Episode 10: Bo-Dean Sanders Part II – Transcript

The Pursuit of Learning – Bo-Dean Sanders Part 2 (1)

Mon, 5/24 9:10PM • 53:58

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, villanova, conversation, kids, learning, book, dwayne, teammate, meaning, relationship, rental car, clint, football, freshman, wrote, called, opportunity, sport, join, meet

SPEAKERS

Clint Murphy, Bo-Dean Sanders

Clint Murphy  00:03

Welcome to the pursuit of learning podcast. I’m your host, Clint Murphy. My goal is for each of us to grow personally, professionally, and financially, one conversation at a time. To do that, we will have conversations with subject matter experts across a variety of modalities. My job as your host, will be to dig out those golden nuggets of wisdom that will facilitate our growth. Join me on this pursuit. Today I talk with bodeen Sanders in a two part conversation about race, diversity, and inclusion. bodeen grew up playing football in Jacksonville, Florida, for an all black High School and was a walk on at Division Two cheney University, a historically black college with a rich history bodeen then transferred to Villanova as division one football program, a dream for bodeen and a learning experience as he joined a predominantly white football program, listen to learn bodines journey and join an important conversation. So when you were working summer camps between semesters, you had a revelation. And I know this is something we’re going to spend a fair amount of time on later, you started to notice that the next generation, the kids that were coming behind you, they seemed way less hung up on race than your generation had. Do you think that continues to be the case today? And does it give you some hope for our children and for their children that each generation it’s getting better and better?

Bo-Dean Sanders  01:59

Oh, I know for a fact it is. I noticed it. I wrote about it in the book. I could see how the kids reacted to the athletes who were coaches, you know, Camp coaches. I saw how the kids reacted to the camp coaches, how they react it to each other. Now it wasn’t perfect, but it was enough of it to see right. I saw how the kids in camp reacted to superstar coaches like Mr. Irving folks might know the name of Dr. Jay, who dropped his kids off to basketball camp. And I saw how those kids were in awe of seeing a living legend in a gym. Right. I saw how they reacted to seeing the basketball team who had just won a national championship, right? how they reacted. And so it took me back to my experience of going to that summer camp for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the award, I won. And it took me back to how I had a great time at that camp. It was my first time ever out of the state of Florida. And how it was like I was that it was a Fantasy Island. Right? Everybody was nice. Everybody was great. But I didn’t believe it. Because back in my community, I didn’t see that. So although that experience that that camp, right was great, I had white campmates staying in the same cabin. It was great. But I didn’t deep in my heart believe it because I knew once I got back home, that that wasn’t my reality. So I thought it was a fantasy. I use that example. It was Fantasy Island. And so I rejected the opportunity. Because back then, you know, the camp counselor said, Hey, get each other’s address and become pen pals. And I turned that down. I turned it down because I thought that why would that kid want to be a pen pal with me? Right? That kids from Arkansas or North Carolina or wherever. I’m from Florida. So I missed that opportunity. But by the time I was at Villanova, and I saw these kids and how they reacted and interacted with each other and with other black players. I was like, man, I missed an opportunity. And that’s when I realized, because those kids didn’t care what color the other kid was. They were there to have fun. They were they had to play basketball at these camps or football camps or whatever camp. They were there to have fun. And they were no hang ups at all that I could see. So that started to open my eyes a little bit. And to answer that last part of that question today, even today. Kids don’t care, right? Generally, kids don’t care about their friends and their heritage.

Clint Murphy  04:55

Yeah, and less than less they’re taught to

Bo-Dean Sanders  04:57

there are some kids out there and they’re being taught by their parents. They’re not learning things on their own. They’re being taught by their parents. Because if you have the bulk of kids who walked to school together, walk back home together, they’re riding their bicycles in the neighborhood together. And then you have other kids at the same school that are having issues, and calling other kids names. It’s a learned thing, that they’re learning it from somebody else. So you do a scientific study, if you got a whole bunch of 10 year olds, you had 110 year olds, and 60 of those 10 year olds are okay with diversity and the other 40 don’t have diversity and have issues with some of the kids in that other group, where they learned it from. So there’s more kids today that are okay with diversity. They’re totally okay with it. It’s not a big deal. So yes, it has improved

Clint Murphy  05:58

and definitely aligned. So we’re gonna we’re definitely going to, you know, when we finished the journey and of school, dive into that, how kids end up there and where we end up and what we can do to everyone take those small steps to help move things in the right direction. Absolutely. You mentioned Julius Erving there. And so you met quite a few famous people while you were there. And but one of the things that really struck you between Julius was his interaction with his teammate, Bobby Jones. And you said, you said there was a relationship that they had between the two of them that really struck you about how a black man can have a very strong relationship with his teammate, who was a white man, what did that start to do for you, in your development? Because you were on a team that was predominantly white men?

