Braden Storts and Shelley Stege

Recorded October 21, 2021 Archived October 21, 2021 53:14 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: hub000438


One Small Step conversation partners Braden Storts (26) and Shelley Stege (59) discuss how political division has impacted both of them - as well as what it means to be adaptable. They also discuss how they both have known people to have died by suicide.

Subject Log / Time Code

Shelley talks about how political divisiveness has impacted her friendships.
Braden talks about losing a friend to suicide.
Braden talks about his dislike of political parties.
Shelley talks about teaching kids with disabilities and what it taught her.
Braden asks Shelley about her self-description of "adaptable" and what it means to her to have adaptability.
Braden and Shelley discuss what is worthy of picking a battle over vs not
Shelley talks about how she doesn't understand the fear around someone being different from you.
Shelley talks about being Catholic and pro-choice.


  • Braden Storts
  • Shelley Stege

Venue / Recording Kit


Partnership Type




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00:00 Be 9 years old. My birthday is at the end of the month and I'll be 60. Today is October 21st, 2021. I am having a conversation with Brandon. I'm sorry. Brayden today is one small. Step partner is Brayden.

00:19 I think that's it.

00:23 My name is Braden storts. I am 26 years. Old. Today is October 21st. 2021. I am.

00:35 Doing this call virtually from my home in Tulsa. And today, I'm having a one small step conversation with my partner Shelly.

00:47 Braden. What made you want to do this conversation today? And talk to me about the whole process. I thought it's very interesting concept of them.

01:05 Getting to talk to other people in your kind of

01:10 Yeah, I mean, what she said with the whole purpose of this is to know it's very divisive time and trying to get an understanding of other people. I'm just finding common ground even if someone to find the commonality in mankind and you know,

01:30 Before we started this Caitlin, put the comment be curious, and there's a Walt Whitman quote. I really like that is, be curious, not judgmental. And I really

01:45 Yo, what's up? Try to be like that. She'll eat. What made you want to do this conversation today? Well, I was driving down the street in the car and I heard this introduction on NPR and you're right about the divisive times and I got to thinking about how all of the divisiveness that's been going around. His actually cost me friendships and that really bothered me and I'm I'm really intrigued. Upset frustrated, all the above with wind. Like you said people can't find a common ground. White has to be personal and attacking when you don't agree with somebody and, you know, my first thought was that, gosh. I wish they'd get themselves fixed. And then I thought, well, maybe I should step up and get myself fixed first. So I decided, I'll step up, I can ask somebody else to do something. I'm not willing to do. So. Here I am.

02:47 Okay, so see Braden's bio. Let's see. You're from Tulsa and Edmund. Will. That's a good little trick. I just saw you studying accounting and I wish you and Shelley. You're going to read this like it's written. So I'm first time and Edmond, Oklahoma. I studied accounting at a wish you, and I'm an auditor who works in the Tulsa area. I try to be very intentional and supportive of everyone. I know due to a close friend of mine, too many suicide. I try to treat everyone with care and respect an issue. I'm passionate about Is wealth inequality and correcting the grave disparity between the 1% and the rest of us.

03:35 I believe very strongly that social safety nets lead to a more prosperous Society.

03:44 Oh, okay. Well, there's quite a few things. I'd like to know about. First of all, how is it? You're from Tulsa and Edmund. So my parents are both from Tulsa. My dad's from Tulsa, my mom's from Catoosa. So this is where I was born on that. My dad got a job opportunity in Oklahoma City while I was growing up, so moved there, when I was about 10. So a lot of my more formative years were in Edmond, no, high school middle school, high school. So that's that's kind of where I consider myself from even though I have a recent also. And then after college, I got a job in Tulsa, so I came back. So I do feel a little bit more.

04:30 Closer to Tulsa, again. You don't. I mean, I have family in Edmond, you studied accounting as you. How did you choose accounting? So, I went to school for mechanical engineering and about three semesters and I was just doing very poorly and then I realized it just wasn't for me. It wasn't working out. And you have my older brother and my dad were both. Accountants is like, you know, they're doing it. How hard can it be?

05:04 So, I switched over in really was a natural fit for me.

05:11 And so yeah, that's that's kind of hard to end up there. Cuz I, I first was like, I'm just going to do this for now. Maybe I'll switch to a different business degree, but I was kind of settled into, can you tell about your friend that committed suicide?

