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UnTrenched 1. Why Are We Here & Are You Proud of America?



 

The Grit Theory Presents:


UnTrenched

Intentional conversations across differences.


1. Why Are We Here & Are You Proud of America?


Today Sandy and I discuss what we want to accomplish with “Untrenched” and WHY we care. Plus we explore the question, Are you proud of america?


Highlights include:

- The importance of intentional conversation.

- The dangers of stereotypes, partial narratives, and being color blind.

- Hope, pride, and freedom and how our views differ.

- What we are fighting over is secondary to what can bring us together.

- A call to engage: be brave, talk to your neighbor.

- Breaking the mold, becoming untrenched and pursuing unity through shared respect.


Co-Hosted by Sandy “Scrappy” Mayo & Jon “The Beard” Mayo.

About the Hosts:

Sandy “Scrappy” Mayo

Sandy earned her doctorate in education as part of her journey to answer the burning questions surrounding her experiences as a first generation American and the division that often surrounds “the other”.


Jon “The Beard” Mayo

Jon is an Army Veteran who served as a commissioned officer and now is working as an aspiring entrepreneur while also managing his small farm and raising his four sons.


Jon and Sandy are also family - mother and son - navigating the complexities of interracial life. They share a desire to stop the division, and engage in difficult conversations as a means to encourage others to become UnTrenched from their biases in an attempt to better understand the world around them, and how we can live richer lives when we stand together.


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08;06;40;07 - 08;06;24;14

Jon

Really, today we want to answer two questions. What are we trying to do here and why are we why do we care? Why are we trying to do that? Those are the two things, and we may give a little bit of context about ourselves as well as we feel appropriate.


08;06;24;01 - 08;06;22;01

Jon

But but really, those are the two things jump in.


08;06;21;16 - 08;06;04;22

Sandy

Yeah. So even that is part of the exploration, right? So this is sort of a vision and idea that really was sparked by you, John. And you came to me and of course, I said, Oh boy, I'm not sure how to jump into this, but let's let's see what's here.


08;06;04;21 - 08;05;47;22

Sandy

It seemed like there was enough for us to say in terms of what both of us are experiencing in this sense, that there are just so many divisions right now in the things that are dividing us. All right, we're going to find out in the end, probably not worth impact that it's having to communities, families and just


08;05;47;09 - 08;05;32;01

Sandy

interpersonal relationships that we're seeing in the workplace, in families and communities and churches. And so I think there was just this sense from both of us on our hearts that we're not really liking the direction that things are going right now.


08;05;31;26 - 08;05;19;16

Sandy

Mm-Hmm. We see some warning signs and that I know, at least for me, there's been a grieving, just some of the ways that I'm seeing as engaged as a people. Now it means.


08;05;18;05 - 08;05;07;21

Jon

There's a lot in that, so so let's call a spade a spade. I think that will help people track what we're trying to do here. So right now in our country, which is America, we have a lot of divisiveness.


08;05;07;20 - 08;04;53;06

Jon

Everything seems to be fueled to greater hate your neighbor. Don't trust your neighbor, hate them. Don't trust them. They're trying to kill you. And that's extreme rhetoric of the message, right? And what you and I are saying is that is garbage.


08;04;52;28 - 08;04;35;27

Jon

And in the end, or hopefully not in the near future, we're going to wake up and realize that these things we're fighting over are not worth fighting over and we need to respect one another and come together in what we can agree on to build unity, which he and the entire premises.


08;04;35;27 - 08;04;19;20

Jon

There's a lot more for us to come together on. And we're giving each other credit for. And that's where you and I decided, Hey, well, we're not exactly the same person. Let's engage in some difficult questions and difficult conversations.


08;04;19;06 - 08;04;03;17

Jon

And maybe that can be an example, an encouragement to someone to do the same and we can start to stitch back. You know, the the tattered flag of our nation so that we're standing in unity again, right, as a symbol.


08;04;03;16 - 08;04;02;16

Jon

How does that sit with you?


08;04;01;21 - 08;03;50;00

Sandy

That yeah, that resonates for me and I think, you know, I want to dislike like else in the room. I mean, we are very different people. I mean, I think people looking at us visually, it's pretty easy to see.


08;03;49;16 - 08;03;46;18

Sandy

But what folks might not know is, we're family.


08;03;46;07 - 08;03;45;21

Jon

Yes, we are.


