans. What he’s talking about in the moral divide, he breaks it down into six. It’s under the moral foundation theory that says there are six psychological systems that comprise the universal foundation of the world, many moral matrices. There are moral compasses that we have in there and there are six different systems that we operate on.

What he points out is that the liberal side of the equation operates on mainly three of those. They tend to rest most strongly on this care and harm, liberty and oppression, and then the other one is, fairness versus cheating. Those are the three on the liberal side. The conservative side has six. It has those three alongside loyalty and betrayal, authority and subversion, and sanctity and degradation. That’s a positive and negative way to describe each of those. His point is simply to share that each side has a different emphasis. Whereas the conservative side is a little bit more wide-reaching and divided among six. Whereas the liberal side is more focused and specific divided among three. That’s part of the theory behind that. That’s part of the moral divide in that quote you mentioned that he’s talking about and where the focus and emphasis is. If you want to go back to it is like we have to begin understanding where the emphasis is and why.

Something that’s helpful and would be helpful in the political sphere is understanding first of all that the person you’re engaging within this conversation does not share your experience nor do they share your upbringing. It might be helpful to consider or be curious about, “Is this person a product of divorce? What does this person value? They value their family. They value these things. I can see why they would lend themselves to this way of thinking.” It’s much more than how could they possibly think that way. As we mentioned in the social dilemma and it’s true in real life, these people don’t see what you see. They’ve experienced way different things than you have. I think to be empathetic means to consider the whole of the being.

UAC 166 | Political Issues

Political Issues: It can be helpful to hold postures of curiosity and creates spaces where everyone is welcome.

 

Another quote that Haidt said is, “If you want to open your mind, open your hearts first.” That’s what we’re speaking to is that we needed to be operating from our hearts, not our minds, and trying to get these rational arguments that aren’t that rational if we’re honest with ourselves. Stop making this an intellectual debate, but a heartfelt human conversation. Let’s not have a debate. We don’t need another debate. There’ll be plenty of debates. There have been already millions of debates. The other quote that I love and it’s a little longer is he says, “Morality binds and blinds. It binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side, winning each battle. It blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something important to say.” It’s binding and blinding us. Us versus them, our team, your team and then we shut off and don’t listen.

I listened to a TED Talk of Brittany Packnett and she was sharing that curiosity invites people to be in control of their own learning. I think about like in debates, the end goal is to get the other to think like you even though I feel that never happens. This idea of being curious and why do they think that way, are they from another country and now they live here and maybe that’s influenced the way they think. It’s hard when you’re not in the practice of considering things like that. I’ve been there. I understand the cycle of how in the world they could ever think that. The other thing I wanted to share that something that’s been helpful is I started volunteering at a homeless shelter in Denver. It was a rigorous process to go through the application process. I’m grateful to be involved and with that, it’s also a big commitment of once a week for three months. I’ll be spending two and a half hours a week there.

With that, my eyes were like huge the whole time. My mind was expanding. My heart bleeds with and for the marginalized of our society. My eyes were open to homelessness moving to Denver. It’s much bigger than Kansas City and you coming from LA knows that it had an even bigger scale. I’ve been processing like, “How can I go to sleep in this super amazing place in a super comfy bed while in our back alley, there’s someone sleeping by the dumpster?” I don’t think that’s what God wants and I know that’s not what God wants. It’s such a complex issue. There’s a lot of, “What choices did they make to get there?” That was a lot of my framework growing up is while you make choices, then you get this outcome. Thane says this quote all the time, “I was born on third base and I thought I hit a triple.”

The idea that we are born into different classes and environments and some of us are set up more for success. One of my friends who also works in shelters and she was sharing that it’s much more of a feat for someone to climb out of homelessness than it is for us to maintain our already cush status. Now, I’m volunteering at the shelter and we checked in a member and they have to do an intake form to have some basic information of their gender, where they sleep at night and their monthly income. This person said they sleep in a porta-potty at night. I look at that and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” You can think and construe these narratives of, “They probably do sleep in porta-potties.”

