In this episode, John Maxwell Zooms with Miles McPherson, pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, California, and author of The Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation. They discuss the importance of celebrating what different races have in common, the often-overlooked paradox of being “colorblind” to race, and the value of confronting our own blind spots.
Mark Cole is joined by Traci Morrow for the application portion of the episode to discuss John and Miles’s conversation. They each share how maintaining a learning posture has challenged and changed their own perspectives.
Our BONUS resources for this episode are the Third Option Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching, and the live video of the entire discussion between John, Miles, and Mark. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below. See the references box below for the full video.
Mark Cole: Hey, welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast. I am, today with Traci Morrow. She is no stranger to us, she's no stranger to John Maxwell. You are going to hear a leader’s perspective, yet again. Traci, I'm glad to have you with us! Now, today in our podcast, John Maxwell recently had an incredible conversation with a leader named Miles McPherson. Miles wrote a book called The Third Option, and in this podcast, you're going to hear me challenge you to go pick up that book. Now, let me explain Miles McPherson. Let me tell you what Miles is up to. He is a pastor in San Diego, California. He speaks to over 20,000 people on a weekly basis, but Miles has not always been there. In fact, Miles grew up on the East Coast. He then played football for The San Diego Chargers, played pro football for the NFL for four years, and then was radically changed over some addictions and some challenges that he had in life, and because of that change, he committed his life to transforming communities, and you're going to love it. Now, Miles is a voice in a very needed time right now. In fact, his book talks about bringing us into a place to where we can heal from the racial division that's in the United States, and to be honest with you, around the world. As John began to see the crisis that we're in of making sure that everyone understands the value that every life brings to the table. He said, “Mark, the person I want to talk to on my Leadership When It Matters the Most series is Miles McPherson.” It was so good that we wanted to play two clips for you in today's podcast. The first clip talks about an us against them attitude in the world's culture. The second clip is on self-awareness and the importance of seeing from another person's perspective that may not look like you, think like you, or has been brought up like you. You're going to enjoy, and I hope, be impacted by today. Now, if you would like to see the entire podcast or the entire streaming conversation of John and Miles, you can go to Maxwellpodcast.com/thirdoption. You will be able to see the entire video and be able to see the entire clip, but today, again, you're getting ready to hear clip number one and then Traci and I will be back to talk to you about how we are applying what we heard.
John Maxwell: I'm starting an introduction, Miles, and I want them to understand the title, Third Option that you said, “Culture pits one group of people against another by promoting a zero sum game mentality that says you must lose in order for me to win.” And then, you said, “God's third option—” The Third Option, which is what this book is about, “—invites us to honor that which we have in common.” You just come and you take this issue and you just take a whole fresh approach. So, let's talk about the title, Third Option, and what does it mean to you when you wrote this book? And what is the message you want us to get out of The Third Option?
Miles McPherson: Again, thank you. Let's give them a history of my life and experiences real quick. All my grandparents from Jamaica, West Indies, two black grandfathers, one white grandmother, and one-half Chinese and black grandmother. When my white grandmother dated and married my grandfather, he was not allowed to go in the front door of a house. And so, when they got married her family, my white grandmother’s family, ostracized us, so we only knew her. We grew up in a black neighborhood, went to school in the white neighborhood, I got harassed in both because I wasn't white, I wasn't black. So, I got harassed in the white neighborhood, and I got harassed in the black neighborhood because I wasn't black enough; I wasn't dark enough. But I had a United Nations family and football teams were integrated. So it was just a term of, you know, a stressful time and it was during the 60’s model, Martin Luther King was killed when I was eight, and when he was killed, I said to myself, “What can we do?” And ever since then, I've been thinking about how can I help? What can I do? And so, fast forward a bunch of years, I wrote The Third Option, and ever since beginning of time, there's been a us versus them culture. It's either you're for blacks or against blacks, or for the police or against the police, or for immigrants or against immigrants, you’re Republican or Democrat, and the culture divides us between us and them. And if you pick us, you are automatically the enemy of them, and if you're for us and you agree with them, you become a sellout. That's why if you're a Republican, and you agree with a Democrat or vice versa, they crucify you because it's always about us verse them. The third option between one of those is the prophetic, is that how can we honor and give value to what we have in common? Because we have more similarities than differences. All of us love our sleep, I'm sure, love our food, we love our family, we want purpose, we bleed red, we have all the same muscles and bones and organs, and we're all made in the image of God. And we're all on a journey, this is the other thing, every single one of us are learning. All of us are on a journey, so even when it comes to judging people, if we all remember, we're all on a journey together. And so, I wrote the book to give us tools on how to bridge the gap and build bridges with each other based on what we have in common versus trying to compare what we have, what our differences are.
