(NOTE: This was originally posted in January 2017. It’s actually big enough for 3 posts. This is post 2. It’s been updated to include not only the original points, but how they apply to those of us who own our own business.)

I’ve said this in the past, but I need to keep saying it: You cannot know people by reading about them or watching a broadcast about them. Growing up in suburban southwest Ohio, I had very little interaction with people of color. It wasn’t because I or my family intentionally segregated ourselves; it was because there weren’t many people of color around. The year I graduated high school, there were just under 2,100 students. There were 78 black students, and even fewer Latinos or Asians. Most of what I had to go on were stereotypes. Moving to North Carolina to go to college, where minorities are a much larger share of the population, gave me an opportunity to get to know people of different backgrounds vs what I saw in the media. My wife has been able to educate me about the “Driving While Black” problem. I have friends in Toastmasters who are from other countries, and I’ve been able to hear their experiences.

After a previous post, a friend of mine challenged me to go deeper on the media’s role in the race relations issue. I think life experience is what hampers members of the media. They go to college and get their communication and journalism degrees, and gain a very liberal worldview as a result, particularly if they attend a public university. Public universities are like public K-12 schools – “public” is another way of saying “government-funded.” The instructors are employees of the state they work in. If government is paying the salary that houses, feeds and clothes you and your family, you are going to have a more favorable view of government. That’s human nature. It will be evident in the way they instruct students. So now you have a typical college grad that has spent 16 years being taught that if there is a problem, you should look first (and many times only) to government. Now they are looking for a job in media/journalism. They land the gig. As part of the territory of the job, they interact with government officials regularly. Sadly, most elected officials view their role as one of superiority and power, not of servitude to the citizens, and they spend most of their efforts trying to increase their power and influence. The more time the journalist spends in this environment, the more detached they get from rank-and-file people. They are more and more influenced by the officials who speak to the journalist’s preferred ideology. They buy in to what the officials say, Now, back in the newsroom, his/her colleagues have a big pile of bad news for the next broadcast. The more people get insulated by people that think like them, the more critical they get of people who think differently. That criticism eventually develops into hatred. Quickly, that list of bulleted stereotypes in the last post become part of the mental fabric. The stereotypes get more and more extreme and absolute. Pretty soon we hate everybody.

The business application is easy here: 

When you meet someone for the first time – in person or online – never assume they are evil. Try to assume the best of people until their own words and actions prove otherwise.

You will now have to bear with me while I get church-ey for a bit. As a teenage kid in the 1980s, I got really hooked on a bunch of Christian musical acts. DeGarmo & Key was my favorite, along with Petra, Mylon LeFevre, Steve Taylor and several others. One of those others was Farrell & Farrell, a husband/wife duo that was a lot more keyboards and synthesizers than guitars and distortion amps. But I fell in love with the title song from their 1986 album Manifesto. The message is to not focus on the evil in everything. The lyrics are below. Without my background information, you could read these lyrics and think the song was written last week. But no, it’s 33 years old. If you want to listen to it, you can do so here.

There’s a mess of things wrong in the world

I would find it hard it hard to argue with that

The daily news is like a lesson in fear

a general feeling that we’re moving too fast

There’s a crime for every second of time

like a sickness has infected us all

but I choose to find the silver lining behind those clouds.

(CHORUS)

I refuse to dwell on the evil

I have cast my lot with the righteous

I will live the words of the master

I will take my stand

This is my manifesto

My manifesto

 

We never have to go looking too hard

to find a good supply of sins to renounce

Current society’s providing a flow

but is there better news for us to announce?

For every wrong there is an opposite right

and there’s redemption for the guiltiest soul

And I chose to spend my time promoting the lord of life

 

I refuse to dwell on the evil

I have cast my lot with the righteous

I will live the words of the master

I will take my stand

This is my manifesto

My manifesto

In the next post, we’ll talk about the need to research what we see and hear.

Hopefully this writing gets you to thinking and make changes if necessary. If it’s helpful, and you could use a writer for your business venture, contact us.

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