Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Cure for Our Country's Pathological sickness that leads to John Crawford,Michael Brown,Eric Gardner, and so many more.

America is suffering from a disease. It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.  We do not know when it begins to affect us, but we live and breathe it. It inundates us from every quarter. It permeates our entire lives. This disease, this sickness, is the legacy of a history of racism and prejudice. However, the racism and prejudice are only a symptom, and possibly not even the most significant symptom.  This sickness afflicts those with good hearts and good and intentions just as readily as it affects those with ill intent and hatred in their hearts.

The police shooting deaths of Mr. John Crawford, Mr. Michael Brown, Mr. Ezell Ford, and Tamir Rice, and the choke-hold death of Mr. Eric Garner in New York are all symptoms of this sickness. The pain and suffering experienced by the police officers involved, and their families, are all symptoms of this sickness. These tragedies are no more a symptom of our country's sickness than the tragic shooting of Brooklyn officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.  The anxiety and discomfort we feel when we interact with those of a different race is a symptom of this disease.  The lack of understanding that those in the racial majority display when those in the racial minority insist that racism is alive and well is a symptom of this sickness.  It is insidious. 

I stated at the outset that I would offer a solution. That is exactly what I intend to do. And I intend to do that by first pointing out that we have approached this problem in an insufficient way for decades. Many who have worked on this difficulty experienced in our country have met with frustration we focused only on part of the problem.

For weeks following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, I came to anticipate and dread that question which has become all too common in our country, "What do you think of what's going on in Ferguson?" The tenor of the question is different as a function of who is asking the question. For example, if the question is being asked by one of my colleagues at the university, it is asked with a look of curiosity tinged with trepidation.  If on the other hand, it's asked by a person of color, there is a look of tight lipped consternation. And in both cases, there is an apparent bit of challenge evident in the question.  We've all seen the data and heard the report that there is a significant racial divide in the way that the country is responding to these events. The way that manifests itself is with mostly people of color responding with anger and outrage and frustration. And with white people responding with questions such as why do they have to get violent and what does burning down a store have to do with it? There is a reason for the difference in these responses. This stark difference is attributable to a sickness in our country that we have failed to address directly. We all recognize that there are racial challenges in our country, however, the way that we have dealt with it or failed to deal with it, as it were, has been unsuccessful. It is time for the conversation to change. The way that we have been addressing this is simply by addressing symptoms of the underlying problem. The underlying problem is self-awareness. Self-awareness both on the part of those who see themselves as victims and those who see themselves as accused. For the sake of our shared humanity, we would do well to recognize that this is a difficult time for all parties involved. And that all parties involved, meaning all Americans, are victims of this sickness.

Be clear that this is a sickness that affects all of us. Whether we are a young inner-city black man who is afraid for his life if he's pulled over, or if we are an upper-middle-class biracial family who, as a direct result of this sickness, is forced to have conversations with their children around the dinner table about how many will respond to them because of their race.

What is this sickness? it is a lack of self awareness.  It is the leftovers of years and years of racism, sexism, discrimination, and manipulation designed to establish and maintain relative power, social status, and access to resources.  It has infected the way that we think and the way that we respond to our world.  We see these reactions as "automatic" which is to suggest that they are out of our conscious control, but that is simply not the case.  Ask yourself, what is your first thought when you see a young Black or Latino man driving a very expensive car? When police officers are asked this question they respond, "Probably a drug dealer."  But when you change the race of the driver to White they respond, "Spoiled little rich kid."  Does this indicate racism on the part of the officers?  Not necessarily.  I am convinced instead that it is the sickness rearing its ugly head.  It is all of the fears, the stereotypes, and the over-generalizations that they have been exposed to over the years.  It is every blaxploitation film that they've seen.  It's every "joke" that they've heard about women or blondes or people of Jewish faith.  The list goes on.

But this post is about something hopeful.  This post is about a cure for this sickness.  The cure requires that we each come to a greater understanding of ourselves.  That begins with something that I have written about in this blog many times before.  It begins with an understanding that everything that we experience has an indelible impact on how and what we think, and that how/what we think has a direct impact on how we experience the world.   I see so many people devoting themselves to promoting harmony. dedicating themselves to understanding.  Yet, the same conversations take place year after year.  My 3rd-grade son came home from school just yesterday talking about what he learned about Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.  And while I appreciate that my son is learning about this incredibly important aspect of who we are, it occurred to me that it is the same things that my 6th grade daughter came home talking about when she was in third grade.  Discussed the same way that it was discussed with my 9th grade son when he was in third grade.  With no greater clarity regarding how we move forward than that which was there when my 12th grade son learned about it in his third grade class.  

