A few weeks ago I was browsing on Facebook when I came across this post:
The language of this post triggered me because it felt completely against everything I had been understanding about COVID-19. It felt accusatory, angry and pompous. What's more is that the post was written by someone who was really important to me for a time: my high school bible study leader from 20 years ago.
Alison was a big part of my life for most of high school. We naturally lost touch after high school and while I don't identify as a Christian anymore I only had fond memories of her. I realized my emotions were partly because I couldn't reconcile the person I remembered her to be with the person that wrote this post.
I considered unfriending her on Facebook and even posting the screenshot to share with others. After some thought I realized that my feelings toward her were unfair especially if I wasn't even attempting to have a conversation and understand. I saw an opportunity to learn and to use play as a tool to build a bridge between us.
After much deliberating, conversations with numerous people, research, reading and learning I decided to reach out to her to see if she would agree to a conversation for the podcast...and if she would be willing to participate in some play to start us off on the right foot.
In this conversation
I had three objectives/intentions with the conversation
Reminisce about memories from the time she was my bible study leader
Catch up about what our lives look like today
Understand what the other person values and believes to be true in the context of COVID-19
I framed the conversation in six sections by preparing questions that I sent to her in advance. I also answered each question and once we both had a chance to share we had the opportunity to ask each other deeper questions.
#1 - Icebreaker Games
#2 - Reintroductions
#3 - Bible Study Era
#4 - Our Lives Today
#5 - Life in the time of COVID-19
#6 - Reflections and Grattitude
Mentioned in this episode and resources from today's episode
Breaking Through Gridlock - a book I HIGHLY recommend to learn how to have challenging, potentially polarizing conversations, which is something we could all be better at