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Yakety Yak

April 8, 2019

One of the best parts of travel is that I get a chance to talk to people outside of my regular circle. I will always talk to anyone, but at home, my activities are usually based around the same places and people – home, church, Toastmasters, dog park.

Out here on the loose, I never know who I will run into. I have been hanging out at the Elks Lodge a lot, riding public transportation, going to new Toastmasters clubs, and taking Lyfts. All target-rich environments for running my mouth.

My parents were both storytellers, my father more so than my mom. He didn’t talk much, but when he told stories, they were perfect little slices of human folly and almost always left people laughing.

I have been meeting and talking to people who are much, much different than me. Arizona is a conservative state and I’m a raving liberal. So over the past few days, I have had long political conversations with a libertarian and with Trump voters, and guess what? We all survived and liked each other at the end.

They’re not going to change my mind and I doubt I will change theirs. But there’s still value in talking and exploring where we can find common ground. No one I have talked to is out there on the insane fringes. They’re all people who are, like me, trying to find their way in an increasingly complex world where it feels like the government really isn’t on our side.

One thing I’m sure of: talking is better than Facebook or Twitter. Big ideas don’t have to be boiled down to a few sentences. You can see people think, struggle, walk back, shift. I can see the human apart from the argument.

That being said, I’m completely over people insulting California and I may snap. So many people in Arizona feel free to bash my home state. I would never insult someone’s whole state. I go out of my way to try to find good things to say. Yet every other person I meet makes California sound like Venezuela.

Does my state have issues? Dude, it’s the world’s 5th largest economy. Ten percent of the US population lives there. Yes, it has issues. So does every state, so step off. I love my home.

So to sum up: talk to people instead of going off on them on social media. And be nice. That’s all for today.





  1. April 8, 2019 09:38

    It may be an oversimplification or justification in my head but, I always feel that when someone defaults to generalizing large groups of people, geographies, cultures, beliefs, etc., it just shows a lack of understanding of scale, nuance, and experience.

    • April 9, 2019 07:07

      As if you could sum up a whole state or country in stereotypes either positive or negative. I heard someone describe India as “a country known for its good food” and that made me cringe, too. I’m sure I have been guilty of this at one point or another.

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