This is not to say that we've not made incredible strides, because we certainly have.  However, I find myself waiting for a development in the conversation.  A development that will result in movement forward.  I am convinced that a change in focus from the behavior of "others" to efforts to understand what motivates us and our perceptions will move us in that direction.

We are ready for this change.  We deserve this.  We ALL do.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Know when to walk away; Know when to run!

So it's been a while since I've shared my thoughts with you guys. It's great to be back! And you find me at a very interesting place in my journey. So let me set the scene for you. My wife, Mary, and I tell the kids that we have to get together one recent evening and go out to dinner because Dad has an announcement to make. Now remember, we have four kids, all of whom are incredibly active! So going out to dinner in the middle of the week is quite a feat. But we manage. So we select a restaurant, and our brood arrives! We all sit down and we order drinks and appetizers. Of course this entire time my heart is racing and I'm not exactly sure why. After all, I'm the dad! I've got this all under control, right? Sure!  I've been thinking about how I was going to share my big news with the family and I had this entire monologue laid out in my head. In fact, I have the entire dialogue laid out! As though I knew exactly how my children would respond. Should've known better!

So despite the fact that I have this entire monologue laid out in my head, what did I do? I blurted out… "Daddy quit his job!" There is complete silence at the table. My oldest son, Andrew, is looking at me with an expression that says, "I know more is coming, so..." My 14-year-old son, Justin, continues to decide what to order… Don't worry, I'm sure he'll be incredibly supportive once he decides  which giant burger he wants. My one and only daughter, Sabrina, has the perfect mix of incredulity kindness and support on her face. I don't know how she does it! But there it is. And finally my youngest, Colin, who is eight years old and an inimitable thinker, has a look of shock on his face as he holds his hand to his chest with his mouth agape. Mary is holding my hand under the table. Thanks for that.

Despite the fact that I share the news in a way that was completely contrary to what I had decided, I was glad to have it out there. And to my astonishment, despite the vast array of facial expressions I saw at the announcement, really all they wanted to know was what I was going to do next! It was beautiful! They weren't afraid, they weren't annoyed, they weren't concerned about how we were going to pay for their next athletic trip or model UN event, they were curious about my next steps! You see, I think that spoke to the security that they feel in their lives. The security that they feel knowing that mom and dad are going to be there when they need them and that we will provide for them. That type of security is so important. And that's what I have in my university position. And therein lies the rub!

So I'm totally tempted right now to tell you guys all about my journey from inner-city North St. Louis to tenured professor at a Jesuit University, but, I'll save that for another time. Besides, if you guys want to hear more about that you're going to have to ask me! Instead, I'll give you the cliff's notes. Picture this kid, hanging out outside in North St. Louis city.  Yes, there is violence.  Yes, there's poverty.  Yes, there's insecurity. And yes, there's a drive for something more. We fast-forward to high school. Let's just say that, in the midst of the busing practices from inner-city St. Louis schools to St. Louis County schools, Vashon high school was not exactly the place for me. After my freshman year I ended up at Lindbergh high school where I was one of the very very few students of color.… More struggle…but let's just say that this is where Rockhurst college (now Rockhurst University and my current place of employment) found me. After all of the insecurity, all of the hopes and dreams, all of the fears about my future and what prospects I might have, I found a home at Rockhurst. It was here that I came into adulthood. It was here that I met and fell in love with Mary. In many ways, it seems as though it was here that my life started. It was also here that in my sophomore year, sitting on the wall outside of McGee Hall, the girls' dorm, I said to Mary, "Someday I'll come back here and teach." And I have. 

And that's where I find myself now. That dream, as lofty as it seemed to me at the time, I realize it was beautiful and worthy, but it was also juvenile. I had no way of knowing how much I would love and miss treating patients. How much I would miss accepting invitations to consult or to accept speaking engagements. What I realized was there was more that I was being called to do. And Rockhurst, while I continue to love her, is no longer home.  And as scary as it is, I'm determined that it's time to move forward. Time to trade surety and stability for possibility.  A good and wise friend of mine, Kelli P., pointed out to me that often it's so easy to stay in our nice warm comfortable bed and remind ourselves that we could just stay and stay and stay. But she also encouraged me to imagine all of the things that we can accomplish if we choose not to stay in our comfortable place. If we determined to do all the things that we are hoping for deep within ourselves. And that is just what I am doing! There is more to come. So much more. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

You Don't Know Me, Fool! Wait, Maybe I Don't Either!

