David Brooks | To See and Be Seen

David Brooks helps to better see and be seen by others, the first step in having better conversations about hard topics.


I’m at the 37th minute, but to simplify this part of the discussion, on our perception and response to a limited view of reality, I’m surprised that the two tools of sensing our cognitive dissonance and questioning our biases (with harder, deeper questions) are not noted. It seems that Jim and David, in an effort to reach into deeper depths of the philosophical and neurological views, have skipped over two easier steps.

Fascinating interview. One point that jumped out for me was his suggestion to “treat everybody as if they have a soul.” When you think of every person you meet as a child of God who is different from you, but who is loved by God because of the differences, it makes it much easier to look them in the eye and try to hear their unique voice. We can’t always do this perfectly, but we can try to do it consciously.

It’s really true what David Brook says: when you show others you can see them, they start to see themselves.


We had the opportunity to listen to this while doing our Christmas travel, and really enjoyed it. While as an interview it does not go in depth, some of the suggestions in helping with discussions of difficult subjects were excellent. I particularly was taken with his suggestion that instead of asking “Why do you believe that “ we should instead ask “How did you come to believe that?” That approach validates the person’s story and personal experience and gives understanding to how they reached a certain conclusion, and through stating it, may also also some degree of introspection and reexamination of how they got there,

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