Bo-Dean Sanders  06:53

Oh, it had a huge effect. Because in the black community growing up, everybody you people have, you may you may know this, but before that was Michael Jordan, it was Dr. J. Period, no ifs, ands, and buts before, before, before Michael Jordan, before Magic Johnson, right. It was Dr. J. Everybody wanted to be Dr. J. mothers, grandmothers would tell their sons and grandsons if you want to be anybody, you be him. Even if it’s off the court. That’s where you want to be like, so for me having the opportunity to meet a living legend. I mean, again, there’s a series of events that happened in my life, that now you know why I had to write the book, because it just things like that just don’t happen. So excuse me to answer your question. I had an opportunity to meet Julius and turquoise Irving, his wife, they lived very close by even a mile, maybe a mile and a half from campus. turquoise, personal assistant was a student at Villanova. So that’s how I met the Irving family through the personal assistant. So I got an opportunity to babysit a little bit. Because if the personal assistant had class and couldn’t come to the house for any reason, they literally would pick up the phone and call my dorm and say, Hey, Bo Dean, are you busy? We need you to watch the kids for an hour or half hour or two hours. And they trusted me because I was this big football player. And they knew I would be able to defend their kids if something happened. And I literally would jog down if the weather was nice. And if it wasn’t they come pick me up. So I had an opportunity to see the relationship that Mr. Irving had with Bobby Jones up close. And you know, you can that there’s a difference, Clint between being in that space, right versus looking from a distance, right. And I was able to see it up close to see if it was phony. Or if it was just because they were teammates, right? I mean, I paid attention to those things. I had a feeling right. So I was able to see how they had conversations, not prying, in terms of listening, but to see their interaction. And they truly loved each other as teammates, they truly cared about each other. And I say to myself, after seeing a minute of it, maybe two minutes of it, right? I’d have the ability to go back maybe a day or two of that night and go, Wow, if a living legend can have a relationship with his teammate, that’s beyond the court, I can probably do better with my teammates. And so those little things played a very important role in my division. As I was able to go from a freshman to a sophomore, you know, to my senior year,

Clint Murphy  10:05

it played a big role. We’re gonna get to a scenario where that definitely played out. And I loved that story. But before we get there, the there was a little bit of a nightmare in between you were out in the summer, in a ride with a teammate in a rented car, and things went horribly wrong. Can you take us through that night? bodeen. And I can tell you that reading it triggered my fight flight or freeze response. So I can only imagine what it must have been like being in that situation.

Bo-Dean Sanders  10:45

Yeah, it’s a great story. And I’m more than happy to tell you because and your audience because it’s relevant today. Exactly.

Clint Murphy  10:54

Exactly.