Hello everyone! In my last post, I spent quite a bit of time talking about the "soil that we've been cultivated in." I pointed out that in order to understand why we are the way we are in the world, it's important that we understand everything that goes into making us who we are.  And our soil is made up of all those things. But one of the major things that contributes to our soil, much more so than what country your ancestors were originally from, is our values.  Generally when people start talking about values the first things that comes to mind are religious values. We start thinking about things like morality and ethics (another post for another time). That's not necessarily what I'm talking about here. In this context, your values are your ideas about what is most important to you and your life. What you want to live by, and what you want to live for.  When we find ourselves watching a television show or a movie and saying "Wow, I don't like that!" Or "Oh yeah! I love that!" Or when we find ourselves looking at and judging other people's relationships (and you know you do), what are those silent forces that are behind your responses? The silent forces that often guide our decisions?  This is our values at work! These are hints of the things that we value bleeding through into everything that we do.
     But how often do we really exam what we value?  Are we even open to such exploration? I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, Carl, at a party this past weekend. We talked about a number of things, but one of the things that we talked about was the way people respond when they encounter others who either have religious views that are different from their own, or have religious views at all when we don't. One thing that I noticed about the way Carl responded was that on more than one occasion, he made the statement, "That's something I don't know anything about." And he would immediately follow it up with questions. Trying to increase his understanding. As a result, we both ended up exploring these topics that people often don't talk about.  I'm convinced I grew from that conversation because I value understanding. I value growth. And I value openness in friendship. 
     So here's what we'll do this week. Let's engage in a bit of a Values Clarification exercise!  The goal of a values clarification exercise is for the influence of each of these values to become fully conscious for us. For us to explore and honestly acknowledge what we truly value at this time in our lives.  In doing this, we can acknowledge what we truly value.  We can be more self-directed and effective when we know which values we consciously choose to keep an live by, and which ones will get priority over others. In this exercise identify your values first. Write them down in a list. And then rank your top five. Simple, yes? I'll provide a list of values below.

Being with people.
Being loved.
Being married.
Having a special partner.
Having companionship. 
Loving someone.
Taking care of others.
Having someone to help.
Having a close family.
Having good friends.
Being liked.
Being popular.
Getting peoples approval. 
Being appreciated. 
Being treated fairly. 
Being admired. 
Being independent. 
Being courageous.
Having things under control. 
Having self-control. 
Being emotionally stable. 
Having self acceptance. 
Having pride or dignity. 
Being well organized. 
Being competent. 
Learning and knowing a lot. 
Achieving highly
Being productively busy. 
Having enjoyable work. 
Having an important position. 
Making money.
Striving for perfection. 
Making a contribution to the world. 
Fighting injustice. 
Living ethically. 
Being a good parent or child. 
Being a spiritual person. 
Having a relationship with God. 
Having peace and quiet. 
Making a home. 
Preserving your roots. 
Having financial security. 
Holding on to what you have. 
Being safe physically.
Being free from pain. 
Not getting taken advantage of. 
Having it easy. 
Being comfortable.
Avoiding boredom.
Having fun.
Enjoying sensual pleasures.
Looking good. 
Being physically fit.
Being healthy. 
Having prized possessions. 
Being a creative person.
Having deep feelings.
Growing as a person.
Living fully.
"Smelling the flowers"
Having a purpose.

Doing this type of exploration can be intimidating. But it also can be so gratifying! It helps us understand ourselves. Helps us understand our opinions and our passions! So I challenge you to engage in this exercise with me. So many of us have heard people say, "I know you better than you know yourself!" Should that ever be true?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Soil Made Me Do It!!