John: See, that is a breath of fresh air to me! When I started reading the book—you did a great job getting the message across. And I love The Third Option, and I'm going now to page 25, because you said something that just spoke to my heart when you said, Miles, “Honor assigns value to someone. Viewing someone as honorable causes us to treat them with the holy reference.” I just absolutely love that passage! But when I graduated from college, Miles, my Father, I asked him for advice as started the ministry and he said three things, and he said, “Believe in people, value people, and unconditionally love them. If you'll do those three things…” he said, “Son, you'll attract people to God, because you'll become attracted. People will want to be around you because very few people have anyone that really believes in them.” He said, “Very few people have anyone that really, truly values them, and hardly anyone has anyone that unconditionally loves them.” And so, he put me on this grid, this track of valuing people, and when I read this statement here on page 25, Miles, I said to myself, precious friend, brother, you and I understand how to bring us all together. We really understand how to bring—and it begins with honoring one another, it begins with valuing one another. Just tee off on that just for a moment for me.
Miles: I'll tee off on it. You know, they asked you, “What's the greatest commandment?” There's some commandments better than others, right? And he said, “Love God with heart, mind and soul and then love your neighbor, neighbor.” So, why is there so much division, especially, even in the church world where we’ve claimed that we love God and love our neighbor? What we do is, when we take the word “neighbor” out of that, and when we replace the word neighbor on someone's life, and we dehumanize them by giving them a label less than neighbor, we disqualify us, them from us having to love them because they're not my neighbor. So, if you call somebody a white this, or black this, or a thug, or immigrant or a looter, whatever it is, once you put that label on them, you dehumanize them, and you diminish their value. And God says He's made them in his image, he loves them. You diminish their value, and then you don't have to love them because they're not your neighbor. And so, if you put the label neighbor on people, and by the way, whatever label you put on someone, you can't love them and see them anything above that label. So, if you call someone dumb, you'll never see them smart, you call them ugly, you'll never see them beautiful. But if you call a neighbor, son, [INAUDIBLE]. That's why you know, everybody, listen, if you pay attention to John's words, John calls you, you know, he just called me five, ten words that are all positive, friend, beloved, you know, special friend, you know, a loyal friend all these labels are honorable; and once you give someone an honorable label, you are placing value on them with your words and your titles. So when you see someone in television, I was talking to Anderson Cooper the other day, and we were talking about, you know, all the protests and some of the looters and I said, “Anderson, they're looting but let's not call him looters, their people made them, as God would call potential. They just happen to be doing bad things because once you label them, you just capped off what they can be, at least in your own mind.” And so, we can label, honorable labels, labels that value them, then we will see then different and we will treat them different.
Mark: Traci, I mean just as I listened to Miles today, I've got to, again, tell you, if you're listening to this podcast, I'm going to challenge you to do what I did as soon as I heard Miles, and you need to go get Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation by Miles McPherson today. Now, go to MilesMcPherson.com. That's M-C-P-H-E-R-S-O-N, MilesMcPherson.com to pick up that book, but Traci, we're going to, hopefully, I hope we're going to have time to get into this a little bit in here, in this podcast, but you have led your family with an awareness of some of the things that Miles is talking about. And again, I hope we get into that after the second clip, but I'm so impacted in how to better lead because what Miles has shared with us today and I can't wait to get into it with you.
