Friday, October 6, 2017

A Story Of Two Sides

"The world feels high lonesome and heartbroken to me right now."

 In these 31 Days of October I am unpacking my learning from the book, Braving The Wilderness, by Brené Brown. She has been a favorite author for years. In this new publication she manages to build a sidewalk and curb in the wilderness where we can bravely tread.

When we navigate the wilderness it seems easier to sort ourselves into like-minded groups. I believe this, I see this, and if you don't, stay over there. There is the peril of loss of connection when that solution seems the only resolution. Just like the two images below, one is a photograph and one is my painting. They are different but I was there to see and create both of them. If I claim that the photograph is the only real account then I am disconnecting to the beauty of art capturing the same moment.

     Let me tell you a story of two sides. I have family members who are very concerned for the immigrants they live around and serve in their jobs. They are deeply worried about our immigration policies, even to the extent that they will join a rally to protest. They told me about a protest they attended at a detention facility for convicted illegal aliens. The protest promoted better legal counsel and safer conditions. 
   What they didn't know was my friendly relationship to the warden at that facility. He and his wife have been at my kitchen table. They let us use their home to bring our entire family together at Christmas. His side of the story included the dangerous situations that arise when inmates attack guards, when they go on hunger strikes to get media attention, and when the whole facility comes to a halt during a protest rally. 
   I was captured by the opposite sides to a current situation. Truly, up close both stories have good intentioned individuals who could connect with the issue at hand. As long as the story doesn't become me and them, separate without understanding. The wilderness becomes a whole lot scarier when we can't see each other clearly.

  "The sorting we do to ourselves and to one another is at best, unintentional and reflexive. At worst, it is stereotyping that dehumanizes."

More on that tomorrow.....

Click here to go back to my table of contents to see the other posts.


  1. It is important to practice that whole idea of "slow to speak and quick to listen" Thanks for sharing this idea with us. Have a great weekend! (Stopping by from #FMF)

  2. I am guilty of this. Clinging to one side, and not being open to the other. I am definitely a work in progress. Thanks for the prompting.

  3. What a perfect prompt word for Brene Brown stuff! :)

  4. We need to have conversations--listening and sharing viewpoints. Excellent post!

  5. Yes, learning to see beyond our own side of the story and consider others' perspective is important. A situation can look very different depending on where you're standing. I love the contrast between your photo and your painting of the scene.


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