     So I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the question of why people do the things they do. Why people make the choices they make.  I say "lately" but in reality, I've been thinking about that question for years!  In fact, it's what lead me to the field of psychology.  Growing up in the type of environment that I grew up in (North St. Louis, inner-city) I often found myself looking at the choices all too many people around me were making and asking, "Why are they doing that?" "Why do they think the way that they think?"  Back then I found few satisfying answers. Of course I heard all of the "conventional wisdom" (read that as "common sense" and you all know what I think of that!) which stated that we do what we do because it's what our parents taught us, or because it's just natural. Well, considering some of the behaviors I saw in my neighborhood, I am pretty damned sure that the parents weren't teaching that! At least not for the most part. And not on purpose. But I didn't have the answers. Not yet. 
     I started out by writing that I've been thinking about this question a lot recently. And I have. Though the questions haven't changed, I do have more resources, knowledge, and experience to tap in my journey to discover the answers.  As a psychologist, I have been trained to look for answers by engaging in critical thinking to develop the questions; and then to employ the scientific method to discover the answers. That method of inquiry and discovery has brought me a long way.  However, I've still found myself wanting answers that I simply have not found.  A couple of years ago, while doing course prep for my Abnormal Behavior course, I was at the point where I was preparing my lecture about why we study abnormal behavior and I had the thought that we study this so that we can explore why people function the way that they function or fail to function the way that they fail to function. And we do this with the goal of discovering what makes us function well.  It was then that it hit me. I am still asking the same questions that I was asking growing up in North St. Louis!  Seriously!?!  Picture a 12-year-old, poor, inner-city kid who was exposed to all of the things that go along with the stereotype of the inner-city (and probably much more) and who was often concerned about where his next meal would come from.  Now picture an upper-middle class Ph.D. This guy is a college professor and teaches at a well-respected private university. He recently had a home built in a suburb that he and his wife selected because of the outstanding quality of the school district. Hold the pictures of those two people in your mind. Now ask yourself if you think that when each of them is sitting alone in a quiet place, thinking about the questions that drive them, are they contemplating the exact same questions?  
     These two are both me. And yes, the questions have remained. But I have come to understand more as I open myself up to new ways of understanding.  I have come to understand that everything that I have experienced; everything that I have learned; every person that I've encountered; every church service I've attended; every pearl of wisdom dropped by my father, my reverend or my priest, my boxing coach, my theater coaches, or the guy who always hung outside the liquor store hoping for a quarter towards his next 40-oz; every book I've read; every political speech I've listened to; every story that I've heard that lifted my spirits or broke my heart; they have all had an indelible effect on who I am and how I respond to my world. They are all a part of my soil. The soil that I've been cultivated in. It's interesting to me that when I talk to someone about their soil, the first thing they tell me is, "Oh, my parents were _______ (fill in the blank: Irish, Germany, Chinese, Honduran, etc.) and they want to talk about their family tree. That is fine, but only in so much as that tree is a part of your soil. And only a part. If you really want to understand why you think the way you think and behave the way you behave, you must begin by exploring the soil that you've been cultivated in. Once we begin to understand that, we will come to know ourselves more fully. Happy digging!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Daddy-Daughter Dance Forces Me to Practice What I Preach!

Ok, so two things about me are important for this week's post: First and foremost, I'm a dad to four Fantastic kids! Secondly, I'm always preaching to you guys about the importance of being aware of your self-talk and the impact that has on your feelings. Well...we all slip up sometimes, and I had a bit of a slip-up this weekend at my daughter's Daddy-daughter dance. I must admit, I, like many parents, tend to think of my kids as the tiny little babies that we first brought home. Ok, sure, it gets a bit strange for them when I still try to pick them up and carry them "cradle-the-baby-style", especially my oldest, who has 3-4 inches on me in height! But come on! Can you really blame me? Most of the things a couple decides to bring home stay pretty much the same size over the years! (Consider all the discussion that goes into selecting just the right French-door refrigerator!). But kids keep insisting on growing!  Here they are just this past Summer:

Super cute, right? (I'm not really asking, I was presuming your thought so ;)  Notice how young and sweet they look. Pay particular attention to my one and only daughter, Sabrina. She's 10-years-old in this shot and just as sweet as can be!

