Transcript of Episode 12
LaMondre Pough: Welcome to 3DVU, one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.
David Pérez: I am David Pérez.
Richard Streitz: And I’m Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.
Today we’re going to be talking about something that I think is going to be near and dear to everyone’s hearts. And that is, as we are dealing with a post election or near post election, um, as we’re recording this, technically we don’t know who’s president yet. Uh, but, um, but we, that will be, we believe that will be happening in the next few days.
And, you know, as. As that is happening. We realize that the conversations and divisiveness that has existed and grown, um, um, over the course of, not just the past few months leading up to the, um, the election day, but over the past few years, um, as we’ve seen divisiveness and even going back further than that, um, how.
Um, how this divisiveness has been born out of maybe suppressed ideas and philosophies that have been sitting for many, many years. Um, and so when having conversations with, with, uh, spouses, uh, friends, loved ones, um, Family members, uh, um, friends, uh, in any of those settings, it’s inevitable that especially as we’re coming into the holidays, that, uh, the conversation, um, will steer into this territory about, uh, not only just the election, but general, um, general ideals and, and, and philosophies.
And, and so we wanted to talk today about approaching those conversations and having those conversations that are not combative or confrontational, but meaningful, and from, come from a place of understanding to try to find some middle ground and try to realize where we are the same, um, and not so much identifying immediately where we are different.
Um, and, and, uh, and so, you know, I, I think it’d be a great conversation from our, three different views and perspectives, um, in, in dealing with the, uh, the challenge of, of approaching those conversations. So I throw that out and LaMondre why don’t you, uh, give us your thoughts on that?
LaMondre Pough: Absolutely. I’ll tell you, this has, um, has to be absolutely one of the strangest periods of time, uh, that I’ve seen in terms of how political conversations, how conversations about social justice issues, about equality issues have created such divides, um, amongst good friends, even within families themselves. And I honestly don’t ever remember anything being that divisive in my lifetime.
And what’s really strange is that I don’t ever remember a time where people were actually vilified. I mean, your neighbors, your, your, your, your, your family members. And I don’t mean just, Oh, I’ve got a kooky uncle or an auntie who believes in these conspiracies and you still, uh, yes, they’re they’re they’re kooky, but we still love him.
Now, I’m talking about situations where people become enemies, where they look at you as the bad guy, or they look at you as someone who’s not worthy of maintaining a relationship because you have a different ideal of how to get things done or the way that things should be. And that’s, what’s scary about this.
I have a, um, I have an elementary school teacher that I respect and I love, and there are so many great attributes about this particular teacher. And I happen to be on Facebook one day and I saw a post that she wrote and this post was so divisive and so racist that I literally had to back away and check myself because I had began to say, wait a minute, hold up.
This is not the person that I know. Were you thinking that way when you were teaching me as a child, did you see me in that same light that you’re speaking in now? Now here’s the thing. We still are extremely cordial and I still have a whole lot of respect, but I had to check myself because I was literally about to incinerate a relationship that has been built over 40 years because of a tweet.
Richard Streitz: Wow.
LaMondre Pough: That’s scary.
Richard Streitz: Yeah. Well, and you know, and it makes you wonder either are their convictions truly that strong or was the relationship really that thin to begin with?
LaMondre Pough: Absolutely. Was it a facade? Did, did, is this real?
Is this true? You know, and, and, you know, I, I started to really think of about it in terms of, in terms of the person that I knew her to be, and the person that I know her to be, and it was just the kind of thing where, what it did was it caused me to pull back and kind of look at the entire situation as a whole, not just my personal situation, but what was happening in the country, what was happening in the world. You know, that civility has seemed to be, has seemingly gone away, that you can disagree without being disagreeable.
That, that opinion may not necessarily be a reflection of who that person is. And it wasn’t just a political affiliation, the way that the tweet or the way that the post read really went into something much deeper, much deeper than that. And it just kind of opened up those wounds. Now, do I have the answer and did I handle it the right way?
I don’t know. I don’t know. And honestly, I’m still conflicted with this right now, and that’s why I think this conversation is important. I think this conversation is important because I’m struggling with, how do we heal from that and how do we move on from that? Because here’s the thing with all of the great memories that I have of this person.
It has now been tainted forever because of that. And how do I deal with that?
Richard Streitz: Yeah.
David Pérez: Yeah. I can tell you guys something from Latin America’s point of view, we’ve been struggling with governments for ever, right.