08;03;45;09 - 08;03;25;01

Sandy

It just this is awesome. And I think I never want to ask someone to do something I'm not willing to do myself. And I think one of the real gifts that I've had, and I think you would agree is that we've had chances to have several conversations across the dinner table coming from very different backgrounds and experiences


08;03;25;01 - 08;03;04;08

Sandy

, and just even in the ways in which the world might categorize this right and give us different labels, categories of people we are. And what that means for how we show up in different conversations. It's hard. There are times when you and I admit we disagree at times when we probably agree, but how we get there is


08;03;04;08 - 08;02;52;25

Sandy

very different. And so I think part of what we're trying to do here is model those conversations into even continue to wrestle together as we're trying to figure out this thing called life.


08;02;51;19 - 08;02;35;17

Jon

100%, and before I lose it, I want to comment on something you just said it's there's time to disagree. Or we often agree, but we're disagreeing on something, and I just couldn't help but. But think I think most of the time you and I find that we're debating, right?


08;02;35;13 - 08;02;32;05

Jon

Because there such a thing as civil healthy debate, even if very passionate.


08;02;31;23 - 08;02;30;28

Sandy

We know it well.


08;02;30;21 - 08;02;16;22

Jon

Yeah. We're going to share that. Trust me that just wait for the rights you used to get lit and everyone's going to get to see what this looks like. But even in those situations, what I found from our conversations is we agree on the core things.


08;02;16;04 - 08;02;05;28

Jon

Yeah, it's how much do we let ourselves get caught up in the small things? And that is it difficult freaking thing because the small things are screaming and on fire and they're angry and the big things are quiet.


08;02;05;28 - 08;01;55;09

Jon

And still, it's kind of like slow waters run deep. It's the river behind the forest that's on fire, right? So we have to push up and back to that thing where we agree on and then we're not on fire.


08;01;55;09 - 08;01;47;18

Jon

Everything's not burning and we can address the other issues because maybe big and small is not right. But I'd say core versus not exactly.


08;01;47;06 - 08;01;32;29

Sandy

And because sometimes the small things matter. Yeah. So I don't want to dismiss the small things as irrelevant now, but it's just a matter of where are we going to put our focus and what is the outcome we're seeking?


08;01;32;24 - 08;01;23;04

Sandy

And to me, it's about the outcome we're seeking because some of some of the things that are smaller we might need to let go of. But it's not always easy getting to that point.


08;01;21;16 - 08;01;07;13

Jon

That's what said. And, you know, when we're kind of warming up for this a little bit like, you know, before the physical side or something kind of talking, I wrote down a comment you made where I thought it was a really concisely saying a lot of what we're trying to do here, right?


08;01;07;10 - 08;00;47;04

Jon

And I think this summarizes it. But what we're trying to do here is model intentional conversations in differences and maybe models and even we're having intentional conversations across differences. I misspoke. So if we're we are pursuing and engaging in intentional conversations across differences.


08;00;47;03 - 08;00;46;00

Jon

That's what we're doing here.


08;00;45;10 - 08;00;44;17

Sandy

Yeah, right.


08;00;43;28 - 08;00;42;14

Jon

Yeah, that's pretty. I think it's it.


08;00;41;25 - 08;00;29;12

Sandy

That that really is it in for me. I think the piece about this that becomes important. It's not. We're just having a single conversation, but this is an enduring conversation. This is over a lifetime of relationship between you and I.


08;00;28;05 - 08;00;17;01

Sandy

And I think that's the work that is needed. I think a lot of times we feel like we can just kind of, you know, drop in and have a conversation because we connected it at the dinner table one time.


08;00;15;28 - 08;00;00;05

Sandy

These issues a lot of times that we're dealing with, we're going to take time to unpack some history, some experiences, some hurts and to really be able to shape a vision forward. So I think it takes that intentionality and time.


09;59;59;05 - 09;59;43;24

Jon

I fully agree. And given that right, because you and I have had a lifetime of honing kind of to the point we have a good we have good relational equity, right, because we continue to seek each other and that's a benefit we have.


09;59;43;23 - 09;59;28;00

Jon

But the other piece which this is such a gift to me doing this is because we're being intentional on doing this. We're also being intentional, having conversations with each other and attacking the things head on that we've probably avoided for the sake of limited time together and just wanting that pleasant time together.


09;59;27;16 - 09;59;09;25

Jon

So I'm really excited to see our relationship grow in this by facing head on the things that are uncomfortable that we probably both think we disagree on and realize, well, what? What really are we talking about here? If we keep stepping up in level until the point, we agree and then we can come back in and it's


09;59;09;25 - 09;58;53;16

Jon

not consensus we're looking for, it's this respect of one another. So, you know, with the what? I'm all on board and I think the why is is an easy tag on to that end is directly related if we're trying to have intentional conversations across differences.