When you’re looking at that person and you can touch them, they’re that close to you, it becomes real. The average person experiencing homelessness in Denver is making less than $500 a month. That puts a different spin on the narrative. I’m grateful for that experience. I feel it’s been eye-opening to me. I feel it’s helped me be curious and the majority of the staff at this shelter, Resource Center is openly progressive or liberal. I understand that they’re serving a marginalized part of the population where most policies that are helpful to that population are on the democratic side.

At the same time, I’m like, “If there’s only Democrats, liberals or progressive people working in these spaces, how do we expect conservatives to understand the reality of what’s going on?” What could be helpful is holding postures of curiosity or creating spaces where anyone is welcome. There are Republicans for climate change as there are Democrats that are anti-abortion. It’s too complex to pigeonhole and narrow down like that. I know we share a love for humanity on both sides of the political dilemma. My encouragement would be to get involved, be curious, and have experiences that help you do so.

To add another illustration to that, we often talk about what we don’t know. Being in a place like LA for a while, there are many people in LA or other city centers that have never ever seen or experienced the middle of America and what living in a small town in the middle of America is like. They have no idea. It’s easy to be quick to jump to conclusions about the people there and their experiences and their views and view them as ignorant or a small mind or whatever you want to classify that as their description. They have zero clues.

If you really want to open your mind, open your heart first. Click To Tweet

Growing up in a place like that and seeing the people and loving the people and seeing their hearts and the beauty of living in those places and being from those places it hurts. It’s sad to see that classification that’s ignorant. Likewise being from a small town, a lot of times in a smaller town or in the middle of the country, you look at the city centers and say, “Those places are unattached to reality. They’re ungrounded. They have no foundation. They’re lost in the clouds.”

It happens on both sides culturally based on where you live and where you grew up and what you know. That’s not to say that no one’s immune to that. We all fall prey to that and your illustration points that out too. If we don’t know or we haven’t experienced and for us to make judgments or conclusions on that, is not helpful. It’s naive and it’s ignorant. We can’t expect to think the same way as someone that’s lived in a completely different place their whole lives.

Like you said two of us being born on third base, the story you shared with me of a daughter who was in the shelter and she called her mom remembering that her mom had brought her to that same shelter. To say that you and I could have been born to someone who was homeless, but we weren’t. It wasn’t our choice. It wasn’t anything that we did. We had zero part of that. For us to claim that we’re above or better than or different than because of our own actions is intellectually dishonest.

With that example of a nineteen-year-old woman who has two kids of her own and she’s experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty because there are varying degrees within the shelter. I feel like it was helpful for me to see that because a lot of homelessness is cyclical just as cultures are cyclical. I went to school in the South. That is a completely different culture and people are thinking that way because there’s been generation after generation of people that think that way. I know this isn’t about racism. This is an example of the majority of people in the South go to church. They would consider themselves Jesus followers and my experience, I encountered and experienced a lot of church-going people from the South who also used the N-word and had this us and them narrative. It’s not to cast blame.

I think it’s helpful to say they have come from generations of this way of thinking. By me saying, “That’s wrong,” might not be helpful. Maybe asking questions could be helpful. Where we come from is much more complex than narrowing it down to, “They’re homeless because they made bad decisions.” It’s like, “They might be homeless because their mom or grandma was homeless and they don’t know anything different.” As my friend was sharing that it is way harder to pull yourself out of a homeless cycle than for us to maintain this status quo of, “I’m going to school.”

To sum up, what you’re saying in that is we are products of our environment in our culture. There’s a great book that I’m about through, Uncle Tom’s Cabin that’s written in the late 1800s. It centers around our nation’s history with racism, especially in the South. It’s fascinating because it breaks your heart, first of all. It does a good job of depicting and portraying what that experience was like. It shows that good people fell into that and we would have to if we were in that era and in that place.

I’m not above that and most people aren’t. I don’t know if many people that are. That’s to say that we are products of our culture for better or worse. There are plenty of things now that in a couple of 100 years we would look back on and be like, “We got it wrong.” There are two questions that God asks, “Who are you and where are you going?” I sat with those two questions and I think those questions are helpful for us to understand that each one of us is part of a bigger story.

