heARTful Action: Perspectives

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“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. ” — Maya Angelou

heARTful is a word I made up to mean awareness from and leading with the heart. heARTful Action posts focus on how to stand up and create a culture of health, inclusion and kindness. heARTful Action posts are calls to love warriors everywhere.

As my eyes adjust to the changing landscape of the world, I realize that mostly what I need is my ears. I need to listen more deeply to the words and perspectives of a wide range of people. It’s so easy for me to read and listen to people who are like me, people who agree with me. But that’s not where healing and understanding is going to happen.

If I really want to understand more fully, I need to listen more deeply to more people (and I need to leave my defensiveness and attachment to my perspective at the door). It reminds me of the story of the Blind Men & The Elephant: only by looking at everyone’s point of view can we see the whole truth.

These are some of what I’ve been taking in this week.

Between The World & Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In this award winning and deeply personal narrative, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about his experience as an American black man. His words shed light on what it is like to live without the privledge I take for granted. I will not look at race the same again.

Van Jones’ The Messy Truth

Just before the 2016 US presidential election, Van Jones went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to talk to people who support different candidates. His conversations cut through the rhetoric and get to the people and the values behind it. Watching these three short episodes (each around 10 engaging minutes) revealed more to me than any of the debates.

The Messy Truth, Episode 1 – A Trump-supporting family in Gettysburg

The Messy Truth, Episode 2 – Four Moms Who Support Different Candidates

The Messy Truth, Episode 3 — A Panel of Gettysburg Voters for All Candidates (including one hard-core young man with a Make America Great Again hat)

Photojournalist Reveals the Back Row

Similarly, photojournalist Chris Arnade, traveled 58,000 miles around the US in 2016 taking pictures and talking to people in rural areas and small towns. Neither his photographs, nor the political landscape he uncovers is black and white. This Wall Street Journal piece shines a light on the unprotected in our country.

heARTful Action for this week:

What are you reading? Who are you listening to? This week, make a point to Read or watch or listen to something from a different perspective than your own. Then share it with someone along with your thoughts about it. In the comment section below, or on the heARTful Action Facebook page, share what you read (or watched or listened) so we can all expand our perspectives.

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