Loving the F
Episode 28 - Loving the F with David Derezotes - Forbidden Middle
Professor David Derezotes, also known as Dr. Dave, is the director of the University of Utah's College of Humanities Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He also co-hosts The Radical Middle - a KRCL radio program which airs every other Monday night at 6 p.m. Recent episodes include topics such as race relations, the religious divide, police violence and community and the LGBTQ community.
Professor David Derezotes, also known as Dr. Dave, is the director of the University of Utah's College of Humanities Peace and Conflict Studies Program. He also co-hosts The Radical Middle - a KRCL radio program which airs every other Monday night at 6 p.m. Recent episodes include topics such as race relations, the religious divide, police violence and community, and the LGBTQ community.
In this conversation, Dr. Dave, which is how his students refer to him, talks about being human, emotions, relationships, politics and the most forbidden of all of them, the radical middle.
- I do believe there is always a radical middle between two people and a radical middle in my own head.
- It’s hard to be human…probably the hardest job any human has is being in a long-term relationship and it’s also potentially the most healing space to be in.
- Listen for understanding… and speak respectfully – especially if you’re upset.
- Some research says its 85 to 90 percent of what we think about each other is projection – initially.
- There’s a lot of polarization and a lack of civility [in the U.S.] and that is true and if you look at history – it’s always been true… Look at the Civil War in the United States. Back then, in Congress, people were having fist fights and challenging each other to duels.
- It is hard to be a man, but it’s hard to be a woman. It’s hard to be any gender or anywhere in the middle – mixed gender. It always is cause it’s just hard to be a person in any era.
- The word, “healing” means literally to make whole, in Latin. To heal a hurt doesn’t mean to get rid of it, cause you can’t.
- Emotions move us, “e-motion”, right? And anger can move us to positive things too. When was the last time any of us took a class on anger or sat in a circle and owned our anger? Not in anger, but to heal and to heal each other?
- There is a threat to men, because us males have more privilege even though some of us have worked hard… patriarchy is out there everywhere.
- When you get defensiveness or anger when you’re talking to people with relatively more privilege – whether it’s about race… or straight people…or men about male privilege – most of us are going to react defensively or an angry way. I think it usually comes out of our shame and guilt.
- It really isn’t a loss to me if you have more power because what I’m holding on to, of course, is not me. Death is holding on to what is not me.
- This allusion of power and control and supremacy is just that and it keeps me clinging to things that are not real.
- Why do we apologize in our culture for a beautiful thought? We’re in an era of [cynicism].
- I saw a quote, “The heart is meant to do two things, pump blood and break. And the only choice you have is whether it’s broken open or close.”
- Empowerment is not something I can give you but you can empower yourself.
- There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be important – everybody wants to be important. If I’m aware of it, I’m less likely to cause damage. If I’m pretending I don’t want to be important to myself and others, then I’m more likely to cause harm to people.
- I think its fear and shame. Fear, if I did love myself, then I’d probably have to do what I want to do and say, “no” to what I don’t. And shame, that I don’t deserve it anyway.
- The best gift you can give your kids is to love yourself.
- “The greatest sin is not about sex or violence.” - Nelson Mandela
- Children don’t need perfect parents, they need parents who are aware of their imperfections.
- What I see with folks that have often long-term struggles in their lives - the longest lasting legacy of any kind of childhood trauma is when things aren’t talked about or pretending it never happened. And then it raises questions of, “did it even happen?”
- How can you grow up on earth and not have trauma?
- When am I ready to start looking at it in a different way? Maybe not right when it happens, but maybe not waiting until the moment I die.
- Give yourself a break.
- A lot of our work is ego work. You can’t kill the ego… that sense of separateness, when actually we’re all connected. It’s that sense of specialness, when we’re all really the same. We all have it, it’s part of the human consciousness... To heal the ego, like you heal anything else you just see it, cause you can’t get rid of it.
- We could talk about ego in grade school. Not, “You should be ashamed of yourself.” That’s ego, judging.? But more like, “Isn’t it interesting that I have an ego. I wonder why it’s there, why is it developed in the human consciousness? What purpose does it serve and when is it not useful?” Right? That kind of conversation that we hardly ever have.
- If it wasn’t for ego we wouldn’t have preparations for nuclear war, we wouldn’t have terror, we wouldn’t have spousal abuse, we wouldn’t have shooters. It has a lot to do when we are unnecessarily violent to ourselves or to others.
- Let’s start a Department of Peace, shall we?
- It’s not, “you get there and then you’re there.” It’s constant work.
- I’ve learned when people say, “How?” Usually, that’s not as important. I always say back to them, “Do you want it?” You’ve got want it really bad, I think. Cause it’s not easy.
- I think we can have significant transformation in a lifetime, but I think it’s a mistake not to see it the way it is.
- Why do we make other people who vote different, look different, act different, love different so wrong?