05:26 Yeah, so this is someone he was he was two years ahead of me in in school. And if I met him, when I was at the middle school, cuz we both ran cross-country and I became friends with him back when I was like 12 or 13. And, you know, he was

05:48 He wasn't great at cross country. But when I got the high school, he it really worked hard and my bill to self up and became the best runner on the team. And, you know, I and I was friends with him all this time. And, you know, he's just a very kind and caring person really inspired me to be better. And, you know, he went on to be in All American, you know, conference Runner also and he has a really fun in Lively guy. And so I remember it. I was there's a big cross country meet in Stillwater at OSU. Cowboy Jamboree and I seen him there and this was a Saturday.

06:33 And I've seen him there and I was I was busy talking to someone else and I miss my chance to go talk to him and it's like it's okay. Like I'll see you another time and then I find out Monday morning that he had committed suicide over the, the night date the day after I seen him, it was just a really emotional time and I kind of sat there with

06:56 A lot of thoughts in your nose, like, you know, I could have talked to him that day and I didn't regret there and it took me a long time to really, like process that but, you know, funeral offered a lot of closure. So

07:14 More formative in my life. You know, I'm sorry. You lost your friend had you've been had you been in touch for? I mean you haven't lost parted ways. You'd been in touch. I call you seeing each other regularly periodically.

07:33 She was executed tracking on College, then, you know, so it wasn't, you know, black, I saw him everyday like, I used to, but I mean, any time we saw each other. Is there a conversation? Was there anything that made you think that he would do that? Did you have any inclination that something was going on with him? I have a neighbor that committed suicide about 10 years ago, an adult, and he was in his forties or fifties. So, I have a similar kind of experience the next part of your bio, you talk to, you kind of laid into your political position and actually just your in your bio, the way you worded. It, kind of reminds me of my younger son. My younger son is 30, and he has a very similar position and he and I get into conversations about some of these kind of things before. So I'm going to just jump

08:33 The Assumption which I know I'm not supposed to do that. You're probably a Democrat. Is that correct?

08:40 You know, I'm ready. I'm registered as a Democrat. But, you know, I I believe in beliefs more than parties. No sure, you know, I don't want to fall in line with

08:54 You know, a group of people just because I might agree with them on one topic, but absolutely but, but yeah, I am registered as a Democrat to register as a Democrat like when you were eighteen and could register. How did you know, that's what you want to just? How did you know? That's what you should sign up for, when I was raised in a very Christian conservative. How many after the 2016 election? I I kind of was like,

09:28 With none of these things. I was raised it from my personal Viewpoint. None of these things. I was raised to believe in actually matter and so in all these talking points against things, I was told to dislike. I was like, well, actually, these kind of makes sense to me. I saw

09:49 Like I said, I don't I really try to stay away from the parties, but I saw some more of the Democrat viewpoints being more about empathy, which

09:58 You know, I fight like I tried like I said, you're in the bayou. Like I really try to be an empathetic person but we're I straying away from Democrats as I also try to be very nuanced practical. So, you know, for me it's all. There's always a conversation but that is something I do feel like it's probably

10:20 The swirling for like the root of a lot of issues that if we could solve that, we can actually talk a lot more. I guess. I'll stop there. We can carry on in the next questions. Go ahead. I am a retired. I was raised by a divorced mother and alcoholic. Father. I was a registered Republican and soul 2016. I have been a caregiver for sick parent, cynapium Los I've lived in Tulsa for over 30 years. I consider myself, civic-minded tolerant adaptable. I believe in science, logic, and education, and try to control and manage emotions without letting them control.

11:08 So first off, I guess my question is with being a teacher houses that impact, you know, your worldview with. I guess what? What did you teach interesting? Lee enough? I taught students that had learning disabilities, special education, for the Whole 30 years. The last of 20-something years. I taught students that have significant learning disabilities in the last 10 years. I thought algebra two kids who have learning disability, but how did that impact? How I say things you can't be in a classroom of dozens and dozens of kids every day every year and not see.

11:51 The.

11:53 Life, they lead not come into your classroom. You can you hear their stories? You see what they're wearing you here? There.