Traci Morrow: Me too! I'm excited to be here to have this important conversation because as Miles started speaking, I did what I'm hoping all of our podcast listeners are doing as well, and that is rather than looking around to—it's just I feel like the overarching title of this is labels, and the first thing we want to do is when you hear a hard conversation is, think of other people who this would apply to. And the first thing I like to ask for myself is the only person I can control is myself. So, the first thing I did was really look inside and when he talked about, you know, the third option is clearly the best way, but those first two options are, kind of, we have to take a look at what our experience is with those to see how our brains have been shaped around maybe some of the beliefs that we have. So, when he talks about, “You must lose in order for me to win or us versus them mentality.” And I really had to take a look at myself and what did sports and growing up in those kind of environments have in my life and the way that I thought of things? And how I shaped my ideas about winning or being the best versus being my best. You know, when you're on a team you want to be the better team, you root for your team, we wear our team on our hats, on our shirts, and it almost conditions us to look at other people, our neighbor, as people that we are competing against. And when he said, after Martin Luther King, Jr. passed away he has been asking these two questions his whole life: What can I do? And how can I help? And I've been asking those questions. And, Mark, I'm sure you have as well. What kind of answers do you come up with or have you come up with when you ask yourself those questions, Mark?
Mark: Well, you know, I love in the full version of Miles conversation, he says that he calls his church, the Skittles church. In other words, he says, “We have every flavor, we have every color, we're just there.” And John went, “I love that! Because that's my John Maxwell Team!” We have a hundred and sixty-one countries, every look, every faith, every ethnicity, every language you can imagine that is a part of our team. And so, Traci, when I began after about three or four weeks ago at the taping of this podcast when I saw the excruciating death of George Floyd, I cannot tell you what it did to my stomach. I cannot tell you what it did to my tear ducks. And just two days later, I was talking with Lane Jones, she's a black African American that is on our team, and she said, “Mark, I've got to have a conversation with you. We've got to talk.” We spent two and a half hours, Traci, I spent two and a half hours just me and Lane talking through leading in times like this. And I got to tell you, Traci, it profoundly impacted me, back to this question: what can I do? How can I help? I love what Miles talks about here with labels. I can remember two times in my life to where I used labels that meant something to somebody else that I had no idea how deep and hurtful they meant to someone else. One was 40 years ago, 38 years ago, I used a slang word, a racially negative slang word in front of an African American piano player in my dad's church that was truly a second mom to me. And I'll never forget using that and her looking up because she was in the church playing that day, and the tear rolling down her cheek. And, Traci, I can tell you, you and I've traveled together, you serve on a board with me for John's transformation, you've never heard me use that word, because that day forever marked me to see what my words could do to another human being. The second time was this conversation that I had with Lane Jones saying, “Lane, help me lead better.” And her looking at me saying, “Mark, help me lead better.” And we had a two hour and twenty minute lovely conversation, that at the end, we're COVID-19, we're social distancing, but I'll tell you, me and Lane four hundred and fifty miles apart from each other, we were hugging each other virtually through that phone. We came together. We were done with the conversation, Traci, and she said to me, she said, “Mark, can I tell you one more thing?” I said, “Absolutely.” I thought she was pivoting and we're going to talk about something else. She said, “Mark, you use a term to describe yourself sometimes that kills my heart every time you use it.” And I went, “Really? Talking about myself?” And she said, “Yeah, you call yourself a redneck from South Georgia.” Now, I've used that term. I probably used that on this podcast, Traci. Lane said, “Mark, when you use that I remember as a little girl being chased by people…” that were in a reference to me to be in that kind of a people group, and she said, “Every time you use that term, it takes me back to a seven, eight year old girl running for my life from people that I was told was that term.” And she said, “Would you please try to be careful using that going forward? Because I don't know if there's other people like me that might have that feeling.” Traci, it was as real to me as that word thirty-two years ago that I used. And I said, “Lane, if I use that word again, it will be by accident, and I want you to call me out, because I had no idea that that would do that. I was trying to use that term to shrink a success gap that some people might think when they look at me.” And she said, “Maybe that works, maybe it doesn't, but for me, it bothers me.” Here's my whole point in saying that, Traci, John Maxwell and I, just like we did with Miles, we're in a place right now, I'm challenging our team, you know this because before we even pressed record, I looked at you and Jake, our Producer, Jason Brooks, our Content Director, and I said, “Gang, we better be doing more listening than talking right now.” So, what can I do? I can listen to people that have a perspective that will make me better. How can I help? By truly understanding, not just listening.