09;58;52;01 - 09;58;50;27

Jon

Why are we doing that?


09;58;49;10 - 09;58;16;02

Sandy

You know. Yeah, I mean, for me, it's simple. I'm heartbroken. Yeah, absolutely heartbroken. I just. I grieve when I see the level of fragmentation and just brokenness in relationship and in community. And I have just seen too much harm done as we sort of grapple over political ideology or positions on social issues.


09;58;15;25 - 09;57;58;11

Sandy

Again, not that those things are unimportant. It's part of life. Mm-Hmm. But but as we're doing that, the the damage, I think the cost has been greater than I'm willing to to sort of just allow to continue, at least in my own life.


09;57;58;11 - 09;57;43;19

Sandy

So you know, what, small steps can I take in my own life? And then is there something there that can be helpful to others? Because I just I think that we need to really name what are the outcomes we're seeking and for what we're doing now isn't working.


09;57;43;17 - 09;57;40;16

Sandy

We're going to stop. So are we willing to change course?


09;57;39;18 - 09;57;17;03

Jon

Well said, that really does resonate with me because what I'm stating right now is watching. What I think is our country falling apart, right? And in the reason I think that is because I am seeing more and more hate from Americans to Americans right at that really high level.


09;57;16;21 - 09;57;03;22

Jon

And I hate it. I hate it. You see the distrust go into the supermarket. You see the distrust when you're on the air. God forbid, you look at the news and that is the exact thing that we want to attack.


09;57;03;21 - 09;56;46;21

Jon

It's like no enough divisiveness. We want to in whatever small way we can have the bravery to stand up and say, Hey, forget all the agendas. Forget all of the crap. Forget all of that. We are going to be a voice for what we believe to be true.


09;56;45;17 - 09;56;22;24

Jon

Fair and equitable. And what that means is we're going to pursue greater respect for one another, greater love for one another and greater relationship with one another by attacking the issues head on. Born from love and respect so that we can further grow that strength in that and begin to start the counter movement against the divisiveness.


09;56;22;17 - 09;56;20;21

Jon

Right, right. That's it.


09;56;19;26 - 09;55;56;23

Sandy

That's it. Yeah, so it's interesting. So even as you're speaking you, you're seeing this from a perspective of the divisiveness as a nation. And I know, I know you, John, and I'm wondering if we should share a little bit about your background here because you have a particular affinity and connectedness to sense of citizenship, right?


09;55;56;14 - 09;55;46;00

Sandy

I do. In some ways, that's different from even how I enter this conversation. And I think that will shape the way that our dialog unfolds over time. So I think it's helpful, even if we give it a little context.


09;55;45;09 - 09;55;36;26

Jon

Yeah, let's give some context on ourselves. And you know, we've answered what and why, but I say we give a little bit of a taste of the type of things we're trying to attack, right? Which is what I'm hearing.


09;55;36;26 - 09;55;18;22

Jon

You just said as well. So in the what and why? Right? There's also the fact that like and we'll get to this in a second, but just to light the Fuze for us. Yeah. Like, I believe that this is the only country and the best country of human existence to allow us the opportunity to have conversations like


09;55;18;22 - 09;55;03;04

Jon

this and that that is something that is so bloody precious that we've lost sight of because as a nation, we've gotten fat off of freedom and we've taken for granted it. And that that goes into like my tie for citizenship and stuff like feeling that is I feel like.


09;55;02;26 - 09;54;46;28

Jon

So first and foremost, I'm a Christian, right? So I saw Jesus Christ, he's my king. And I believe that because of that, because I've made that choice is my life. I need to protect any system that further allows me to be that right.


09;54;46;13 - 09;54;33;21

Jon

And I and I see at its core, this nation still or at least how at least the principles it was founded off of that have been imperfectly applied. Allow me that opportunity greater than anywhere else in the world.


09;54;33;09 - 09;54;17;04

Jon

And a lot of that love and passions come from my time in service. I was a I was in the army and my travels there and what I learned and then my experiences living across the country and a bunch of different places and different things that I've seen.


09;54;17;04 - 09;54;02;25

Jon

So that's all shaped it. That's all helped shape that view for me, you know, significantly. And then the other thing that's a huge contributing factor in my end is so, yeah, time in the service. And then I'm also an aspiring entrepreneur.