Bo-Dean Sanders  10:55

After the basketball championship of Villanova, beating Georgetown for the national championship, April 1 1985. Right. The campus was incredible. The city was incredible, right? When a school wins a championship or city protein wins a championship, you know, every almost everybody is involved. It’s a celebration, who doesn’t want to celebrate who doesn’t want to go to a parade who doesn’t want to go to the campus and hang out. So kick Villanova’s campus was on fire literally. Right? Um, for the entire time to play. The tournament was happening after we win through that throughout the summer. So the three seniors that were on the team that were part of the championship was easy at Pinckney, Dwayne de train MacLean and Gary McLean. Those are the three seniors and so Dwayne McClain got drafted to the Indiana Pacers and Pinckney got drafted to the Phoenix Suns and Gary McLean got to try out for the New Jersey Nets. So during summer camp, all of the guys were still on campus working out preparing to, to, for them to sign their contracts and then go to the to their selective teams and prepare to play. And so Dwayne McClain gets the phone call from his agent and says, contract negotiated, get on the next plane flout Indiana so you can sign it. So he leaves his keys to the rental car with his teammate veltra Dawson, who was a freshman veltra and I became friends because he was a freshman on the basketball team and I’m a freshman on the football team. So we immediately bond veltra and I, and then matebook night and a few other freshmen, right, because we’re looking up to they were they were three upperclassmen for football. But they were they were white guys. They were guys who decided not to leave Villanova when Villanova dropped the football team. So they were still there when we brought the football team up, but I had no relationship with them. I was looking up two guys that look like me, which was a pain in the other seniors. So what happened was Dwayne gives the keys to the rental car to veltra veltra says, Oh my God, we have a car for the weekend. Because Dwayne says, make sure the rental cars back at the rental agency Monday morning sharp. Okay, so come on, you don’t give keys to freshmen. Are you kidding me? It gives a case of freshmen and it was a Chrysler lebaron convertible, the first year that the Chrysler I believe the first year to car came out. So we’re freshmen veltra just coming off a basketball championship, which means the school is coming off a championship, which means if you’ve got a Villanova hat on and they think you’re a Villanova athlete, you don’t pay for drinks, you don’t pay for food, everything is just great. So our plan was to go out that night, and we did. We cruised up and down the main line. We went into the city of Philadelphia, driving up it down South Street. And then Clint, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, police car surround us. And I mean, in front and back and on both sides, guns drawn with the command hands up and get out of the car. So that’s a problem. If you’ve got two commands, get your hands up and then you got another command get out of the car. Which do you do? You got one command coming over here and another command coming over here. Maybe even another command turn the car off? Who knows? Right there just everybody’s yelling. So I’m in the passenger side belters driving, it’s chaos. What do you do? Now? I was taught right to obey the command by my mom. write whatever the cop says do. Unfortunately, veltra grew up in an affluent community. His parents were, I wouldn’t say rich, but they were above middle class. First of all, I’ve never met a black guy who grew up above middle class. But that was built his appeal. He was this cool, you know, dude who could play hoops, and was laid back hit that California laid back personality. But he also didn’t have a care in the world because his parents were executives, so he hadn’t been taught. When the cops say Put your hands up, put your hands up when the cops say Shut up, shut up. He’s too busy talking, saying to the cops, why y’all pull us over? What’s wrong with y’all? What do we do wrong? And I’m going home on this kid hadn’t been taught that the conversation, right? So I’m too busy trying to get him to shut up so we won’t get shocked to death if he’s still running his mouth. So fortunately, he said the right thing. He goes, I’m a Villanova basketball player. This is Dwayne McLean’s rental car. And one of the cops heard it. And once that cop heard it, you can feel the intensity start to drop, because obviously, they recognize the name, obviously, they recognize the name of Villanova. So the more and more the intensity dropped, we were able to get out of the car, we still had to put our hands on the hood, they still put the handcuffs on us to gain control at a situation, they reach into the glove box. And they see that the rental car is under the name of Dwayne McLean. And the rules back then in the 80s are different than they are now. Right? So it was a crazy experience that veltra never experience. Now, I don’t think I wrote in the book that I had a previous number of experiences with the police growing up. But I still had that conversation with my mom, I probably heard the conversation with my aunt, I probably heard that conversation with my uncle’s about what you do when the police are involved. You follow their commands, right? You don’t argue back, right? You don’t be a wise but you do what they tell you to do so you can get home alive. So that was that experience. We ended up going to jail in order even though they believed our story, they still had to prove it. So they still take us to jail so they can do their due diligence and check to make sure we are who we say we are. So they ended up calling coach Maximino, the head basketball coach of Villanova University, who just won a national championship at three o’clock in the morning saying we’ve got one of your players, and one of the student athletes football player here in a jail sale, because the rental car that they were driving was reported stolen. So here’s the here’s the moral of the story. The police wasn’t wrong in pulling us over meaning driving while black. And we weren’t wrong, because we didn’t have a stolen car, a legitimate stolen car. Right? We didn’t legitimately steal it. It was given to us by one of our classmates. But the truth was, Dwayne didn’t keep in touch with the rental car agency as he was supposed to. So they reported the car stolen. So the police weren’t wrong. We weren’t wrong. It just happened to be a mistake, a misunderstanding. Or it was Dwayne’s fault if you want to say it that way. Right. But I have put that story in the in the book because I want people to think because we’ve been having these political police issues for obviously a long time, that don’t jump to conclusions all the time. Sometimes it just, it could just be a simple mistake, right? Don’t jump to conclusions and think, again, a pull those guys over because they were black young guys dressed in their Miami Vice outfits in the summer driving a really nice car. And I thought that was relevant.