Traci: Well, I feel like that's a great transition into our second clip that we want to share with our listeners. And in this clip, John and Miles are talking about blind spots in the way that we see people who are different than us, and how we can overcome the gaps in our own perception of others. So, here's the clip and Mark and I will be right back to discuss it.
John: Let's talk about self-awareness. Let's talk about blind spots here for a moment. Because in my book on The Laws of Growth, I talked about the fact that you can't grow yourself if you don't know yourself. And so, self-awareness is huge for me, I've got to look and—but the first thing I have to know about me is that I'm not self-aware, that I have blind spots. And I love when a person says, “Well, you know, I'm very self-aware.” In fact, you had a statement in your book I put it my notes, that said, “The person says, ‘I don't have blind spots. I see everything just fine.’” And, I loved your answer, Miles, you look at them and say, “Well, it's nice to meet you, Jesus. Didn't know, Jesus, You're going to be here physically today. Whoa! This is really good!” And I love it because it you're just very plainly help all of us. We all have blind spots. When people ask me what my greatest leadership challenge is, Miles, I tell them my greatest leadership challenge is me! I'm my biggest problem. I might, you know, if I had to kick the person most responsible for my problems, I wouldn't be able to sit down for a week. I mean, I’m the problem, okay? So, I love how you approach this. The blind spots, now, help me because one of the things I'm trying to do, and I'm not there, but I'm trying to do that is I'm trying to see the other perspective. Okay? And, again, The Third Option really helps me more to walk in your shoes. It helps me, because I haven't walked in your shoes. The first thing I've got to admit is I don't know! But this helps me, it doesn't get me there, but it helps me there. So, maybe just help us with a couple blind spots that you just see that we have as humans, again, because we all have them, that will help us in this situation.
Miles: Yeah, a blind spot is not knowing what you don't know or it's the gap between your intent of what you say and do and the impact of what you say and do. For example, when people say they don't see color, their intent is to build a bridge, their intent to say, “I'm not going to judge you.” But the impact to the person of color is you just erase what I am. You know? The great Galatians says, “To bare one another's burdens, and by baring their burdens, you can love them.” But if you ignore the color and the burden that comes with the color, you just think you can't carry the burden because you just ignore the burden. There was a young lady who went to Hawaii and she got a tan. She was white and she got a tan, and she came back, and she was celebrating her tan and showing off her tan. And it's amazing how we can celebrate a tan from Hawaii, but a tan in the womb we invalidate it and ignore it. And so, when you say you don't see color, you're telling someone, “I don't see what you are.” I remember the first time someone told me that, they thought they were saying something nice, but I thought they had an eye astigmatism but they said, “No, I just don't see your color.” The only time we say it is when we see people of color. So, I think that that is a blind spot. Another blind spot is that if I don't have racism in my life, then it's really not as bad as people say. There have been many white couples that I've met who have adopted our kids and in their mind they think, “Well, I'm going to bring them into my world and everything's going to be fine because I don't have it. I don't experience racism.” But what happened is they brought them into the family, and they realize how much racism was in their family and in their neighborhood. Because they weren't experiencing it, it was a blind spot. We all have a social narrative, it's the story that helps us see the world, and it's the information you receive from your family, your parents, your kids, your neighborhood, your school, and it develops a prescription to which you interpret the news, through which you interpret people and how you understand people. It puts the labels on people. And so, that social narrative is going to put blinders on you because you're only going to see the world through that lens, and then you're going to surround yourself with people who believe the same thing. It's called social reinforcement. So now you have this world that says here's what right is. Well, that's only right for you. Imagine growing up in a republican family and you hear all republican stuff. Well, the democratic families hearing all the democratic stuff and of course they both think their right, but they're both only opinions of the people that taught them. Well, those cause blind spots because if we don't know the other people's perspective, we don't know what we don't even know. And so, we all have them.
