Episode 054: Together is Better…When We Get To Be Who We Are

The offhand comment, “Such a nasty woman!” uttered by Donald Trump triggered social media rants and protests by women all over this country.  As I looked at their (and my own) emotional response, I saw a way for us to move forward together with understanding and compassion.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – Actually, I DO Get Talker’s Block
Random Riffs – From An Autumn Wonderland to a Soggy Mess
Feature Segment – Together Is Better – When We Get To Be Who We Are

Rhythm of Life – Actually, I DO Get Talker’s Block

Seth Godin said, “There’s no such thing as Writer’s Block!”  You don’t get Talker’s Block.  No one runs out of things to say.  So don’t tell me there’s such a thing as Writer’s Block.  Let’s call it what it is – fear.”

At the time, I thought it was funny.  And then I listened to friends talk about what they are going through.  And I didn’t really know what to say.  Sometimes there are no words.

Have you ever felt something so deeply that you couldn’t think of the right words to express it?  Sometimes silence is the best option.  Sometimes feelings are so deep that they can’t be expressed, except with metaphors.  At those times it’s best to simply sit with someone.  Feel what they feel.  Share a sacred, silent moment.

At other times we tell stories.  Stories can sometimes convey emotion that plain words cannot.  And stories put to music— well they touch us in ways mere words cannot.

Or what about singing without words?  Just a melody to soothe and comfort, or energize and encourage?

And, as we said before, there’s always silence.  Leaving space for emotion.  Sometimes silence does speak louder than words.

Random Riffs – From an Autumn Wonderland to a Soggy Mess

Last week was absolutely glorious!  We had warmer weather into early fall and so the leaves were late turning colors.  Red, yellow, and orange.  An autumn wonderland.

I wished it would go on forever.  But …. it didn’t.  The leaves are coming down in droves.  And I can’t clear them because it’s…raining.

You know what wet leaves are like to try and mow?  It doesn’t work.  So I started thinking.  What would be the best tool to clear leaves?  What common household appliance could be modified to clear leaves?

Listen to the episode to hear what I came up with.  Oh yeah.  It’s good.

Feature Segment – Together Is Better – When We Get To Be Who We Are

“She’s a nasty woman!”  That phrase, uttered by Donald Trump during the 3rd Presidential Debate, turned into a rallying cry for women across the United States.  Barely after he uttered those words, Twitter lit up with #nastywoman.

Why did this strike such a chord with so many women?  Because somehow it’s okay for him to speak that way and not her.  Because she’s a woman.

Gina Barreca  explores this idea and more in her latest book, “If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?”  The subtitle hints further at the topic – Questions and Thoughts for Loud, Smart Women in Turbulent Times.  Gina’s trying to help us understand that loud and smart can be said of women, and not be a bad thing.  It can be something we celebrate.

If you’ve looked around at this great nation of ours, you’ve noticed that we have some cracks in our foundation.  Some problems that appear almost insurmountable.  Yet, we’ve solved big problems before.  How? A shared vision and working together.  To succeed, we need each other.

Simon Sinek just put out a little book called “Together is Better”.  The main characters are two boys and a girl who go on an adventure together.  They take turns leading.  They are simply sharing.  Mutual respect and trust.  It’s beautiful.

Together IS better – when we get to be who we really are.

How often does that happen?  Not often enough.  Too often we are held captive by fear.  It doesn’t look anything like the children in “Together is Better”.

What is happening here?  Where it feels like the playground with a bully ruling?  Men still have a lot more power than women.  But when you dig beneath the surface, you find that a lot of this behavior is based in shame.  And it manifests itself in both men and women.  It just looks different.

In her book “Daring Greatly”, Brene Brown tells of an encounter after she gave a talk.  That caused her to start studying shame in men as well.  What Brene concluded was that men and women are equally affected by shame.  The difference lies in the messages and expectations that fuel their shame.

Imagine what happens when we then try and work together?  It isn’t pretty.

The key is to recognize shame for what it is.  To understand and help one another through it.  And to live together with an openness that comes from true empathy.  That’s what Brene Brown is getting at.  That’s what Simon Sinek is saying.  And that’s what Gina Barreca is saying too.

Bring who you are.  Love and respect who others are.  Together we can patch the cracks in the foundation.  Make this country greater than it already is.  Because together is better – when we get to be who we are.