S and I have talked over many haircuts about Lizzo, Fleabag, and podcasts we like. I also know from these conversations that our backgrounds are different and I enjoy her company (and her salon skills) very much. Did I mention that we come from different worlds?
S had never heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda much less Freestyle Love Supreme. When I told her about a story that Audie Cornish has reported on All Things Considered, it was clear that she’d never heard of All Things Considered, much less Audie Cornish. When she asked me what I’d learned in 2019, I told her I loved So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo and I was looking forward to the Just Mercy movie. More blank stares.
You know you live in a bubble when everything you reference in a single conversation sounds like a foreign language to other people in the conversation.
“Everybody” I know can identify Lin-Manuel Miranda (and recognizes the lyrics to Hamilton.) “Everybody” I know listens to All Things Considered (and Morning Edition and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.) “Everybody” I know has read So You Want to Talk About Race (and The New Jim Crow and I’m Still Here and Just Mercy.)
I need to get out more.
One of the reasons our nation is so divided is because many of us live in bubbles. We judge those who aren’t as – whatever – as we are. And the truth is that all of us are ignorant about other people’s culture.
True Confession: I had never heard of Jason Aldean until the Las Vegas Shooting in 2017.
I know nothing about hunting and fishing except what I’ve learned from my father-in-law. I know nothing about Pakistani food except what I’ve learned from my daughter-in-law. I know nothing about parrots except what I’ve learned from one of my colleagues.
I know nothing about many, many things.
If we hope to heal the divisions in our nation, our families, our neighborhoods, we need to listen to people who know things we don’t know. We need to appreciate different kinds of knowledge. We need to be gracious in the presence of people whose opinions are the opposite of our opinions.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a is an American composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer, and playwright, widely known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.* My SBC met him recently. It was pretty cool.
Image from Freestyle Love Supreme. From left to right: Chris Sullivan, Anthony Veneziale, Christopher Jackson, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Bill Sherman and Lin-Manuel Miranda.