Richard Streitz: Yeah, you’re sort of professionals at it.
David Pérez: Political conversations in Latin America are not, are not easy in any way, shape or form.
So there’s a saying out there, I, I don’t know if it originated here or if it’s something that’s more global, but we always say you never talk about religion, sports or politics. That’s bad manners to talk about those topics.
LaMondre Pough: We forgot that rule, because that’s something that’s said here as well, but we forgot about that one.
David Pérez: Exactly. But the thing is that. I believe that the divisiveness that we’re seeing right now with this election and with this actually round of elections across the world is more based on the fact that we are consuming information in such small bites, that everything seems to be reduced into either you’re for, or you’re against. And all the nuances of every single topic, all the different levels of, for example, racism, which that individual you’re talking about might have been racist, but not at the level that he’s showing it in that post.
All of those levels are lost because he has to condense all of the information into a tweet. And he has to get his point of view across in a tweet.
So having to, to share all of that nuance of your point of view of the world in, in social media, it makes it obviously something very hard. And the US has a bigger problem, I think, than many other countries, it’s that it has only two parties.
You can only select from two people that were basically selected for you. So either he represents you or he doesn’t, or she doesn’t, but it’s very, very hard to reconcile that with the person that you have in front of you.
Richard Streitz: You know, you bring up an interesting point about, uh, about social media, because there’s no question that social media has exasperated the, um, has done two things, exasperated the, and emboldened individuals and made more commonplace um, made more mainstream, some of this thinking, because it’s now not just me having these thoughts and not sure what everyone else thinks about it. It’s, it’s me having these thoughts and putting a tweet out and having 3 million people come back from all over the world saying, yeah, I think the same way.
And as a result, it’s, uh, it’s uh, it, now it gives me the ability to say, Hey, okay. I’m, I guess I wasn’t out in left field thinking of this. I, I guess everyone, other people are thinking like this, so I’ll keep thinking like this louder. Um, so I think that’s, that’s part of that social media aspect of it as well, because it’s taken individuals who may have been isolated in, in a particular community. Well, maybe they weren’t individuals immediately around them that had the same sort of thinking. But now they’re able to share that at a global stage with other people who think and suddenly they’ve, uh, you know, it, it legitimizes that type of thinking or whatever it is, and it doesn’t matter left or right or middle or whatever it is. When you have, um, affirmation from other individuals, you know, we, we feel more confident about the way we’re thinking or what we’re, what we’re doing. And so that’s just human nature. And so social media definitely, there’s no question, social media has played a huge, important role of that, but I think you’re absolutely right about how we’re forced to bite-size everything.
Right. And that makes it very digital. Suddenly there, there is no room for nuance in being able to create sort of a dialogue in, in, in, in forming one’s opinion. It’s now down to, you know, a handful of words and some of them, uh, and some emojis to, um, to make your, uh, to make your point or and make your opinion.
And, and that, uh, I think also, so you have this con, condensing of information and an opinion, as well as a legitimizing by support from, um, from other individuals outside of your immediate area, your, your immediate group. And so I think that that has it, um, that plays a huge role in it.
LaMondre Pough: No, it absolutely does.
And I think that, you know, we, we talk about social media being a connector about bringing people together. But what is missing is the nuance. Relationships, real relationships are about nuance. It’s not just we agree. It’s not just, or we disagree. It is really those gray areas that we find the medium to really connect and to understand who you are as an individual.
Uh, it is that, um, and, and you totally, you totally miss that. You totally miss that in terms of these quick blurbs that we put out, the fact that I can’t hear your voice when you’re telling me these things, the fact that I don’t see your body language, those things are, I think, essential to real relationships.
Richard Streitz: Communication, right.
LaMondre Pough: You know, and,
Richard Streitz: Fundamentals of communication.
LaMondre Pough: Exactly. And those things are missing, um, completely missing. So, Ugh.
Richard Streitz: It flattens, right. It flattens and condenses and makes very digital the response. And I don’t mean digital in the, in the electronic or technology. I mean, digital in, in the, in the essence that it’s, it’s either all of one or all another way.