09;54;02;25 - 09;53;44;16

Jon

I'm not going to claim it yet, right? And I also am a father of four young children, right, who I want to have. I want them to have the same opportunities that we've had in our lives to make this place better.


09;53;43;29 - 09;53;27;02

Jon

And I don't want that rob from them. So so those three things make me very passionate care about how can we how can we protect certain things, improve other things and keep these things going forward? So I think that's a bit about both that perspective on where we are as a nation and then also on who I


09;53;27;02 - 09;53;16;20

Jon

am as a person. Is there anything? Here's a fun question, because I'll do the same for you. Is there anything from what I said that I'm missing that you would add before we get some of your context?


09;53;14;24 - 09;52;57;02

Sandy

I think that really encapsulates it. I mean, I know you and these are and those are the things that I think have really shaped you and that have come to the forefront when you and I have some really passionate conversations and some of the aspects that you raise are part of the challenge that you and I experienced


09;52;57;02 - 09;52;38;03

Sandy

in some of our conversations because I'm like, That's not the perspective I come from. That's not the experience that come. Those aren't the influencing and shaping, you know, perspectives that I bring to these conversations. So there are times I'm like, Sure, I hear that country coming to the forefront and I'm like, Yes and no, but yes, mostly


09;52;38;03 - 09;52;34;29

Sandy

yes. But I also know from from where I see.


09;52;34;17 - 09;52;24;09

Jon

So, so. So given that, let's get some context on you and then let's jump in to the yes and no. And let's put on that string a bit. And I think we'll be in a good spot.


09;52;23;19 - 09;52;08;01

Sandy

Yeah. Yeah, sounds good. So, so I mean, my my story is a little different. I'm the child of immigrants from Jamaica. And you know, like, I kind of grew up East Coast with teaching that, you know, yeah, we came to this country.


09;52;07;19 - 09;51;56;22

Sandy

We were able to make a better life. My dad really was passionate about the fact that he landed in New York and was able to have a job, you know, within a day. And that was freedom to him.


09;51;56;22 - 09;51;43;04

Sandy

This country was just amazing. And so I kind of grew up early in my life thinking, You know what? Barriers really don't exist. We're here in a great country of opportunity. And so to focus, work hard. Life's going to be good.


09;51;42;12 - 09;51;23;20

Sandy

And it didn't take long for me to hit some barriers that were part of my teaching. So school school was for me the place where I learned that race mattered and it was something that was taught to me at an age and in a way that I wasn't ready for the conversation.


09;51;23;20 - 09;51;09;06

Sandy

I didn't have a language for the conversations that wasn't spoken in my house. But I also want to share this story, but it is pivotal in terms of the way that I see the world, but also why this conversation is so important to me.


09;51;08;26 - 09;50;56;03

Sandy

But it was fifth grade that I found out that I had a race and that it had meaning in this world and that I was going to probably experience the world differently based on that. And I tell people it was my fifth grade teacher.


09;50;56;03 - 09;50;42;09

Sandy

We were doing a reading portion on the Underground Railroad. And prior to reading the passage, she asked me to stand up in front of the class and to tell the class what Underground Railroad was, because those were my kind of people.


09;50;41;18 - 09;50;25;28

Sandy

And I just remember at the age of ten, literally standing up. I'm so shy and I had no idea what the Underground Railroad was, and I just remember feeling shame first because I didn't have the answer. And secondarily, because the tone of his voice told me, There's something about your race and it's not good.


09;50;25;09 - 09;50;02;04

Sandy

And it was the beginning of understanding what these categories mean in our country. And while I didn't have language and I didn't have a way of processing that it, it made me see myself differently. And so I have I think I have been in a lifetime pursuit of not only understanding, how is it that we came to


09;50;02;04 - 09;49;38;23

Sandy

these categories? What's the meaning we place on them? And then how is that impacting the way that we see each other and enter into conversation? And it literally has been a lifetime pursuit in every aspect of my professional work, my personal life and then sort of, you know, stepping in and, you know, getting in an interracial marriage


09;49;38;09 - 09;49;23;10

Sandy

. Hmm. And becoming mom to two children who don't look like me and having to tell even parents through race like Langston. Less interesting last of fun. Well, yeah.


09;49;23;00 - 09;49;04;22

Jon

I love it because there's there's a few really fun plugs here, right? You pick it up. Sammy's my mom and we're calling each other first names for the sake of the show. She's also black and I'm white, which which is why we have nicknames for each other, kind of playfully for this.