12:01 The words you see that they've eaten or not eating and it and you can't help but see a big diverse wide range of people and so my naive 21 year old self. When I started being a teacher, I thought I was just going to walk in there and everybody was going to play teacher with me and we were all just going to get smart and everybody was going to be happy and it didn't really work that way. So it was hard but it made you realize everybody wasn't coming at it from the same point that I was

12:37 Sorry, I'm trying to connect my next question.

12:52 Sorry, I'm struggling. So.

13:05 Complex thoughts, putting with teaching, you said students with learning disabilities. So do you think that has like a specific impact on how you view? Like how education is handled like a note, you know, I'm saying, like, how I think education is completely broken.

13:31 Cuz, I mean, you would be dealing with students who are more likely to be disenfranchised and disadvantage than the rest of that. That's kind of weird lately. That is very much the case, not that white smart above-average. People don't have children with learning problems. But most of the students I had were boys, most, or black, or brown most came from single families, where somebody in the family had an addiction or mental health or a variety of things. And so I saw, you know, kids that was really struggling with and I think education is broken. It is 2021. We cannot teach like we did in 1950. It's got to change or we're not going to be a world leader.

14:23 So here I see. You say you lived in Tulsa for 30 years?

14:32 You email me saying just like what are Tulsa Broken Arrow?

14:46 Yeah, my thing was broken there. I always complaining like, you know any time something is broken or like a little too far for me. But I mean, it's really not that far away. Nothing in Tulsa.

15:02 I want to live in Houston or Dallas or in a big city, cuz then that's an hour anywhere and they were down in Katy, Texas, law college. And yeah it was.

15:20 On a slow day. It was 45 minutes of downtown.

15:30 And so I see, you know, you put, you can serve yourself, civic-minded, holler, and aptible, and when it comes to adapt ability. How important do you think it is to like, you know, look at yourself and, you know about something, you may believe in think, am I wrong? Like, you know, like

15:51 Cuz with with adaptability, it's, you know, and am I looking at this the right way, you know, who do I need to talk to, to get a better understanding about that, you know, that a holding yourself accountable to, you know, 100 for understanding that is only something I think I've gotten better at as I've gotten older because I think when you're, when you have little kids and a full-time job and all the things that you're trying to juggle that you just don't have time to think like that. You're just trying to keep one foot in front of the other. But as I've gotten older, I do find myself stopping myself sometimes and thinking, wait a minute. Wait a minute, check yourself. Here. Is this, okay? And are you, are you just, are you really thinking this through an example in mind and I forgot what it was.

16:40 Just just having to check myself at the door and make sure that this is really the hill. I want to die on. Is it really that the

16:50 Don't feel that passionately about it. And for the most part, I think I'm pretty flexible. And so I'm just not going to fight with somebody about something that is just not worth the battle. If it's the battle. I want to fight, I will fight it, but if it's not I can let it go to.

17:15 Willing to die up the hill for something that maybe I do need to hold myself little bit accountable understanding. So yeah.

17:25 I do have a really hard time with the whole political atmosphere because like you I was registered Republican until a few years ago and I just could not stand by and be part of that craziness and that has been really hard for me, not because like you said, I wasn't a die-hard republican as much as just what I believed. I believed it didn't have to be Republican. I was even telling Caitlyn the other day that

17:55 Can't you be a Republican and be say, pro-choice, can't you be a Democrat and have a gun? It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You know, like I said, you pick the battles that you know that are important to you and you stick with that, but it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing. I often find many people. I know who they want to fall under the tent and I'm like I can't I can't for this right, you know.

18:33 But yeah, I think that's all I have. I'm who would you say has been the most influential person or persons? I guess in your life. And what did they teach you?

18:50 Yeah, I thought I thought a lot about this cuz when we did the text that Caitlin asked me and I really struggled to come up with an answer, but I would have to say it. It's really

19:02 I think two different people and they're both they're both from Highschool one would be my cross country coach who he was, he was already retired teacher when I got there, you know, he was literally just the cross-country Coach and he's just a very, very great man whom you know,

19:23 He was he was hard but not in like, you know, the stereotypical Coach Way like, he held you to a standard and as long as you meant that you were good, but you know, he he wanted he really showed me the effort means a lot, you know, cuz a lot of people want to focus on results in and he

19:42 I think he really respected people who put in effort and who made personal calls and I wasn't always about, you know, winning and he was just a really great encourager. And and that's just kind of, I feel like the way I am is that I want to, I want to help develop people to be better and that it's not always about

20:03 You know.