And, and, and because you, you, you eliminate that nuance, uh, by removing the inner station in a voice, the expression of someone’s face, the, you know, all of that. Um, you know, I think one of the things in being able to approach, um, an individual that may have a very different opinion or viewpoint and trying to, because the, the, the bottom line is that we have the, the population is half, uh, right about half of, of, of the population is either thinking one way or another. Now I’m, I’m, I’m bringing it to the US, but I guess this, this really pertains to any sort of situation of, of this. And so that means this isn’t just a, um, a fractionalized or, or, or minority group.
That’s thinking a particular way. This is a large portion of the population, which means we have to learn to, to coexist with, uh, this philosophy and in, in, in whatever way that is, because we have to figure a way to do that, to be able to proceed. Um, you know, you look at the, um, again, looking at the US you look at the what’s happening with the Senate and the House and, and how, you know, they have to be middle ground in there, because we can’t exist without having any progress, um, there’s got to be some levels of compromise and understanding and mutual agreement in order to be able to move forward.
And you know, that that’s ,at that level, but then when you take that, then you take it down to all the, the down to the family and relationship level, it’s, it’s the same. In order to co-exist, we’ve got to be able to find middle ground and, and, you know, so maybe one way in, in approaching a conversation that may be uncomfortable with an individual that, that, that, you know, has a different, uh, uh, opinion or philosophy is, is approaching common ground and, and finding, uh, points of, of, um, or areas or, of interest or whatever.
That, that a, shows some level of commonality, um, and start from that point, as opposed to starting from the side, the, the, the points that are different. Um, and, and you know, the other thing about that also is, um, walking, understanding their story, ask them. ‘So tell me, um, what, what are the, what are the things that make you think that way?’
Or why do you have that opinion, understand the backstory, because I think that’s part of it also, if we understand a person’s backstory as to how and why they think that, we may have a deeper understanding and may be able to find some real true common ground with that individual, um, in, in saying, ‘Hey, you know what?
You’re right’. So I had that similar experience as well, and this is how I dealt with it. And so now you’re sharing a common, a common thing that may have happened in, in, in one’s past that that may have led, uh, them to start thinking in, in a particular way. Um, and again, the idea here is not necessarily to change someone’s opinion.
The idea is to have a constructive, meaningful conversation of understanding.
LaMondre Pough: Right.
David Pérez: Yeah.
LaMondre Pough: And one of the things that that’s going to require though, is that both sides have to be willing to hear those things.
Richard Streitz: That’s right.
LaMondre Pough: And I think that one of the things that makes this time such a scary time is that we have blocked each other out.
Like literally there is a wall, but it doesn’t matter what the content is that you’re saying, it’s the fact that you were saying it and you believe differently than I do, or you see things differently than I do. So it doesn’t matter what you’re saying. I’m not going to hear you, even if it’s a good idea, or if it’s something that you, if it, if it didn’t come from me, you’d be Gung Ho for it.
But because it came from me, it’s a problem. It’s a problem. And unfortunately, I feel that that has been a large part of where we are now. That has been a huge part of where we are now. It’s like the exchange of ideas doesn’t, it, it’s not even a thing because the idea didn’t come from this particular source or from this position.
And so, because I have a issue with you or who you are, because you believe the way that you believe. I can’t even hear anything from you. And makes it scary.
David Pérez: Well, I think that that reality stems from the fact that, again, everything became either you’re for, or you’re against it. There’s no middle ground at all.
So for example, one, one big thing I know here in Costa Rica has been abortion. You’re either pro abortion
or you’re against it. There’s no middle ground. So there’s the possibility of a candidate becoming president of a country that has so many different levels of things that he has to do, or she has to do just because he or she supported or was against that single topic.
Right. And the views narrow so much that nothing that comes out of the mouth of someone that’s against abortion can change my mind because I’m also against abortion. So he’s the right candidate, for example, that has happened here. And I know that’s, what’s happening in the US because everything that they say can be pardoned because they are supporting me in one of the things that I hold most valuable. Again, the problem is the nuance is lost. Everything in communication is about more than what is being said. And the problem with communication is when you think it happened, sometimes you say something and you didn’t mean it that way, but the way that the other person is receiving it, is not based on how you said it or, or what you said, it’s on how you said it, how they got the message and all the noise that’s around them.
So to really have that communication happen, as Richard was saying, the first thing that you need to do is listen, understand where the other person is coming from not to change minds, because that’s not the, the idea here. The idea is to understand where they’re coming from, to understand how we got here and find out what we can do to get better at building societies that are not based on, on so, such minimal things, right? Because we have so many big issues.
Richard Streitz: Right, well.