Clint Murphy  19:21

As we start to get later in our recording together. I want to I want to make sure we we do pivot to these conversations because it’s it’s like you’re saying bodeen that’s still relevant today. We’re still watching these situations now being filmed on an iPhone. And how do we as a society start to move the needle forward in the right direction. And I know bodeen that you’ve done a lot of work around inclusion around diversity. So for our listeners that are listening How do we move the needle forward? And then for those of us who are listening that are parents, how do we ensure we’re moving the needle forward with our kids,

Bo-Dean Sanders  20:10

you know, I can speak from a my experience in athletics, which is always a great experience, especially if you if you can find a team that has diversity on it, you can find a good coach, because coaches are basically teachers, right? So the adults in the room have to be, you know, engaged, and want to be a part of the solution, you know, not just on the sideline, checking boxes off, right, they really have to be a part of, of the process, right. And, you know, when you when you find that you, you have an organization that has a solid foundation, again, you know, I don’t, I don’t want to, you know, there’s there are folks out there who could be listening that aren’t spiritual. So I don’t want to offend anybody and say, hey, it’s, you know, because, yeah, I have a spiritual foundation. But I also have an athletic foundation. So if you don’t have a spiritual Foundation, they’re still a foundation of just common decency, right? being a good person. Right? Right. Just being a good person and treating people well, and, and therefore, if you treat someone well, you’ll be expected to be treated well. And if someone’s not treating you, well, don’t be around them. Right. So but for our kids, kids are smart man. Kids are smart. Right? And, and they get it. But again, we don’t live in a utopian society, we don’t live in a utopian world. So you’re going to have to participate, right? You got to get involved, you can’t just do what maybe our parents did back in the day, kind of let it happen, or hope for the best. No, you have to get involved. Right? If you’re going to be the example, right for your kids, or you want your kids to have great examples or good examples, you’ve got to participate. Right? participating and getting involved is a good way. Right? I’m a firm believer in the low hanging fruit approach, not the uncomfortable conversation approach. Right? There’s a book out there called the uncomfortable conversation with a black man by Emmanuel acho, who’s a former NFL player, he’s the one I’m giving this guy, all this press, but he’s a perfect example. He’s on Fox show called Speak for yourself with a guy by the name of another former NFL called Marcellus Wiley. And Emmanuel acho, wrote a book is called the uncomfortable conversation with a black man. Again, I’m not pushing back on his book, I haven’t read his book yet. I haven’t had time to read his book, I got my own book that I’m trying to promote. But his approach is different than my approach. For example, there’s no way on God’s green earth are two people from two different backgrounds, two socio economic backgrounds, two different ethnicities, two different religions are going to meet for the first time and have an uncomfortable conversation and walk away with a positive outcome ain’t going to happen. So you start with the low hanging fruit, meaning, you meet someone for the first time you introduce yourself, you find common ground, and you build a relationship from there, right? That’s the same way you would if you were at a dinner party or a cocktail party or barbecue, you meet someone for the first time you shake hands, and you you take the time to get to know them. And then in those conversations, you find common ground, because click you may like seafood, I may like a talion. But during the conversation about food, we all find out we all love sushi. So now we find something we have common ground on. Now let’s build from there, right? That means we’re all pointed in the same direction. We’re just getting there in different lanes. Right? Okay.

Clint Murphy  24:46

Yeah. And you’re striking a chord on that one says a guest I’ll be releasing his podcast next week. He wrote a book on cognitive bias. And one of the things we talked about About his three key things that lead to racism and, or divisiveness, or, which we’re seeing a lot of lately, and one of them is the binary thinking. So it’s this or this, it can’t be this and this. And the other one that he talks about is the human brain, instead of generally, looking for commonalities, looks for differences, because it’s simpler. So it’s easier to spot the difference than it is to spot the ways that you’re the same. So even if you and I are 95%, the same, my brain is gonna look for that 5% of the way, you’re different than me and focus on that. So what what you’re effectively saying is spend the time invest in each other, so that you can get over that cognitive bias and see the commonalities between each other and focus on those.