Traci: Okay, Mark, he ends this with, “We all have them.” And that was a powerful statement to me because, you know, I kind of put the overarching title on this as “blind spots”, and he has in his book, a whole chapter, chapter five is “Blind spots”. John talks about blind spots. We can't even know if we have a blind spot unless we ask other people to come in. I think it was brilliant that you ended the last segment on what Lane shared with you, because that was a title, a label blind spot that blew my mind. And I just think, how many things do we say that are just things that don't mean anything to us. It's kind of poking fun at ourselves that we don't realize how our words can become a trigger. I feel like it becomes very personal. You know, he talks about it gets personal when you think of the person as your neighbor. But I'll tell you, it becomes very personal when it becomes your family, and then your eyes just are opened.
Mark: You know, Traci, and I'm going to come back to you different little format, but I'm going to come back to you and ask you a question because there's really something you can share with us today that'll help, but he said, “Blind spot was the difference between the intent of what you do and the impact of what you do.” And, Traci, you’re global, you got a world view. You probably heard that distinction before. I had never heard that until this interview that I got to be a part of, and I went, that is so true! And of course, John says, “You can't discover your blind spot unless somebody points it out to you. You can't do it. It's a blind spot.” Those of you that think, you're listening this podcast, you go, “Yep, I just discovered one of my blind spots today all on my own.” No, you didn't! You can't discover your blind spot until it's pointed out to you. Now, that being said, Traci, he's talking about in this segment, he's talking about this diversity and how we don't see what we don't know, or what we don't see. And one of the things I love about every time you come to this podcast, you're one of the most committed human beings I know to family. You're one of the most successful women that I know as it relates to leading people and doing that and not sacrificing the values that are important to you. But beyond growing a business, beyond having a family of four and no more, having a wonderful family, you went and at a different age of life, a more experienced stage of life, because I'm not going to call you old because you and I are the same age!
Traci: I appreciate that! We would have had to cut that! That would have been cut right out of this.
Mark: At a more experienced age, brought two more of the most precious additions to the Morrow family that didn't look like you, they didn't grow up where you came from. Tell us a little bit about blind spots and what you're thinking as a woman that's leading, that's a parent of two children that don't look just like you, how are you taking this and what you hear Miles say today?
Traci: Well, when you say what we don't know what we don't see, because everything that we see is our perception; it becomes our reality. And because that's what I see, and that's my reality, you tend to think that's everyone's reality. I think that's part of just to give, you know, all of us grace, that's part of just immaturity and lack of understanding how big the world actually is. You know? When you're a kid, you think your own home is the entire world, and then you go to school and it's like everything, you know? Each little step of growth, you realize the world is bigger. And so, when we brought home our boys, we had four kids at the time, four biological kids, and let me just, by the way, since we want to take away labels and do away and give some blind spots, let me just tell you, as an adoptive mom, don't ever ask, in front of, please may ask, don't ever ask, “Do you have any kids of your own?” In front of adopted kids. Because my answer is always, “They're all my own. They're all mine. Whether they came from my womb or were born in my heart, they are all, you know, from the womb of another woman. Imagine the label that puts on the adopted child that feels that they aren't my own. And so, that causes a lot of questions and conversations in our own family. But I did not grow up, you know, I will say, there were the times I know that I made jokes and said things that were insensitive, it was a totally different time as a child. I said things like, well meaning, and sometimes maybe even not well meaning, not really understanding and saying things that were less than kind about people that were different than me, whatever that meant. And then you learn how that hurts the heart of another person. I had great parents who walked me through with that. So, I wasn't raised in a home, I was in a pretty diverse city where I was raised here in California, in Northern California, and so I had lots of friends that looked all different than me, and so when Casey and I, my husband, Casey and I adopted our boys, they looked radically different, our biological kids, we call them biological and adopted rather than my own and adopted kids, they’re how they came to us and so we had four biological kids who are blonde and blue or green eyed, and our two Ethiopian born sons have tight curly hair instead of very fine, limp, blonde hair. You know, I love the differences in people, it's the creativity of God, we're all in his image and it's, you know, it's creativity, its beauty, and so when we brought them in, we had some new things to learn about. And I was under the impression