David Pérez: And I know that this is going to rub some people wrong. That the fact that I’m saying that maybe abortion is not one of the biggest issues that we could be focusing on, but the fact is abortion still happens, even if it’s legal or not, even if it’s supported or not, it’s still going to happen.
So maybe some other things might be more important, like inclusion, like fixing the economy for the people that have been disenfranchised, like some other topics that are actually something that’s nuanced and that both candidates had something to say about it. Right. But the conversations never got there.
LaMondre Pough: Right.
David Pérez: They never got there. And that’s the problem.
LaMondre Pough: Yeah. And I also think it’s, it’s interesting how in terms of the political arena, how you can have, as you said, in, in, in the US, it’s a situation where it’s a two party system, and honestly you have these two parties that are fighting each other and it trickles to, it trickles down to the citizens.
And honestly, many, and, and this, this is what makes it a little bit difficult for me, uh, as well. Because I remember a time where you could have an intellectual conversation, you could have a deep discussion of things and you could disagree in that and you could walk away, but still remain cordial, still remain friends.
Now there has been such a dumbing down of the topics of the, of the, of the subjects of, of the content of these conversations that it really has become black or white. And the problem is those people are still arguing and then they go in the back room and shake hands. Whereas when we argue we’re done, we’re done forever and that’s it.
And, and my thinking is: how do we then retrain ourselves to think, ‘you know what? Just because this person over here is pro-life and I am pro-choice, you know, that we can still have a conversation. And I actually like you Gary, or I actually like you, Tom, Masheela, you’re my friend’. You know, we can do that. We, we, we should be able to do that.
We were able to do it before.
Richard Streitz: Right. You know, I think that’s absolutely right. Um, and, and that goes to us, not necessarily, um, wearing our political, uh, beliefs on our sleeve, right. We’re much more complex and multidimensional individuals than just our political stance and, and our relationships with, again, our friends, families, loved ones, uh, work, uh, working partners, colleagues, and so forth.
Those are all very complex relationships that should all transcend just one’s , uh, political or one’s single line of, of political thinking, um, or, or, or thought, you know, um, the, the idea of having friends, family, loved ones is being able to go and have conversations about those ideas without the ramification of creating, um, long-term harmful, um, um, side effects of those conversations.
Uh, you know, that’s, in my family. I know growing up, we would always get into really great spirited conversations around the table. Um, and, uh, um, and, and. I, you know, we all kind of enjoyed the ability to be able to do that. But at the end of the, you know, at the end of the, uh, of the meal or, or, or the sitting that we had, sometimes it was while we were playing games, we we’d go into these, into these heated conversations.
And, but at the end of the day it was done and, you know, and it was fine, you know, you know, you, you either proved your case or you didn’t prove your case and you went on with life, you know, it was. And so I grew up in an, in an environment where it was okay to disagree with somebody and have a healthy, um, uh, argumentative conversation, argumentative in, in the debate sense, not, not in, in just the purely confrontational sense.
Um, because that isn’t, that is an important part of communication is, is argument, argument, rhetoric. Those are all, um, part of, of, of our complex levels of communication. And, uh, and sometimes I think those get distorted and abused and not completely, truly understood by the individuals that are, um, that are using, that are utilizing those, those tools.
David Pérez: Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s very complicated. Because the thing is that we’re talking about heal, healing, relationships that are already very fractured. So it’s not a matter of just going back and saying, I’m sorry about what I did last summer. It’s, it’s more about rebuilding trust around the possibility of being yourself, around, around people.
Because I think that people as, as you guys have laid it out very clearly, really have shown who they are during this time of turmoil in the US. There, there were a lot of things happening in the US no one was listening. The fact that a candidate came that said he was listening, even if not true, gave them the power to actually come out and be as much themselves as they could.
And that of course is very scary for the vast majority of the, of the population that feels like things shouldn’t be, again, black and white. Things should be more about give and take, compromise, conversations, going ahead and understanding what’s the scary part for you. That’s making you react so drastically to, to this very small thing would be, would go a long way, but again, to rebuild our relationship, I don’t think if it’s going to happen in four years, I don’t think if it’s going to happen in, in eight or 12, it’s going to take a long time for the US to actually get to a point again, where you can actually have conversations that are, that, that feel all the different levels
of, of the nuances that, that each topic has.