Bo-Dean Sanders  26:02

It’s the same if you’re investing in the stock market, or the financial markets, right? It’s an investment, right? And you expect that investment to grow, right. So if you have a vested interest in the relationship, then you’re going to do all you can to see that the relationship is moving in the right direction in a positive way. It’s an investment. Absolutely. And then when you find and what I found is how I am able to overcome my brain, using your example trying to find those differences, even though we’re 90% alike. What I’ve done is I’ve purposely stared that feeling in the face, that feeling of jealousy, envy, I stared in the face, and I go, how can I overcome this? It’s just like when you’re uncomfortable. Some people when they’re uncomfortable, they walk away? Well, when I have an uncomfortable feeling, I try to face it. Because when I face it, I’m learning and I’m changing, or adapting My body is getting my body is getting used to it. So I can think clearly, right? In other words, I’m not running from it. Because running from it, you’re not gonna learn anything, if you face it by yourself, right? So if I’m watching TV, and I see somebody that turns me off, or, or gives me a bad feeling, I don’t click the channel and turn to another channel. I stay on it, and deal with the emotions that I’m feeling. So I can then as coaches would say, control your emotions, right? control your emotions. It’s just like when we’re on the field, and football and football. Again, I’m biased. Football is the toughest sport on the planet. Yeah, I know you’re in Canada and your guys love hockey. I get that. But where you are in a one on one hand to hand combat with another human being. And it’s my job to make you do something against your will. That some right. So when you are faced with that, you’re learning from it. So I’ve learned as a defensive back facing a tight end, who’s generally taller than me and bigger than me, how am I going to handle that tight in and get that tight and out of the way so I can then focus on the quarterback and the running back. So I’d have a lot of practice doing that, right? practice is the key word. No one expects someone to handle an awkward situation. The first time it takes practice, right? So you have to practice these things. That’s why having a conversation with someone who and building a relationship first. And having a conversation with someone that’s different than you is part of the practice. Therefore, you’re learning as you go. And so when people don’t have those opportunities to practice and have those conversations, then what you have is two people meeting in a ring butting heads, and then walking away and going back in their corners and nothing was accomplished. To me, the goal is always to move the ball forward in a positive way, not just to get your point across. Okay, you got your point across What did you gain from it, right? It’s not It’s not about being right. And being the one who’s right. It’s not all it’s also not about you winning. conversation. So what you want the conversation? What did you get out of it? The feeling that you won? What does that feeling that to one advanced the football meaning advanced the conversation in a positive way? Come on. So you have to take those selfish feeling selfish emotions, competition, all that stuff that you’re making into a gumbo soup. Now you got to start from scratch. Now you got to figure out what ingredients Am I putting in this soup, that’s still going to taste well meaning moving in the right direction. But leaving some of the stuff that’s going to cause you heartburn, cause you to get, you know, high blood pressure, right, remove those things, and learn how to cook a meal without all the things that are bad for you. Right? I’m kind of all over the place. But those are good examples.

Clint Murphy  30:55

Yeah, and I’m pulling and pulling a thread out because you know, step one, you’re saying invest in someone, right? Get to start to get the commonalities. Part Two, you’re saying put yourself out there more, get more exposure and build up slowly. And it’s one of my I don’t know if it’s a favorite quote, but a quote that I appreciate on this topic. And I might have the person who said it wrong. I think it’s been rushed in what they said was ignorance leads to fear. Fear leads to hatred leads to violence. This is the equation and you’re trying to start at the base and tackle some of those building blocks. Ignorance is because you don’t know these people ignorance is because you to your point, you haven’t put yourself in that situation enough times. So how do you build a relationship with someone who’s a different race? Who has a different socio economic status? How do you spend more and more time getting to know people that are different than you to break down that ignorance? And so one of the main ways that you bring up and it’s I think the main way I had growing up to is sport, right? You’re on the field, you don’t care. If your teammates white, brown, purple, yellow, orange, you care about winning? And are they a good teammate? You’re not going to not like them because of the color you’re going to not like them because they’re going to make you lose. What are some other ways that you can when you’re young, get your kids that exposure that sport brings?

Bo-Dean Sanders  32:37

Let’s step outside of sports, if that’s your question band, being part of a band, marching band, or choir I sung in a high school, junior high school in high school choir, remember, my dad was a musician. My mom could sing. And so they made us join the high school junior high school and high school choir. Thank goodness, my grandmother didn’t make us join the church choir. Whoo, that would have been tough. But because that’s a lot of singing. But a group. Sure I’m biased for sports. But there are other groups out there, right? Sure. There’s, there’s dance. There’s Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, other types of groups, but you want to make sure those groups have diversity. You want to make sure those groups have diversity, part of their mission or part of their curriculum for the kids, right? There’s no more here no evil, See No Evil, speak no evil back in the day, meaning just push it aside, it’ll go away. No, you want to make sure your kids are involved in stuff where it’s being talked about, or they’re being there. They’re being educated. You know, there are some workshops or activities, the same thing we did is in kindergarten, we’re learning to share our toys, right? That’s one of the things all there’s no racial group out there. That didn’t learn as toddlers at an early age. It’s about sharing your toys, right? That’s how we learn not to be selfish by sharing our toys. Now, that doesn’t mean kids did all kids learned it. But