that I had not seen open racism, what I would have called at that point, open racism and so when they started putting us through classes and telling us what to expect, my heart was broken. And I honestly want to pause just to say…it won't ever go away if our hearts aren't broken for the things that are wrong and my heart was broken. I get emotional just thinking about it because, whew! That came out of notes somewhere. I didn't want to hear that I had to tell my black sons something different when they learn to drive than I had to tell my white son, I didn't even know. So, look at me, I'm afraid I'm raising two black sons and I raised one white son. And so, I didn't even think about it until some of my African American friends said, “You know, Traci, this is what you teach your sons. This is what you teach when they start to drive.” And I was like, “No, no, what? I refuse! I am not going to teach my sons something different. I teach them all respect. I teach them—” It just blew my mind that my experience was not someone else's experience, and I became a learner, and it broke my heart. And I love all my kids, whether they came out of my womb or another beautiful woman's womb. My three sons come out of three different women's wombs, one just happens to be mine, but I raised them all and I had to learn that the experience that they will go through in this world upsets me enough that I want to be a part of the change, but I also want them to never for a second feel that they are anything less or less valued, and that was a part of my experience altering what I viewed as reality.
Mark: Traci, I can't tell you—you can't script emotion like that. And you know, I thought as you were sharing, I love what Miles said, not only in this, but he expanded on it a little bit more in the extended view that you can see at Maxwellpodcast.com/thirdoption. But he talked about, he said, “Hey, don't try to take away my uniqueness. Don't try to make me just like everybody else.” And I wrote this down when you said, “These are my biological children and these are my adopted children, but they're all my children.” I said, “Mark, let's not scrub ourselves from our uniqueness, let's celebrate our uniqueness. But let's not attach value to uniqueness either.” And so many times we try to fix the valuing of every person as John's Maxwell by trying to diminish the uniqueness rather than to celebrate and expand and be excited about the uniqueness, and I think you're doing that. You know, one other thing that I love that miles says, he said, “We need to listen, learn, and love.” And I love that statement because John for weeks now, John has been talking about we need to listen, learn, and lead. Well I don't think we can lead without love and so while Miles and John uses a different “L” on their third “L”, aren't they wanting the same? Isn't that what we need to be doing now? I love, Traci, and I'm going to come back to you and let you say anything that you want to say, or you can ask me another question, or you can make some comments here. But here's what I love that you did, Traci, when you said, “I want my kids to experience their uniqueness, but I don't want them, and it hurts me to tell one of them they have to do different and think different in society.” And here's what you said, you said, “That broke my heart when I realized I was going to have to raise my sons differently.” And I got to tell you, you were not the only person that got emotional because I remember seeing some things on the news recently, of a death, a killing that gripped my heart, and when I went to have a conversation, I mentioned Lane, I had another conversation with one of my right hand people that grew up looking different than me, and when I got on the phone with both of them, I don't know where it came from, I just went, “I got to start this conversation off with an I'm sorry.” I don't even know what I was apologizing for, Traci, I really don't. But I knew that there was something in me that broke my heart, that cruelly broke my heart. That made me want to look at people that felt less valued than me, and just apologize. And I got to tell you, as John this last four or five weeks has been talking in his “Leadership When It Matters the Most”, and on this podcast that we need to listen, learn, and lead. I'll tell you, the best way to lead and love is to do listening and learning well. And my challenge, Traci, to everyone listening to the podcast today is what just happened to me, when I felt you, a mom realized that you might have to raise your boys differently, not because they were adopted, not because they came from different places, not because one had tight pretty hair like me, and one had loose pretty hair like you… not that. It was the fact that the mother's heart broke because other people's perception of them was going to diminish or increase their value based on where they came from, how they look, and what life had dealt them. And I got to tell you, leaders, listen to me, listen to me, listen to me well, you want to value all people the same, your heart’s going to have to break for the people who have not been treated the same. It’s the story of the Good Samaritan, it was the Good Samaritan who’s heart broke when he saw somebody that had been disregarded because of how they look, where they came from, and what they did or didn't have. Leaders, my greatest challenge to you today is, as you listen to Traci, as you listen to Miles, let your heart break in love for people that have been devalued in mine and your life. Traci, anything you want to add?