09;49;04;19 - 09;48;49;29

Jon

She's scrappy and I'm the beard. And that's just kind of to call a spade a spade, right? You'll see why she's scrappy and we'll have to hear things more like Viking Berserker Warrior type of dude, and you'll get the flavor when we really get fired up.


09;48;49;09 - 09;48;32;08

Jon

But yeah, that's fun. Not only did you marry like a white guy coming from like, you know, probably really. So you're really fighting through the race stuff before you guys got married and then you came in not only married a white dude, but he was a cop at a time at the time.


09;48;31;29 - 09;48;29;16

Sandy

Yeah. Let's add that into the mix.


09;48;29;03 - 09;48;10;10

Jon

So I talk about I don't like stereotypes and then just putting yourself in the blender or stereotype deconstruction and then having some sheltered kids to get to help influence in and have these types of comments. Stations, it's really good before we keep digging into some of the the meat there.


09;48;10;07 - 09;47;53;25

Jon

I do. Would you give a little bit about what you've accomplished professionally? Because I think it's important, right? I'm, you know, for for myself really shortly. I have a good job I'm happy about. I went through my bachelors, I'm an army veteran.


09;47;53;25 - 09;47;39;27

Jon

I was an officer, an entrepreneur and father, right? I think those are the key things for me. I think it matters what your credentials are because one, they're a lot more impressive than mine. But to go, I think it helps inform the conversation.


09;47;38;23 - 09;47;34;16

Jon

I know you have your doctor, but I forget what it's in the background.


09;47;33;20 - 09;47;21;25

Sandy

Yeah, so you know, I don't love credentials. I actually never really set out to earn them. It was just more, you know, I had questions. I mean, this really is this is the reason I had questions and I wanted to pursue them.


09;47;21;16 - 09;47;03;20

Sandy

And so that led me into a doctoral program in education. And the reason I pursued the degree in education is because I really did have to navigate. The educational system is racialized terrain, and I saw a better way and I wanted to be able to influence the conversation that it is.


09;47;03;20 - 09;46;47;18

Sandy

It is that simple. It wasn't a pursuit of degrees. It was a pursuit of a conviction. And you know, I've been in higher education for over 20 years now and currently serving in a diversity role, and I don't even like that name.


09;46;47;18 - 09;46;26;16

Sandy

I don't like that title because I don't think it actually captures the heart of what is what my commitment is. I mean, my commitment is to really saying, you know, when we have students in the classroom, how are we ensuring that we're telling the full story so that to meet curriculum matters, it's telling a story, and it's


09;46;26;16 - 09;46;07;08

Sandy

creating a narrative that influences the way that we even see one another and that we think about shaping our world, shaping our history moving forward and how people are showing up in workplaces. And so I have real simple, I think real simple pursuits.


09;46;07;07 - 09;45;52;00

Sandy

It kind of can whittle it down to that. How are we telling the full story and not perpetuating false narratives about each other, which are just dangerous? I think they're literally dangerous to me. It's life and death. Is it is.


09;45;52;00 - 09;45;40;00

Jon

Life and death. I fully agree with you, and let's push into that specifically because I do think it's life and death. And I think one of the counter movements that's gone to the race issue is let's raise colorblind children, right?


09;45;39;01 - 09;45;26;09

Jon

We're all equal. We're all this. You know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I believe the intent was good in the saying, like, I don't want to raise a kid who has a stereotype when they see a black person or a Latino person or whatever.


09;45;25;29 - 09;45;11;22

Jon

And yeah, that's a good intention. But I love the conversation you shared with me because I thought it was very succinctly put from the episode of Uncomfortable Conversations with the Black Man. I think it's cool, but it's like you.


09;45;11;22 - 09;44;51;12

Jon

You lose what in my mind one of the things that makes America so beautiful. You lose the mosaic when you're colorblind. Right? Yeah, we are better because of our stinking differences. And if we try to if we try to gray wash everything so that it is all one thing, because when you mix everything together, it becomes a


09;44;51;12 - 09;44;28;29

Jon

grayish color gray to black. Then if you do that, you miss the richness that makes this land unique, that makes our opportunities unique. That makes this conversation unique and engaging in a different way, I think is important. It's the how do you engage to learn and have respect opposed to discount or right off, right?


09;44;28;28 - 09;44;27;05

Jon

Is that fair? Right? From your perspective?


09;44;26;18 - 09;44;14;24

Sandy

That's exactly right. I mean, we have to I mean, God created difference. It's a beautiful thing. Now, how we have placed different value on that difference is the problem.