UAC 166 | Political Issues

Political Issues: We don’t know what we haven’t experienced. For us to make judgments on that is naïve and ignorant.

 

Each one of us is part of the collective humanity. Each individual serves as an important piece of the whole. Abraham, this is the amazing father of faith got passive. He stopped actively trusting in God’s word and he said, “You want me to take your maid as my wife. Sure, I’ll have another wife.” He knew that God had already promised that he was going to have a child through Sarah and so he got passive which is one of a man’s core downfall is passivity.

He takes Hagar and the wife has a baby and then his wife is bitter, hateful and spiteful towards Hagar. You have this idea of, “I’ll give it to Abraham.” He then went through with it and he had a baby and then it’s like, “This sucks. I can’t have a baby now. She does and I hate her.” Hagar runs away and God meets her and speaks to her. It’s one of the few times in the Bible that God explicitly speaks directly and it’s a woman which in that time wasn’t viewed as on the same plane as men. He asked her, “Where are you from and where are you going?”

He’s asking her about her identity. He’s asking her about her life experience or story. Knowing that we’re a part of a greater story and knowing that we’re from a place and that we’ve been shaped by that and we’re going somewhere. We have a purpose in our life. Those are the things that bring worth and value versus degrade and dehumanize. Maybe we got better at asking those two questions in those conversations, “Where are you from? Where are you going? What’s your story? What do you hope for the future? How different would the landscape be?”

What we say when we don’t lead with things like that, when we lead with, “I want to find out where this person is politically and I want to know how they think on these issues.” To me, what that says to the other person is, “I don’t care about who you are. I’m more interested in how you’re going to vote, why you think that. If it’s aligned with me, then cool.” That is a practical, helpful tool of, “Who are you? Why do you think the way you think? Where do you want to go? Where are you going currently?” It’s beautiful.

I will end with what you mentioned there. There’s another quote that I’ve found that struck and highlights as well it’s, “The difference between the desire to be right and the desire to have been right.” These two authors say the desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires and the sooner we separate them, the better off we are. The desire to be right is the thirst for truth. On all counts, both practical and theoretical, there’s nothing but good to be said for it. The desire to have been right on the other hand is pride that goeth with before a fall.

It stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong and thus blocks the progress of our knowledge. In those conversations, if our desire is to have been right about something, then it’s going to be fruitless and it’s going to be unhelpful. It’s going to be hurtful. If our desire is to pursue what’s right, which we don’t fully know by accepting that we have limited views, limited perspectives, then we can come together as a team, not separate teams.

One last encouragement is just sit with, “What am I doing that’s helpful and what am I doing that’s hurtful?” Are my current habits helpful? Is watching two-plus hours of my news source helpful? Is having constant news alerts on my phone helpful? Is engaging that person in that way helpful? What could be helpful though? Maybe I’ll have him over for dinner and not engage politics. Try to ask questions about them. I would encourage you to be curious about your own habits and what could be helpful in serving yourself and other people.

I’m going to sit with that too because it’s a good word. I want that to be a constant reflection for us. It’s amazing advice and words of encouragement. For everyone reading, this is our best stab at it as we see it now. Take it as that. That’s all we can do is see it from our point of view now, and be open to change. To more unity, that’s the goal is to have better communication and better relationships.

To stay curious, to considering the other and to holding postures of empathy.

The sooner we can separate the desire to be right from the desire to have been right, the better off we would be. Click To Tweet

Thanks for chatting. This has been awesome.

Thanks for having me. I love you.

I love you and we hope you all have an up and coming week because we are out.

This is Thane here following up with one last thing to note. If you would like to get a curated list of all the content I’m learning from whether that be books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, quotes I’m pondering, or even some sermons I’m enjoying, In-Thane is a monthly newsletter that brings vetted content that I know you’ll enjoy. Go to ThaneMarcus.com/inthane to sign up and you’ll be sure to receive the next one. Each edition of In-Thane is released on the first Sunday of the month. This is a once a month newsletter that I hope you enjoy and benefit from as much as I have. Here’s to learning and growing one day at a time.

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