I love the TV drama “Designated Survivor”. Have you ever watched it? British-Canadian Actor Keifer Sutherland (one of my favorites) plays the role of U. S. President Tom Kirkman. The show’s story line is great, believable and probably a typical day in the Office of the President, The White House and our American government. Designated Survivor airs Wednesday at 10PM (et) on ABC-TV. More about Kiefer in a moment.

I was chatting with a great friend recently about people who have no problem publicly giving their opinion on topics and issues. Sometimes people who are courageous enough to tell us how the really feel are perceived as cavalier, a loud mouth or trouble maker.  Keifer Sutherland (President Kirkman) said something on a recent episode of “Designated Survivor” that taught me to think otherwise. He invited a Journalist to the “White House” to give him an award. The Reporter was puzzled about the recognition because he was adamantly against; had no problem writing in his publication about his dislike of President Kirkman’s agenda and policies. So, why would the President invite this guy to The White House? I’m glad you ask. He invited the Journalist to The White House to tell him “personally” to keep “standing up” and giving his point of view. Aha! That’s it! I’ll say the same to you “Keep Standing Up” and telling people how you feel and if you’re not “Standing Up” “Stand Up” and give your opinion in your church, community and family. It matters; folk may not like it but it feels good to “get it off your chest” so to speak while simultaneously making people at least hear your view. President Kirkman embraced the Journalist opinion and told him “There’d be no ME if their was no YOU”. Bingo! He’s right too. I’ve learned to listen to challenge, debate and another point of view because it develops brain muscle and broader thinking. The challenge though may be US not getting in our emotions and shutting the other person down because they don’t think like we do.

God made us ALL free thinkers and we should respect others opinions whether we like it or not without getting mad and falling out with each other. To bad a lot of folk can’t accommodate varying degrees of viewpoints. It’s OK to believe what you believe but don’t crucify someone just because they don’t think and believe like you. I think that’s very one dimensional.

Over the years in my broadcasting career my best interviews have come from people with a different perspective. I got the chance to ask the right questions without being offensive while expanding my own knowledge and learning. Maybe it’s time for you to broaden your thinking and like President Kirkman celebrate diversity of opinion and logic. #IJS  Don’t be a one track mind but learn to listen to differences. It’ll feel awkward at first but you’ll adjust and become the better for it.

Today, surprise your spouse, children or companions by looking them straight in the eyes, listening to and allowing them to give you their diverse perspective without your criticism. And if you’ve been a vocal critic in the past regarding diversity you may have to pick them up off the floor because perhaps for the first time you LISTENED without ridiculing them. FOOTNOTE: You’ll know you’ve become a good listener when they ask “Are you listening to me?” {LOL] When they’re completely done then speak your peace of mind tactfully and diplomatically of course. Afterwards, pat yourself on the back and congratulations! You’re well on the way to becoming more diversified.

I believe conversation without walls can have an amazing impact on all our lives. After all, it really does take a diversity of ideas and opinions to make the world spin.

Shalom! (peace) And I sincerely pray the blessing of God and His provision for you all the days of your life.




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