09;44;14;12 - 09;44;13;28

Jon

Correct.


09;44;13;15 - 09;43;52;18

Sandy

And I think it's really difficult for us in our human capacity to just sort of overcome our biases. And we're taught in every way that there are differences and we put limitations around those differences. We put certain expectations, assumptions, fears around those differences.


09;43;52;00 - 09;43;32;12

Sandy

And I think unless we are taught to really engage with one another to really hear each other's stories, to really get to know people, I don't think we have the capacity to just sort of rise above. I think again, those false narratives that have been played out over time.


09;43;32;00 - 09;43;31;09

Sandy

I really don't.


09;43;31;02 - 09;43;15;19

Jon

Well, everyone has this idealistic thought that if a tragedy strikes, they're going to rise to the greatest level of performance. It's a well-known fact proven time and time again that you're going to fall to your lowest level of training and equipment.


09;43;15;01 - 09;43;10;23

Jon

So you go test it for yourself.


09;43;09;23 - 09;43;06;14

Sandy

Oh, I have a funny story on that one.


09;43;05;29 - 09;43;01;13

Jon

Because that's that was really aimed at the audience. Like, if someone's like, Oh, that's not true, you got tested for yourself.


09;42;59;17 - 09;42;56;14

Sandy

It's even theoretical vs the theoretical easy.


09;42;56;14 - 09;42;56;07

Jon

I mean.


09;42;56;06 - 09;42;55;14

Sandy

Here it out.


09;42;54;25 - 09;42;43;27

Jon

It. And that's what we're trying to do here because I was thinking about like one. What a great proof. The proof's in the pudding. You didn't care about the credentials. You want to answer questions here. We are having this conversation like the questions that we want answered.


09;42;43;26 - 09;42;33;02

Jon

We are willing to endure uncomfortable things. And I'm excited for the next Fieri. And it may not happen in this conversation. I'm excited for us to get passionate in the conversation because then I know we're really doing the hard work.


09;42;32;21 - 09;42;32;12

Sandy

Right?


09;42;31;21 - 09;42;18;28

Jon

I, you know, I do, I do, because I know that the reward of the fight is going to be valuable. I want and I in our singing role, what's an actual step? Someone's like listening to this and be like, Oh, this is great.


09;42;18;20 - 09;42;01;09

Jon

Like, what is an actual step that someone can take away? It's like, OK, well, if you agree that. You want to bridge the gap. That's there, then you have to engage in intentional conversations to do that, and the best way to do that is to just start talking to people.


09;42;00;10 - 09;41;50;03

Jon

Say, hi, I'm trying to figure out this life thing, and I want to just get to know you right? And that seems to me to be a good starting point in all this. What do you think?


09;41;49;05 - 09;41;32;05

Sandy

I totally agree. I think the other piece, too is just to. Ask ourselves, is it worth it, is it is, is this sort of like division, and I'm going to keep you in your box, your liberal and conservative, your this and that?


09;41;31;26 - 09;41;17;00

Sandy

Is it worth it? What are we gaining? And what is the fear? What do we think we're going to lose if we give that up? Yeah, so I want people to ask themselves those questions.


09;41;16;23 - 09;40;57;25

Jon

The only thing we lose in maintaining the divisiveness. That was not the only thing. The biggest thing we lose in maintaining the divisiveness is the strength that comes through their unity, born from respect, right for for each other.


09;40;57;17 - 09;40;35;15

Jon

That is the biggest thing in a house divided will fall, right? Something that's not incongruent with itself will buckle under any pressure. And that means you are vulnerable. And that's why, to me, this matters on every level, from the individual to the nation is if we're if we cannot stand in unity on big things like if I


09;40;35;15 - 09;40;23;14

Jon

can't sing you on my personal beliefs, I will fall as a human being to every temptation that comes my way, right? I will let people walk all over me. I will have unhealthy things. I will not leave my family well in love, right?


09;40;23;10 - 09;40;05;21

Jon

And I can't help but laugh at how many reasons we've given people to hate us already because we're spanning the gap from different political views, you know, which will probably surface the, you know, I'd consider myself more moderate.


09;40;05;21 - 09;39;57;04

Jon

I know that we have different views politically. I know that we are different races. I know that we're different genders. I know that we are different. You know.


09;39;54;20 - 09;39;47;21

Sandy

I think pride and pride a nation. I mean, I think I mean, you and I traveled a little bit on that and I still wrestle with race.


09;39;47;13 - 09;39;43;03

Jon

I would hope the nation in my pride comes from that hope.