20:05 The big thing. Sometimes it's the small victories. And so when I ran a better time and you know, I got 40th Place in the cross country meet. He didn't care that. I got for you is he was happy that I got a better time or if I was running consistent country and not even to be a retired teacher. He has to be intentional and he really was. And then the other one was my own.

20:40 My English literature teacher, my junior year, who really pushed me to look at things deeper into really, get me on the surface.

20:56 And I don't really know how to expand on that. It's just, he was the who's all about female looking for a deeper. Meaning, you know, and understanding is. Sometimes there's not a thief or meeting, you know, sometimes everything is really on the surface, but sometimes there's a little bit more and there's nothing wrong with looking into things interesting that you would have both of them. Be teachers. Yeah. I I mean, I told Kaylee there's a huge respect for teachers and that lifestyle and general cuz I think it's a lot about giving

21:34 You don't realize until sometimes after the fact, what influence you had on a student. If it comes up in our conversation, I'll tell you about a student that I basically adopted. Then I'll be glad to talk about it, but I don't want to interrupt you. But yeah teaching is it's kind of a calling will again. I act like you I thought about this and I you know, I think the first person that popped into my mind were basically my parents my siblings and people that you grow up with and I would still say that except for different reasons, like my mom who

22:16 Was the glue that held the family together. So for her for her and would be the positive influences that she, that she was, but as dysfunctional and messed up as my dad was, I would say he was still influential to just not necessarily positively, but because of his alcoholism and drug addiction and dysfunction, I had to step up and be bigger and better. And so I've often thought that even though it was horrible in the moment to be a kid with an alcoholic dad.

22:48 That's okay. It was what it was. It did what it was supposed to do. It made me stronger and that's okay. And then the other person who was a significant influence would have been my mother's mother, my grandmother and I always felt, I might even cry just talkin about it. I always felt very, very valid. Dated didn't matter what I said. It didn't matter how Direction I was coming from on, whatever the topic was. I knew I was safe with her. I can go in there and talk about anything and I, I got heard.

23:22 He said that was always, you know, she would have been one of the top.

23:28 And she's gone now.

23:36 So Brayden, can you briefly, describe in your own words, your personal political values?

23:45 So, I guess I would consider myself Progressive.

23:52 Which, I feel like right now is still kind of a taboo word, but I believe I mean,

24:07 Wealth inequality and social safety nets are very important to me to. Like I said, I feel like a lot of issues in this country. Come from poverty, poverty. Effects, for people, live people's hell on people's diets education.

24:29 And yeah, I just think that's probably the most important thing to me and I think it's like a different political you besides that.

24:42 I don't know. I guess I believe very much in.

24:46 Trying to find a middle ground and trying to find new ones takes, which kind of related to. I don't miss her like, the parties, cuz

24:57 You know, one side will say no guns and one side will say, yes cons. There's there's no middle ground, right? Some limited or yes, but there needs to be more background checks, you know, it's

25:12 So, you know, it's just like I kind of walk a middle ground on a lot of issues. I very least. I may have a more Progressive you in a lot of them, but I still believe that it should be brought to the table a conversation.

25:29 I'm trying to, I'm trying to think it speaks a specific nonsense. So, I know I'm really usually not very public about this. But I will, I'll be honest with you. I am pro-choice. And the, even if I wasn't, I think the Texas law is very worrisome. You know, I think it's taking away a lot of rights with women about their health. And like I said, I mean health is, that's a very important in it. It creates a dangerous environment.

26:13 And because I think people completely ignore the fact that in it for my viewpoint, but access to Safe. Abortions is better because

26:25 You know, a desperate person who just four things in. And this is how you know, you're going to have women dying from an unsafe abortion in that matches terrifies, man. So so yeah, I really think that that law is just a complete oversized specially because you know,

26:45 It's it's it's not even about that. It's he knows what's eight weeks. It's it's about that. They're putting it in the hands of the citizens and almost having like a militia and right abortion and that's very worrisome to me. If anyone should be enforcing, this should not be. So that's that's like for that issue. Oh, I think you and I are right on The Bravery on that one.