Clint Murphy  34:18

yeah, we’re gonna say we all know, right,

Bo-Dean Sanders  34:20

right. But that was something we all can identify with and understand. So it’s all about putting your kids in a right. We’re all smart enough. Now, we can’t claim that we don’t know. We can’t claim we don’t know. There’s too many books been written too many TV programs, too many music artists that have written songs and sing songs. There’s so much education out there for people to not still be asleep at the wheel, right? It doesn’t. The goal isn’t to indoctrinate our kids. The goal is to give our kids an opportunity to understand Dan and learn the same way they learn with using toys and learning how to read learning how to write. There’s a social aspect in it, instead of learning the social aspect in high school, we need to start them earlier. Right. And I think that’s happening. We talked about it early, I think is happening. Parents just have to be involved. They can’t ignore it. In other words,

Clint Murphy  35:22

yeah, that’s right. And so it doesn’t have to be sport, what you’re effectively saying is any group activity that has diversity, that has shared common goals that are more achievable, through cooperation, than not cooperation, will provide children in realistically, bodeen like for adults to hear a conversation like this, or going through life and realizing, wait, maybe I wasn’t raised with the right values. And maybe I should, to your point, get myself more exposure, put yourself, put yourself in those situations, go join a pickup basketball team, at the local Why go join an acapella singing group. Is that one that she would do? I don’t know what that is.

Bo-Dean Sanders  36:17

There’s a there are a number of ways. You know, if you’re playing chess, guess what chess is being you can find somebody that likes chess, if you find a person that likes chess, that could be Jewish, that could be Asian, could be African, African descent, whatever, creating the opportunity to build a new relationship, don’t put yourself in jeopardy. I’m not saying go into an inner city where gang violence is happening and go, Hey, I want to be free. Come on, let’s be reasonable here. Let’s use our common sense in your daily life. Regardless, if you have a work environment and environment where you like to relax and environment you’d like to exercise whatever it is you like to do. There’s no way someone can tell me there’s no diversity, meaning they don’t have an opportunity to start a conversation and begin building a relationship with someone that doesn’t look like them or didn’t grow up like them. Come on it that the world is not that big. It’s big, but it ain’t that big. Right. So bodeen that’s, that’s the entire concept behind my podcast

Clint Murphy  37:31

is, you know, you and I were talking about this earlier, but the one line I didn’t say was the idea is that each and every human being that you and I meet know, something that we don’t. And so have a conversation, figure out what it is that they know that you don’t and you’re just simply building bridges, every single one of those conversations we have up Do you have a few minutes to stick around for a couple more questions that are lonely. Total pivot? Yeah, absolutely. So bodeen What is your superpower?

Bo-Dean Sanders  38:09

my superpower I got quite a few. My smile. Um, my mother’s personality, my ability as a growing up a middle child, having the ability to negotiate and help people negotiate, help people come together, you know, or separate people if they’re not on the same page. And you know, having the confidence to say something, and it’s not in confidence. It’s like, it’s more than confidence. It’s the courage. I literally, I’ve never really been afraid of anything based on the things that had based on my experiences. The only thing only time I get afraid is when it when I’m not in control. And it may not be a great way of saying so in other words, because I was nervous when I first tried out for football. I know what that feeling feels like and I know how to overcome it. Because I’ve had a gun pointed to my head, the trigger pulled misfire, I you know, I’m pretty sure if I was in a shop, right? Or I’m sorry, a supermarket and a gunman walked in and started shooting. I’m pretty sure I would be able to help people try to evacuate versus just running out and focusing on myself. So in I’m 55 years old Clint. So I’ve been through a lot. So I know I got a lot more to learn. That’s what I think. Well, there’s

Clint Murphy  39:40

a really important thing you just said right there and I saw this on social media the other day there. Someone was talking about fear and now everyone says I don’t have to be afraid You don’t have to be afraid. At the end of the day. It’s okay to be afraid. Right? courage. Courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. Courage simply means even though you’re afraid you’re going to act. In the face of fear, right, and so being afraid that’s just an emotion. And sometimes it’s, it’s there to save our life. So we can’t, you know, let’s not ignore it, but no one to tell it to shut up and and you’re going to do what you need to do. So I absolutely agree with that statement you made I love it. Now let’s flip the coin. What’s something that you struggle with?