   Now, while they are all seriously great young people with really admirable characters, we're going to focus on Sabrina for this post. (Here she is at 10 again:
She's my little girl. My only little girl. Oh yes! That means something! And while I recognize the importance and value of gender equality, I also recognize that I think of my daughter a bit differently. It's funny to me when people say that for parents, girls are so much easier to raise than boys! Uuummm, ok. I'm not feeling ya. Think of all the real additional challenges that she will have to face simply by virtue of her gender.  Ever since the drive home with Sabrina from the hospital, things were different. For starters, I almost ripped the stereo out of the dashboard as it finally hit home for me how pop music talks about girls/women! (You wanna do WHAT to my little girl!!?!!)  A serious sense of responsibility to shelter and protect her slammed down on me with a vengeance!  And therein lies a delimma.  While I want to protect and shelter her; while I want to give her everything she wants, I also want her to be prepared for this world that she'll be a part of. I want her to grow into the kind of woman that she can be proud of.  I want her to grow up strong, independent, self sufficient, and with an indelible sense of her own value! I want her to know that her character, intellect, drive, and heart are her finest qualities and that they are hers alone! I also want her to know that she will never need to derive her sense of value from someone else! In short, I want her to grow up to be like her mother.  

So how do I raise a strong young woman while inside all I want to do is pamper her? I'll tell you. It's by purposefully and deliberately checking myself. By making sure that I'm not committing all of the thinking errors that I've been discussing in this blog.  So what happened this weekend? How did the "slip-up" occur? It was all because of the gosh-darn song by Bob Carlisle, Butterfly Kisses!! That song had never bothered me before. NEVER! 

So here's what happened. Sabrina and I attended her Daddy-Daughter Dance on Saturday night. I was floored from the start by how beautiful and grown-up my 11-year-old little girl looked! (You can see for yourself...

Yep, she almost as tall as I am!

Things go incredibly well at the dance. We went out to dinner first and I was so proud of how she carries herself! We went with another Daddy-daughter couple who we like a lot! So the whole evening was pretty rockin! Then they announce the last dance. It's that darned song! It started out fine. Sabrina is an excellent dancer! Then I start listening to the lyrics. I'm picturing my little girl. And, in my mind, she's this tiny little thing, and that's when it hits me. I realize that as we dance, she's resting her head on my shoulder, just like when she was a baby, only now, she doing it while standing on the floor! The irrational self-statements go absolutely BALLISTIC then! I'm basically telling myself that she's already out of the house and in a career, maybe with a family of her own! I feel like I'm having a panic attack! Sabrina looks up into my eyes and says, "Daddy, are you crying?"  "I'm okay, Sweetie" I tell her. But then she begins to cry, too!  

Eventually, and thankfully, the blasted song ends and Sabrina gives me a great big hug and tells me she'll always be my little girl. And though I know she'll grow up into an amazing woman, I believe her. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Common Sense is Really Not All That Common At All!

     "Everybody knows that!" This is a statement that I heard my son make an one evening when we were sitting down for dinner. And the interesting thing about this is he was acting as though he was sort of annoyed that one of his brothers didn't know this thing that he thought that "everybody knows".  This is something that I find we do all too often. The thing that comes to mind when I consider this social phenomenon is the problem of common sense.  One way that common sense is defined is: 
  "Sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence."
and this conceptualization of common sense is evident throughout history and literature:
"Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education." 
Victor Hugo 
"Common sense is the measure of the possible; it is composed of experience and prevision; it is calculation applied to life." 

 Henri Frederic Amiel 

 "I have great confidence in the common sense of mankind in general."

Thomas Jefferson 

"Common sense is genius stressed and its working clothes." 

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

But I believe George Seaton said it best when he said, "Faith is believing in something even when common sense tells you not to."  We are so used to thinking of common sense as though it where a universal answer! Yet when we think it through, we recognize that an overreliance on common sense leads us to fail to recognize the value of sense that is common to people outside our own experience. 
This is one of the ways that we mislead ourselves. We are so convinced that common sense is this thing that we should all share.  Yet, we fail to realize what commonsense is actually based upon. Common sense is only common in so far as it is consistent with the experiences that we have had. Our common sense does not extend beyond what we've been exposed to, beyond what we, ourselves, have experienced.  Therefore, common sense is not so common at all! Consider this, if I've spent my entire childhood traveling all over the world with my family, to me, common sense would suggest that many people speak different languages and have different cultures. If, on the other hand, I've spent my entire life in, say, a small town in rural America, common sense might tell me that everyone speaks the language that I speak and knows the creeks and trails that I walked throughout my childhood. Why might I think that? Because that is my experience! That is all I know! And if I talk to my neighbor, or the kid I rode to school with, or that really nice lady at church, they would all know the same things. Therefore, it might seem like "common sense", but in reality, it is not necessarily common at all.  We convince ourselves that, because we live and breathe these things every day, that it is an absolute truth! But truth goes far beyond our limited experience. And like my son at the dinner table, we have an expectation that people share our common sense, and when they do not, they are somehow less-than

