Be a Hero


If you were to pick up one of the books in my library, you would find them filled with highlights and notes written in the margins. Over this past month, I’ve been revisiting them, curious about what I was thinking when I originally read them.  

Five stars were next to a passage from Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. The passage reads:

“All of us face barriers – physical, financial, temporal – every day. Some are unquestionably real. But others are plainly artificial – expectations about how well a given system can function, or how much change is too much, or what kinds of behaviors are acceptable. The next time you encounter such a barrier, imposed by people who lack your imagination and drive and creativity, think hard about ignoring it. Solving a problem is hard enough, it gets that much harder if you’ve decided it can’t be done.”

During the pandemic, we have been challenged to adjust our mindsets. Unexpected divisions occurred that were bolstered by the isolation imposed. Some things became polarized; where there was once room for discussion, lines in the sand were drawn. I could go on, but we have lived through it and many of us know it all too well.

How do we return to a system that functions despite the changes, and return to behaviors that encourage working towards common goals? I was recently listening to an interview with Dylan Marron, the author of Conversations with People who Hate Me, and he pointed out the necessity of seeing the human behind the words. 

How do we do this? Instead of shutting down topics because you are “too far apart,” be curious. Find out what led them to believe what they believe. Understanding is not an endorsement, it’s a lifeline … from one human to another.  And,  these lifelines keep us afloat through good times and bad. 

Be a hero. Create a lifeline today.

This Week’s Challenge: Reach out to someone today and have a conversation. Forgo texting. Pick up the phone, plan a coffee break, take a walk. Connect, listen, share, relate.

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