Bo-Dean Sanders  40:22

I struggle with people not doing the right thing. I’ll give you an example. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, probably other superstar athletes you hear has very little success. Not all of them. But a lot of them have very little success coaching, because their expectations are they want those athletes to be as good as they were. And it’s impossible because they were absolute superstars. So my struggle is that I’m disappointed that in 2021, people are still fighting with the race issue. They’re still fighting with being what I call ditto heads. They’re regurgitating what they hear, versus making their own decisions to how we can move the ball forward, or make a better society for everybody. In other words, there’s too many sheep, just following people and not not stopping and going, Okay, why am I chasing this guy or gal down? down the rabbit hole? No, no, I can take a step back and say, Oh, no, no, that doesn’t feel right to me, let me just make my own decisions on how I want to approach you know, the race issue, or the political issues, or whatever it may be. A lot of people just, you know, they just they join the pack, and they follow the pack instead of making decisions on their own. And that’s what I struggle with. I struggle. It’s just like, as a parent, you want your kids, you want the best for your kids. You want your kids to do well in anything that they do. And it’s frustrating when you know, they can do something, but they hadn’t gotten it yet. Does that make sense? Absolutely.

Clint Murphy  42:22

Absolutely nothing. You totally nailed that, as a parent, Nothing’s more upsetting with your child, children than them telling you they can’t do it. In you knowing you absolutely can do it. You’re, you’re my child, you’re smarter, smarter than me. That’s how genetics work. And I know you can do it, you just aren’t putting in effort. I know you can make that team, you’re just not a new, you opened up to step onto the soapbox bodeen. In one of the very first things we talked about, in this conversation, you nailed what is needed to succeed in life. And if any of us want to achieve anything, it’s three simple things, know what you want, have a plan to do it and do the work, right? Yeah, you want it to play football, you created a plan to work out and you worked out every day, your sister saw you doing it, your mother in law saw you doing it, and they believed you because you weren’t just talking about it. And whether it’s my children, whether it’s young men I work with and spend time with in men’s group, whether it’s friends, colleagues, like when you hear someone say over and over that they want something, but you never see them take a step. that’s frustrating. And then when you see the end result being because they’re maybe not getting what they want in life. So now it’s instead of looking in and saying I didn’t do the work, they look across the aisle and say, well, it’s that guy’s fault. It’s these people’s fault. It’s those people’s fault. Yeah, I can understand. I think we’re both fully aligned on this one.

Bo-Dean Sanders  44:06

Yeah, blaming somebody else is absolutely, you know, the crutch that haunt a lot of people and and they have to fight through that, right. I have no problem falling on the sword because I learned falling on the sword and taking responsibility. If given an opportunity to take responsibility is the best way. Sometimes people aren’t gonna believe you, or sometimes they won’t make a difference. But guess what, you’ll be able to go to sleep at night. Right? So in other words, I’m not perfect, I’m fallible, but I’m still trying to be the best I can be. And so I’ve learned to not let other people in their decisions influence what I’m doing because if I know in my heart, I’m doing the right thing. Dinner doesn’t matter. And it I lost my way for a while, right. And I was able to gain all of those things I learned as a young kid back when I started writing this book, because it allowed me to focus on what I did to get to cheney to get from cheney to Villanova, and then graduate from Villanova. Right? And all of those memories, and all of those emotions, and all those experiences came back. Right. And, and I know, I still got a lot of work to do in terms of just because I wrote the book, and people are buying it, you know, I’m not on anyone’s bestseller list. But I’m able to read reviews and see people how the book is affecting them. And I know there’s a bigger message I can deliver out there. I’ve got, you know, I’ve got to work to get that message out there. Right. I’m not just gonna rest on Yeah, I’ve sold a few books. And I’ve got a few reviews that are five star reviews. And that’s great. New, I’m not stopping there. There’s a lot there’s a lot more people to deliver the message to, because of where we are right now we are in, especially here in America. You know, I’m not sure how it is in Canada, but I like to think Canada’s sitting better than us. Because we are we have chaos here, man, there is chaos going on in its country. And too many people got their grievances using excuses pointing the fingers, instead of trying to find a way to move the ball forward. I don’t even necessarily want people to come together, so to speak, in terms of coming together. Because I know, and I’m going to use an analogy that drives me crazy, but I think people understand it. As a defensive player. I like defense. I don’t like offensive players. I don’t like quarterbacks, I don’t like tight ends. I don’t like wide receivers. I don’t like anybody on offense, right. But this analogy is a good one. The quarterback is the lead the leader, the captain, Windows 11 guys are on offense. And the quarterback comes to the huddle calls the play. That means everybody else has a job to do the other 10. Guys, the other 10 guys all have their own individual job to do, right. If they do their individual job, the 11 guys as a whole has done are still on the same page and are moving the ball forward. Even though they have 11 different jobs, the ultimate goal is to move the ball forward. So in other words, we all don’t have to agree that removing in we all don’t have to agree how we get the ball forward, as long as we’re all working together, doing our own individual job to get the ball forward. So we have to dig deeper, instead of hanging on the surface of things. People don’t dig deep. And I like to think my book allows people to see how I went deep into the conversations with my teammates, how I went deep into the relationships I was able to build, because just saying things that are just on the surface doesn’t help people. In other words, just repeating what you hear isn’t good enough. Nowadays, we need to provide more information. So people can see the deeper meaning so we can move the ball forward. Right? If I just wrote a book about race relations, that would just be another book about race relations. No, I wanted to write a book about race relations, and dig deep. So people can see the examples that I put on paper. So one of our white brothers and sisters in Canada, or wherever across the world can say identify cuz I highlight a lot of different people in my book, it’s sometimes tough for someone who’s white to walk in the shoes of someone who’s black, and vice versa. So I want it impossible, right? So I wanted to make sure I highlighted multiple characters in my book in the good things that they did in the good relationships. So someone can read my book and go identify with Jean Fazio to financial aid direct or identify it with Don decarlo, who worked in the sports to the sports equipment department, or so forth. Yeah, there’s a number of characters where people can read the book and go, it’s not just about a black guy in his experience. It’s about a group. It’s about a village. Right. It’s about a group of people and the way You were able to interpret and read the book. That’s what I want people do I want people to come away with what they identify with and what what works for them.