09;39;42;16 - 09;39;41;25

Sandy

Yeah, because.


09;39;41;19 - 09;39;26;18

Jon

Because I do. I'm so glad you brought that up, because this is this is where I think we can probably put our hat on after we play with it a bit for today's conversation. But the pride, I do have pride in this nation because I see what it is compared to what we have available to us across


09;39;26;18 - 09;39;04;28

Jon

the world. But my biggest thing where I really draw energy from is hope because we have old barriers that are old as humans themselves that we need to address. And now we have these crazy, asinine new barriers. We're building at a scary rate today and it's like, Hey, guys, like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.


09;39;04;18 - 09;38;46;25

Jon

We already had enough trouble working on undoing the old barriers. Now we have these like screaming new barriers that are being built. That's a problem we need address. And now that's why you and I are here, right? Talking right now, like, let's get past these and bringing that right back, it's like, that's why I have hope.


09;38;46;22 - 09;38;32;29

Jon

I'm proud of what we've been able. I'm proud of the opportunity we have. What we've done compared to the rest of the world, that's it's not nearly enough. And what we can do and what we can set up for our children, our children's children to do.


09;38;32;16 - 09;38;16;26

Jon

And that and that hope fuels that feeling of pride in that pride being that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else because of that. So how does that sit with you having kind of pulled on the thread a little bit because it's not just like this rah rah on flawed land of the free?


09;38;16;16 - 09;38;14;14

Jon

I know it's a battle. It's something to build upon.


09;38;13;28 - 09;38;00;16

Sandy

Yeah, yeah. I can definitely get on board with the hope aspect. I see I see the potential in the capacity. And I think part of my frustration is this not living into that capacity and that potential great. And it's it's it's painful to watch.


09;37;59;04 - 09;37;42;26

Sandy

For me, I've sort of had this this love hate relationship, genuinely. Of course, I see the opportunities that are afforded. I horse, I see the freedoms that were granted. You know, this is this is home, but I don't know another home.


09;37;42;25 - 09;37;16;23

Sandy

So it's not a comparative for me. But there's certainly been disappointment and there's definitely been hurt. And when I do see different treatment, when I see categorizations of people, when I see histories of harm repeated. With knowledge, I think that's the part where distrust seeps in for me because it's I'm fine if we're like, Oh, we didn't


09;37;16;23 - 09;36;57;20

Sandy

know when we know. And we find creative ways to continue to to harm. That's a tough one for me. That's a tough one for me, so it's difficult for me to sort of get to that point of pride, but the hope is absolutely not that that really that's not on.


09;36;57;09 - 09;36;41;28

Jon

Well, and you know, I think that the pride is, where do you source the Pride, right? Because you're absolutely right, when you just identified is where the work is. You know, where these problems are, where these creative solutions based on something as Neanderthal like shifts like the color of your skin are still being perpetuated or like what


09;36;41;28 - 09;36;26;00

Jon

your views are and things like, goodness gracious, like can you be dumber than to try and categorize something based on such a menu difference? Right? Like, to me, it's it's a sign of such enormous intelligence to to try and discredit based on that right?


09;36;25;29 - 09;36;12;09

Jon

Like, the ignorance is astounding, and that's because you've helped you when I was younger, helped hold up the light to show me the harm of that right? So like, ignorance is only cured by knowledge, right? In the pursuit they're in.


09;36;11;25 - 09;35;59;00

Jon

But the pride for me doesn't come in our freaking government, right? It does. There's a lot of work to be done, especially today. There is a lot that we need to do there, and they need get out of our pudding.


09;35;58;29 - 09;35;45;08

Jon

Frankly, I think they need to start stepping back and that. But just if you don't mind for me and please correct it in anything that you disagree, I know you don't need the permission to do that, but they need a backup in how they're treating our people right now.


09;35;44;13 - 09;35;24;09

Jon

Being Americans like they need to get the heck back because it's not good. It's dangerous. It's further exasperating the problems of divisiveness. And for me, the pride comes from not the government in the not the institutions that are taking advantage of things, not those things which are very much a part of our country and need corrected rights


09;35;24;09 - 09;35;08;20

Jon

. So I can't just divorce and say it's great, but my pride comes in people like you, people like me, the conversations we're having here, the organizations that are working to do this type of work, the fact that this land is fertile enough, that it has the protections that we're able to do that still.


09;35;08;08 - 09;34;56;22

Jon

Right. That's where my pride comes from, the potential to hope it's born. My pride is from the hope of what we can do based on what we've seen accomplished and what we know we can further accomplish because the work is no different.


