September 15, 2014
What do you do when you find out that
your assumptions about someone were wrong?
A few years ago, a man I’ll call “Max” read a poem I had written for Support4Change and asked if he could use it on his website. This began a friendship in which we talked about ways I might support his work with people who have learning disabilities like dyslexia, and how he might promote my work on repairing relationships.
I took a trip to Houston to meet him and, while our collaboration didn’t get off the ground, I liked him and wanted to keep up the friendship. He comes from a very well-known family and I wanted to learn more about them.
Then one day about two years ago, I happened on a website with information about him and discovered, to my dismay, that he held extreme right-wing political views, including support of the Tea Party and secession of Texas from the union. I couldn’t believe it. How did I miss seeing that his views were extremely different than mine?
Unfortunately, I lost touch with him after that because I was busy writing a book, focusing on my health, moving to a retirement community, and dealing with the death of my husband. He was busy building his organization and learning how to be a new father.
Then, three weeks ago, I found the opportunity to begin a dialogue when he sent me an invitation to participate in a special guided tour of England. While I can’t go on that tour, this gave me the chance to write him about assumptions I have about him that aren’t true.