“The world you see outside of you is a reflection of what you see inside of you.” -Miss Virginia Jones, mentor to US Senator Cory Booker


This week I turn back to OnBeing. It is such a rich podcast that is filled with heartfelt, inspiring conversations with people from across all disciplines. Writers, philosophers, theologians, musicians, ecologists, scientists, artists, anthropologists, they are all there. She steers clear of politicians, except for this episode.

US Senator Cory Booker believes in the quality of ‘seeing’ people. In this podcast he encourages us to slow down, look into other people’s eyes and see their divinity.

‘The real test is to love the people you disagree with.’ 

This way of living can be so difficult, especially in such highly polarized times, but perhaps if we all met in the middle, took a breath in and tried to understand where the others were coming from, maybe this is the answer? 

As Senator Booker says, 'We must stop demonizing those with whom we disagree. Once we do this, we make a deliberate step forward in honoring the sacred spaces in between us'.

‘We must move beyond tolerance to love.'

Some questions that are interesting to consider:

What are the most meaningful things that have happened to you?

What really defines you?

How do you measure your own self worth?

By the end of this great podcast, he reminds us of the importance of self-care. Every morning he makes his bed, meditates, exercises and studies a new subject. Currently, he is learning Spanish.

A way to begin to understand others is to take some time to get to know them.

Inherently, we fear the unknown and those who are different from us. Once we befriend someone who comes from a completely different place we realize that we are all the same. We have the same needs and desires - breathing, eating, drinking, loving, laughing, raising healthy children, doing what we enjoy… 

There are so many ways to open yourself to other cultures and ways of thinking. Travel, reading, and learning a language are three beautiful ways to connect to the unknown. 

Two years ago, I embarked on my studies of both the German and Italian languages. It is a constant challenge, but one that is so rewarding. To understand and be understood by others is a beautiful thing! Words are worlds and to be able to connect with another in their own language is so important. I think it will take me years to be able to fully communicate in both languages, especially because English is so widely spoken, but I am determined!

I have been using two different apps, in addition to grammar books and real life situations, to guide me through this learning process. Duolingo is free and fun, I recommend it for children and adults alike! Babbel is much more comprehensive, but does have a monthly fee. Go for it - it's wonderful for your brain, your heart and it keeps you humble!

Inspiration Recommendations:

OnBeing Podcast with Senator Cory Booker: Civic Spiritual Evolution

Language Learning: Duolingo and Babbel