That being said, let's identify this as Thinking Error #8: Our common sense is not necessarily so common

You might wonder how I explained to my son he would do well to stop supposing that everyone shares sense that is common to him. I actually used the example that I read in a text book by David Myers. Dr. Myers suggested that you try this exercise. He said imagine that you could fold a sheet of paper in half 100 times.  And he asked how thick would it be. The average sheet of notebook paper is one .1 mm thick. What would common sense tell you? Would it tell you that you should multiply .1×100? Nope. That wouldn't do it. Remember, you are continuing to fold the product in half until you've done it 100 times! Common sense would go on to tell you that it is impossible to fold a sheet of paper in half 100 times. You see? Because is it something outside our experience, we have trouble even visualizing it! The answer? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 800,000,000,000,000 times the distance between the earth and the sun! Hey some that is almost unimaginable! Which means it is beyond our common sense. So, despite the fact that Dr. Phil McGraw would tell us that "common sense needs to be more common", I encourage us to move beyond common sense. This will allow us to be open to understanding that is outside our immediate experience, knowledge that goes beyond what we've been exposed to, and insight that will enrich our lives.

Dr. Saz

***** If you have questions, comments, or challenges please feel free, no, feel encouraged, to post in the comments section below! Oh, I accept positive feedback, too! I'm just kind like that. ��

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Passing of an Icon and The Challenge to Love--Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”Nelson Mandela

This week we witnessed the passing of an incredible icon. Mr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela based his entire life on the principle of dialogue and the art of listening and speaking to others.  And he was convinced that if we all did this, we could have a profound impact on the world. He encouraged people to enter into dialogue – often about difficult subjects – in order to address the challenges we face today.  I've been moved by the sentiments shared by so many at his passing. I'm struck by the fact that, as I look back on his life, his many trials and tribulations, I feel challenged to act. To do something designed to make this great world better.  Former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, talked about what it would be like if our politicians attempted to carry out there duties with the level of love and compassion that Mr. Mandela eventually showed. I loved this quote from BBC News:

Mr Powell said that Mr Mandela was a guide to him when he became the first black US secretary of state:

What I liked telling people was I was the first secretary of state who happened to be black, and I put that descriptor behind the title. We have to get beyond these labels depending upon your gender or your colour or your background. I'm proud of being black, and I'm proud of being an immigrant of British subjects, but at the same time I want to be seen as an American. And I think Nelson Mandela was able to create that kind of an image within South Africa. We are not black South Africans or white South Africans, we are South Africans who happen to be black or white. We are one family, one nation, one people.

I really think that says it all!

I'll finish this post by sharing with you the lyrics to one of my favorite songs by India Arie:

Yeah Yeah!
Yeah Yeah!

[Verse 1:]
I wish there was a video game
to teach you your ancestors name
I wish there was a phone number

like 1-800-Save-Your-Brother
I'm thankful for the radio station
Not afraid to put the truth in rotation

there is certain information
That you can only get in conversation when...

Young People, who talk to
Old People, it would make us
Better People, all around...
(Yes it would)

And if Old People would talk to
Young People, it would make us
Better People, all around....
(Yes it would)

[Verse 2:]
We went from radio to TV
Now we're going from LP to CD
Don't be afraid To try something new

I can help you with the brand new technology
Help me with the age old philosophy
Together there's so much we can do when

Young People, who talk to
Old People, it would make us
Better People, all around...

And if Old People would talk to
Young People, it would make us
Better People, all around....

They say that every
Generation gets worse
They call it a generational curse

These problems don't just drop out the sky (yeah)
Listen to Mahatma Ghandi's words
Be the change you want to see in the world
Start with yourself and healing will multiply
AAAAAAH, that's what happens When..

Young People, who talk to
Old People, it would make us
Better People, all around...

If Old People would talk to
Young People, it would.....
Better People, all around....

If black people
Would talk to white people
It would make us
Better People
All Around....

If Republican people would
Talk to Democratic people
It would make us diplomatic people
[laugh] All Around.....

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, WINDSWEPT HOLDINGS LLC