Clint Murphy  50:10

Yeah, it’s a beautiful, beautiful way to say it. And so we’ll have a link to the book in our show notes. How else can our listeners find your boating?

Bo-Dean Sanders  50:19

Well, it’s pretty easy. Megan, go to my website. bodeen sanders.com. And if you Google it, it’s pretty easy. Bo Bo, hyphen, Dean, d a n sanders.com. That’s my website, all the information is on my website. And, you know, they can find the book at their favorite online retailer and be at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, whoever. And yeah, and and, and if they want to send me an email, they can go to my website, and send me an email, I try to do my best to return emails, because believe in a lot of people have questions. A lot of people notice things. A lot of people need some help sometimes when I pivot to a different topic, because it’s seven chapters, 42 topics. And those topics are relatable. And they can find out something they didn’t know as well.

Clint Murphy  51:20

Mm hmm. And then, so as we start to wrap it up, is there anything that was on your mind coming in that we didn’t cover today?

Bo-Dean Sanders  51:29

Oh, no. You’re a great host. No, you’re great. Whoa, thank you. It was a great conversation. Um, no, I mean, it’s put it this way, we’re not going to solve our social issues, our histories, there’s no silver bullet. We’re not going to solve it overnight. But we got to put in the work, right, we got to focus on what’s important. I mean, there’s so much again, there’s just so much but you find what works for you, right? You pick a space that you want to work in, you find what works for you. And then you enhance it, right. And so don’t worry about making mistakes, especially if you’re building a relationship with someone. And it’s, it’s the right relationship, meaning you’re starting from a genuine place. There’s no hidden agendas, right, you’re starting from, you know, you’re, you’re doing it from the heart, right. And if you’re doing all those things the right way. And you’re building a relationship with someone beat indigenous or minority, whatever. You got to trust it. You got to trust it, and allow it to mature, right? It’s not going to you’re not going to solve anything overnight. You can’t go in with that. That thought process. We have been that’s been too much history for us to solve something in one night, right. But if we’re all doing our little part and moving the ball forward, then you know you’re doing the right thing.

Clint Murphy  53:09

It’s a great way to end it. bodeen that was such an enjoyable conversation with you tonight. Thank you for being on the pursuit of learning. I really appreciate it.

Bo-Dean Sanders  53:18

No, Clint, thank you. I appreciate it. Hopefully you invited me back.

Clint Murphy  53:22

You bet. Thank you for joining us on the pursuit of learning, make sure to hit the subscribe button and head over to our website, the pursuit of learning comm where you will find our show notes, transcripts and more. If you like what you see, sign up for our mailing list. Until next time, your host in learning Clint Murphy

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