Richard Streitz: Well, I, you know, I agree that at a civic level, at a, at a national level, the idea that we are, that we do only have two, um, two parties does very much digitalize, you know, it’s either one way or the other, um, um, it forces people to go toward the extremes of these thinkings, which is where the parties have come to over, over these years.
Um, and, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Um, I think, you know, there’s, there’s got to be some middle ground that we achieve, because I think both parties have, have gone to such an extreme level that there are individuals who are now uncomfortable being at that one extreme or the other, you know what, uh, you know, I think I’m somewhere in the middle now, and there is no ‘in the middle’, you you’re, you’re ultimately forced right now to be all of one way or all the other.
Um, and, and if you’re not in agreement, then you must be against automatically. Um, and, and, um, and that level of subtlety I think is, is, is harmful. Um, and, and, um, David, I think you’re right, that type of healing is going to take time. I think we need to have a diff, a third party, a third or fourth party, um, to help, um, to help provide voice to, um, to those who don’t not, who don’t want to necessarily subscribe to the one extreme or the other.
LaMondre Pough: Right. Right no, I, I agree with that as well Richard, and I also think that if we’re talking about healing, um, as a nation, if we’re talking about healing, uh, even in our personal relationships, I think it’s important that we, first of all, recognized that people are individuals and they have individual feelings and they have individual thoughts and they’re allowed to do that.
That’s okay. Um, but I also think it’s important that we recognize our own stuff as well, that we recognize our own biases. And one thing that always struck me about the healing process is that sometimes it hurts. And sometimes you have to go through the pain of the wound. Sometimes you have to peel back the layers in order to really build something that’s healthy.
And so, as David was saying earlier about, you know, it’s not gonna happen in four years, it’s not gonna happen in eight years. You know what. This is a part of the peeling back, I believe. And I believe it has to lay open for a little while and we have to deal with those hurt. But I believe as I was saying so many episodes now, I believe in us and I believe that, um, I believe that we’ll get to it, but, but right now at this moment, it’s tender.
It hurts. It’s painful, but I believe we care enough. I believe that there are enough people who care enough, who are fatigued with the arguing and the fighting and the, all the stuff that comes along with this, that we’re willing to work on, mending that in an authentic way, in a real way. And I believe that that’s what it’s going to take, um, for real healing to manifest.
And I believe this is a part of it. I do. It hurts. I don’t like it, but it’s a part of it.
Richard Streitz: Yeah, I absolutely agree. Uh, you know, um, it’s a necessary process that one must go through whether it’s an individual or a nation. Um, it it’s, it’s the same. Um, and yeah, maybe this is just part of that painful process.
We all had to go through to, to have a better understanding of where we are truly as a, as a, uh, as a nation as, as a people. Um, you know, we are. We are resilient. I think history has shown time and time again, that we are a resilient people and we can overcome even the most dire and extreme, um, situations and scenarios.
And, and we will, we will come through this as well, of that I have, I have no doubt. But I agree a hundred percent. It’s it’s messy sometimes, it’s it’s messy and it can be painful. Um, But I think we’re going to be all better for the process getting through this. Um, and it’ll give us, I think, a better idea about who we really are as a nation.
David Pérez: Yeah. It, it, it, it always, it’s always going to be hard and it’s, it’s gonna take time. But as, as we always say in, in 3DVU, if you really want to see change, you need to start from, from yourself and, and starting understanding who you are, why you did the things you did during this period of time. And.
Then going ahead and trying to understand, understand others, why they did the things they did, why they said the things they said is going to go a long way in rebuilding that trust that’s missing right now from, from one party to the other or from one group of people to the other, from one person to the other.
I think that’s, that’s going to be the best way. Start from yourself. And then, build up from there.
LaMondre Pough: Yep, absolutely. Absolutely.
Richard Streitz: Absolutely agree. Um, and with that, I think that is a good note to end on, um, this, uh, this episode of 3DVU. We thank you and appreciate you taking the time to listen to our show.
Thanks and take care.
LaMondre Pough: Bye bye.
David Pérez: Thanks for joining us this week on 3DVU. Make sure to visit our website ruhglobal.com/3dvu. That’s ruhglobal.com/3dvu where you can subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts or join our YouTube channel so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you find value in the show, we appreciate it if you would leave a like or comment or simply tell a friend about the show that would really help us a lot too. If you would like to join our conversations, you can join our Facebook community 3DVU, three perspectives, one conversation. .