World Book Encyclopedia, Stevenson discussed on Stay Tuned with Preet


I'm podcast and you wrote this book. That's great influence. So I guess my question to you is. Do you use a different method of persuasion persuasion or think about persuasion differently. When you're in a courtroom and arguing emotion or arguing that appeal then you do when you're talking to people outside the courtroom room is something different where there's is there something the same about those things? Yeah well I think you have to talk to the audience that you're in front of right and I mean as a lawyer I I I WANNA know. WHO's on the jury I wanNA know who's on the bench and I wanna find out as much about them as I can because I need to go where they are and get get them to follow me someplace where they can in my judgment? Make the right decision. Make the decision if I pretend like it doesn't matter who they are and where they they are with their presumptions are and just insist that they come where I am not going to be very effective and I think that's true whether you're in the court or out of the court so I speak in faith spaces and I. I WanNa talk about my faith in those spaces. I speak in other places where people don't respond as well to the faith tradition and that's not going to be a priority for me. I think the goal is to reach people where they are. I don't think we should imagine if we change laws that things will change. Its that hearts and minds. The thing I think narrative is really powerful in both places and both inside and outside absolutely to shoe lawyers appreciate the power of narrative they rely rely on facts and law and they are disappointed by the outcome. Because you haven't given people of having given people a a path to travel to follow you to that right place and it's really powerful and I think outside of courts We have to use narrative more effectively. And that's why we want to tell the stories of people who were enslaved in who were lynched and who had to overcome segregation so that we can appreciate the power of that struggle. But Yeah I think you have to for me at least I I wanna go where people are if I'm talking abroad and their set of issues that are distracting people in a particular country that I want to know what those issues are So I can be responsive to that even as advocating for something broader. You said once in your household gifts were microscopes not football absolutely. That's exactly right now. My mother my family. We didn't have a lot. There were times when you know The water wasn't working the way it's supposed to be couldn't do this. You couldn't take shower. You couldn't think about but my mother went into debt by us. The World Book Encyclopedia. We didn't have a lot of things we didn't have. We didn't have a TV but we had that World Book Encyclopedia and if my family was upset if my parents were upset I knew that if I went over and got one of those books and started reading it would change the dynamic in the space because in our family there was something hopeful about this ability to explore new worlds through books two words and that's a gift that and my grandmother gave my mother. My mother gave to me. And you know if I've had any success in these professions that require study and application of reason and all of that is because I you know I was loved by these people who thought it not wasteful to push themselves to create opportunities for their children to read. You said something else about reading which I totally agree with the number quite thought of it this way that by giving people who might not otherwise have opportunities to read you were giving them a gateway to something that they wouldn't otherwise have and that's imagination absolutely which is not just about creative imaginations not just about you know understanding you know the Harry Potter world but in the real world and they get older they can look at something and see it for what it is and how it could be different because they have learned the power of imagination from books. Absolutely no you you become someone who believes things you haven't seen which you have to if you're going to change the world if you're going to create more justice. I never met a lawyer here until I got to law school i. I'd never met a lawyer. I had to believe I could be something I'd never seen. You beat the first one but it's just that kind of relationship you develop with the world around you and right weeding will allow you to imagine things to think. Think about things to believe things that can be created. Even if they haven't yet been realized in science science it's amazing to me how scientists absolutely except except that they innovate they discover things. They believe that. Just because we haven't seen that planet yet that it that it could still exist and we think of science being the opposite of that but it's actually a fulfillment of that hope and that's you know if anything been what's defined by my career. I just believe you have to stay hopeful. I actually actually think that hopelessness is the enemy of justice. Injustice prevails were hopelessness persists. I think hope is our superpower if I've had any ability to do anything thing is because I've been willing to hope for things that haven't been seen yet. I'm GonNa continue with that because I almost persuade myself. The hat persuaded myself that. You're either hopeful where you're the problem. There's no real middle ground and we have to keep pushing keep wanting more more Dr mercy more compassion justice more opportunity. That's what animates by work. Why don't you think that a lot of politicians don't practice the politics of hope When all the evidence shows it's very powerful is it because they don't know how to do it? And the second best way to motivate people through fear so you have the runner up to I. Hope is fear and so a lot of people don't know how to practice hope so they do fear. Well I do think that I think that what we've seen succeed in too. Many situations are the politics of fear and anger. And I think it's easier frankly to try to govern through fear and anger then to inspire people through hope open aspiration and commitment to caring about one another. It's harder to be hopeful when we're dealing with very real problems you also have thank you feel an absolute. Everyone feels presumably some amount of anger and frustration. And it's about conquering that and appealing to your better l.. Absolute some people can't do that absolutely. And what's bizarre is that we know in our personal relationships. You know that that we shouldn't make judgments about our children when we're angry with them or we shouldn't make judgments about other people when we're fearful about them that really get a to a good judgment. We have to kind of push those things aside which can distract us from really seeing people. Clearly we see this obviously in courtrooms and and yet you see so many elected officials so many politicians reaching for those very powerful I think fear anger the essential ingredients of oppression of treating people. Because you accept things you wouldn't otherwise except you tolerate things you wouldn't otherwise tolerate and that's why I think rejecting the politics of fear and anger is so important and you don't have to do it. In the abstract it can be replaced with something hopeful. We have the highest rate of incarceration in the world. I I hope that that changes. I don't think our country can be a great country if we have one in three black male babies born in this country expected good to go to jail or prison if we put six million people on probation and parole. I think we should hope for something better than to be the world leader in incarceration and their whole host of things. I think we should hope for something better for our planet in terms of climate change in the kind of spaces that we create for our children. I think we should hope for something better than the kind of income inequality the quality that we see all around us. We hope for something better than seeing struggling families trying to cross borders because they're so desperate and traumatize in their home spaces that they would do anything going to get into this country. We should hope for something better than what we're seeing and I think that's the only way we progress. That's the only way we evolved. That's only way become a truly the great society and that hopeful note right Stevenson. Thank thank you.

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