Traci: About four hundred things, do we have time for that?
Mark: Yes, yes!
Traci: I think of when John says to leaders, “If you don't love your people, you'll manipulate them.” You'll control them, you'll devalue them, you'll treat them as less than you. And it really does come down to no law can change a person's heart. We can make laws up the wazoo, but we have to start with our own heart. And I think, John and you both do such a good job of humbly exploring self, and letting, kind of, opening up your heart to God to say, “What in me needs to be changed?” And going before other people and saying, “What do I need to understand about your path?” And Miles kind of dives into that in his “Blind Spot” chapter. So please get the book, and if you feel like I did, I'm not racist, as I knew racist to be, but are there things in my heart that could be changed and that I've only been looking through my view that it could allow me to look through the eyes of someone new. I'll tell you, having my own family members, I would have said, I don't think that I have anything racist in me or thoughts about a certain race that need to be gutted out of me. I love people, and then I had my boys come home, and I got kind of schooled in a whole new area and looking at people as they looked at our family, and some of the looks that we've gotten as we've traveled, and things that people have maybe said to our boys, and it called out something new, and to me like, you know what? It's not enough to just feel like I'm pretty okay. We have to take a stand for people in appropriate moments biblical, kind, loving but firm stance against things that diminish and devalue other people. And that was an eye opener for me, and I felt like wow, I got schooled and these questions, take it even deeper, like each new level into my heart of like, carve it out. Anything that devalues somebody, carve it out. I want to love people. I don't ever want to devalue another human being no matter what they look like tall, short, thin, wide, whatever, colors, whatever. It's all the artwork of God, and I'm so appreciative that you and John have brought this to the forefront at such time as this that it is so appropriate and I'm excited for our podcast listeners to read this book and have their heart changed.
Mark: Yeah, you know, one of the things that I'm going to step up to your commitment, and one of the things that I'm going to actively do is try to eliminate the binary attitude that Miles talks about, “us against them.” I'm just doing my best in conversations that I have, in teachings, but most importantly, before the conversations and the teaching, and how I'm listening, and how I'm observing, I'm taking out the us against them, and I'm looking for that third option. I'm looking for a way for us to actively show what we can do, what together looks like. I don't think I've ever experienced a greater passion for togetherness, all coming together than I am right now. And I'm thankful for that. Hey, that is something that is new for me and I'm sorry, I thought I've been saying one team, one dream, unity through diversity, I've said all these cute little catch words. They mean something different to me today, Traci, and I want to tell you, and I want to challenge everyone on here, do pick up this book Third Option: Hope for a Racially Divided Nation by Miles McPherson. You can go to MilesMcPherson.com. I want to challenge you to get that, again, if you want to hear John and Miles conversation in its entirety go to Maxwellpodcast.com/thirdoption. Until we get to meet again in next week's episode, I want to challenge you to challenge yourself to eliminate an us against them mindset in our world today. We need it and we need leaders that will fight to eliminate that mindset. Thanks for joining us today! I look forward to adding value and growing with you next week!