09;34;56;10 - 09;34;48;18

Jon

And I think that distinction is important, right? Because the source is what matter? You can't take good water from a poisoned well, you know?


09;34;47;28 - 09;34;47;05

Sandy

Absolutely.


09;34;46;26 - 09;34;46;04

Jon

How that say.


09;34;45;19 - 09;34;33;07

Sandy

Yeah, I wouldn't disagree with anything that you just shared. I mean, I think I'll have a longer runway to get to pride, even when I think about the source of it. Hmm. But that's OK. I mean, I I don't.


09;34;33;02 - 09;34;20;17

Sandy

Yeah, and I think I'm always thinking about what? What's my goal here? What's my pursuit? What's the what's the intended outcome? I don't know that I'm trying to get surprised. Maybe, maybe one day I'll I'll happen upon it and I'll be like, This is a good thing.


09;34;20;03 - 09;34;13;29

Sandy

I think I'm just trying to get to. The potential to.


09;34;13;29 - 09;34;13;02

Jon

Me, yeah.


09;34;12;15 - 09;34;11;09

Sandy

Potential that we have.


09;34;10;26 - 09;33;54;00

Jon

In and you know that that's what I think we agree on. Right. Because I want to call out like very simply, what's happening here? You and I have a disagreement on associating pride with this country, right? And we're OK with that because we agree upon the hope and the potential.


09;33;53;10 - 09;33;45;17

Jon

And you and I are both willing to protect whatever's going to further fuel that hope and potential. Right? Yeah. Yeah.


09;33;45;00 - 09;33;28;21

Sandy

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think how you and I cultivate that might look different in our lives, too, and that's fine as well. Right. So I mean, for me, I try to cultivate hope through education, but to me that that is hope that you actually get to pursue knowledge and it's endless.


09;33;28;20 - 09;33;16;05

Sandy

And like, literally, there's nothing that can limit that. You know, I think there are a lot of things that in life there can be barriers. There's actually no genuine barrier to you being able to pursue a question and seek knowledge.


09;33;16;05 - 09;32;56;14

Sandy

I mean, libraries just love the fact that it's like we can't. We can. For the most part, I'm not saying that there aren't sort of like deserts in the world and differences in access, but certainly that is something where I see, like, there are freedoms and opportunities.


09;32;56;14 - 09;32;42;02

Sandy

And so I love the idea that it's like if I really want to help us reach the potential that is available to us in this nation, being able to steer and influence education is key to that for me.


09;32;41;04 - 09;32;23;06

Jon

I think it's key to the equation, right? And I'm grateful that we have different positions in the fight, but we're fighting the same fight, right? The because we're more effective, right? If you're hitting in this area and I'm hitting this area and we're hitting at the same target, like we're pushing for the same goal, we're going to


09;32;23;06 - 09;32;03;20

Jon

get further because we're working in our arenas towards the same goal. And that's what's so important here. You and I, what kind of enflamed us to do this is like we need to fight for and protect. The opportunity that our hope is derived in right and freedom, that our hope is derived in me to correct it, and


09;32;03;20 - 09;31;54;09

Jon

that's why we're standing up and doing this, despite knowing full well that some people are going to have a fit about it and they can deal with it because this matters right there.


09;31;53;29 - 09;31;41;09

Sandy

Yeah. And I think so. I mean, I think even I think we're talking about some shared goals and I what I really think that matters. I think a lot of times when we recognize, man, we just are coming from different places.


09;31;41;09 - 09;31;29;15

Sandy

This is hard. We have different views. This could this could this could end poorly. I think returning to what our shared goals and a lot of times we can find that and that's what I want to put the emphasis.


09;31;29;15 - 09;31;16;04

Sandy

I'm really maybe it's old age. I'm just growing weary and some of the battles and the fights, I'm like, All right, folks were in the room together. What is it that we can pursue? That is a common goal, and let's do it.


09;31;15;26 - 09;31;06;07

Sandy

And I would say that I don't even think my goal at this point is like changing the nation, changing the world. I'm like, I just want to be able to have that conversation with the person in the room.


09;31;06;05 - 09;30;51;21

Sandy

I have the conflict with right? And it's literally starting with just that interpersonal, which sounds easier said than done. I mean, I'm still astonished that there are days I show up and I'm like, I don't know if I can be in the room with that person.


09;30;50;19 - 09;30;49;24

Sandy

This is hard.


09;30;49;13 - 09;30;30;24

Jon