HOBBY #9: TRY WITH ME

This ninth week, we're hitting pause on Hobby Club so we can take time to listen, learn, and help build a better future.

My friend Anthony has a really beautiful approach to moments like the one we're experiencing right now. Moments where we've failed to understand each other. Where we're confused or frustrated or don't know how to help fix the situation.

Instead of getting defensive, putting up a wall, waiting to see what happens, or assuming things will work themselves out, Anthony steps forward to acknowledge that he has more to learn (no matter which side he's on) and then sets out to learn as much as possible.

"I'm trying. Try with me." he says.

It's not his phrase. He stole it from a homeless man's sign— which read: "I had my first job interview today. I'm trying. Try with me." But I remember the day he saw it and how much it affected him... the vulnerability and transparency of those words.

"You've likely made assumptions about me. I hope I prove you wrong." "I haven't given up. Please don't give up on me either." "This will be a journey, but I'm on my way."

Anthony immediately adopted that phrase as his mantra. A commitment to empathy and understanding in complex situations going forward. Let me mess up. Let me ask stupid questions. Let me get it wrong as I attempt to get it right.

"I'm trying. Try with me."

I've been thinking about that a lot this past week. What it means to "try" in a moment like this. To learn. To understand. To empathize. To support. To be an ally. To help shape a better future.

This week's hobby was originally going to be about potatoes. We were going to play "potato roulette" with traditional recipes from around the world as a way of learning about other histories and cultures. But right now, I think it’s more important that we all take a moment to acknowledge that we have more to learn and then do some learning.

I'm trying. I hope you'll try with me.