Corona Virus Quarantine Day #88: Out of your head and into your heart. June 15, 2020
As a teacher and coach I am put in rooms where I get to have discussions about current events and how they impact how we teach and/or coach. Lately…I’ve been in a lot of these room (via zoom of course). Whether we are talking about saving volleyball at the collegiate level, the safe return to sport and what that looks like or most recently race relations, all of these talks have been incredibly insightful and I learn every time we have one of these discussions.
Today I had one of my best ones to date. I was speaking with a colleague who happens to be a 40 something black man. We were talking about race. We serve in an official capacity together, don’t know each other very well…yet…but because of the roles we have on a Board of Directors I wanted to discuss with him what I can do to help our volleyball community to deal with the problems we are seeing at this time in our nation.
Here are my takeaways…
He kept saying that there needs to be real dialogue where people stretch their boundaries outside the norm. He thinks the tone of conversation now is to talk around the problem rather than to hit it head on. We discussed how people are uncomfortable to ask questions and share their real thoughts. I couldn’t agree more. I really believe that we grow the most from uncomfortable places.
He mentioned his faith, which to me is a huge part of this discussion as a person who also practices Christianity. He said that he wants to live in a world where we have a love that runs heart to heart and breast to breast. That spoke to me so deeply.
However, this is what he said that struck me the most…”I want people to have a love that runs from heart to heart and breast to breast. I am not offended as a black man when a white person asks me to share my story or to serve as a “teacher” to them, but I do not think it is productive. The best instructor of anyone is one’s self. If we look in our own hearts and get out of own heads we will know how to help.”
With these comments he asked me to share my heart and feelings about racism with our high school leadership group in our weekly meetings. He said he thought my perspective (as a white woman) on racism would likely have more of an impact than his (as a black man) on the people we are trying to reach. I had never thought about this in this way.
I realize this is only one man’s perspective but I thought I’d share as it has given me a lot to think about.
He then challenged me to share my heart with our leadership group to try to get them to lead with their hearts instead of their heads (though he did tell me that he would understand if I didn’t want to do it. He used the word challenge, which, frankly made me want to do it even more.
As I said he doesn’t know me very well, but sharing my heart is my specialty. I have no problem wearing my heart on my sleeve or sharing personal stories with others. I did have to warn him about my propensity for tears though. I got teary eyed simply from him asking me to do it.
I have no idea what exactly what I will say, but I will speak from my heart and I will hope for the best and good dialogue to follow.
While our conversation was one mainly about race today I think his words ring true for all things. We can all look into our own hearts more and I do believe the world would be a better place. While this certainly won’t solve all our problems…but I think it’s a good place to start.
I went into our powder bathroom today right after this conversation and saw Fiona’s sign. It made me smile and seemed really relevant to my discussion. I would simply exchange the word “mind” with “heart”. But either way…I think the message rings true.