27:19 Did you have any other questions about anyting?

27:28 We talked about how this over these last four years, that have divisive, the political Arena has been

27:37 What do you think would help it? What do you think would make people that are on those extremes moved towards the middle? Cuz I honestly can't figure it out. I can't the only thing I can come up with is that I think it's fear from both extremes. And I don't know how you relieve someone's fear so that they can move more to the middle. You know, I don't, I really don't know. I've asked myself this cuz I remember I believe it was earlier in the year when they're worse. Their talk about the stimulus. You know, that fighting was trying to pass and they're like, we're going to give this email and Republicans like, no, we don't want that amount and Democrats came down to that amount in the Republican voting for it. Okay. So what's the point of negotiating? The first place? Cuz cuz my aunt I might want my answer to be that people come to the table to have a conversation.

28:33 But when people come to the conversation one side and I'm using specific recent, you know events because Democrats currently don't have the majority but president same thing, past. We're just kind of stand your ground. And so I think if we should get

28:56 You know, it's a, there's a couple of Representatives on both sides, a very loud voices that speak their political dogma. And, you know, they, they use these.

29:08 These words these passwords, you know on the on the right as you know, they're trying to take our freedoms away on the left. It's they're trying to take our freedoms away.

29:20 It really is. This it's really kind of the same thing and it's like if you all would just you know have the more middle of the ground people or not even middle the crown but just getting people to come to the table, right? When you see, when you see your representative say I'm I know.

29:40 Who's learned that our guy. Let's say I'm a republican in Congress and he's going at it with AOC and and I, and I voted for him. I'm going to be like, oh, yeah, everything she says, it's wrong because he's telling me that and, you know, so someone I support won't come to the table. Then I'm probably going to take that same mindset, right, mustard. And Co, he's representing me. I wish people would be more open when they hear that, though, and realize that that those representatives are not necessarily.

30:18 Bringing your position to the table that I think what many times they've done, it appears to me, is they're wanting to maintain their position. They want to hold their elected position. Regardless of, you know, just regardless it's a power thing and it's like, no, you're not there to my personal power. You're there to represent people who asked you to go speak for them. And I think people have gotten lazy and don't want to look at that. It's just easier to check the box and move on. Could you briefly describe in your own words? Your personal political values in forever, and now that I look back at that again think it was laziness on my part because I think it was just

31:09 Check the box and move on. And as I've gotten older and have time to think about it and decide. No, that's not. That's not the the group. I want to associate myself with because I cannot abide the, the bullying and the

31:24 Lack of reality that so many of them, you know, are spewing. And so I'm currently registered independent and I didn't go ahead and register as a republican because I thought that was kind of a wide swing and I thought it's not, it's not any better on the other side. Right now. It's a little, but they do the same things. And so when I and I pretty religiously watch Meet the Press every Sunday. And when I watch Meet the Press and then at the end of the show, they always give a bunch of statistics. And right now what they're saying is that the people who are tipping the scales politically are people like me middle-class white women that are educated that our independence because we're the ones that are willing to be open at an objective and listen to the position and not the party. And so I'm kind of hoping that that's where I fit in.

32:18 Nothing fires me up faster than to get to talking about the Republican, Trump era.

32:30 I have a really hard, it has lost friends and it's really sad to me that you can't just disagree with somebody on a position and that it has to be a personal attack. And that really bothers me. Yeah. Well it's and I can think of so many instances during the presidency. Were you look at something he did? And you're like that subject, as bad as objectively foolish in any Apprentice like, no. I like that. Not a liberal conspiracy.

33:09 Yeah, you know, it's some magical far to board on this. But I remember, you know, one point. They said, I like the press secretary made the comment alternative facts and I'm like for this guy hopped on HP. I'm off of work this week. So I'm just going to enjoy myself for this IHOP on HBO, on the documentary, about January 6th and people from you were there to stock cement and police officers for people.

33:51 And I just kind of like took me back to that day. And I remember that was really, you know, this moment for a couple people, I knew who, you know, including family members or like I'm completely like no, I think that's the way I can be quiet about everything else for the most part, but that that troubles me, is it. Some of the topics here we're talking about. It's what influenced your political position. Do you are you? Are you of the same political party is your family?

34:27 No, no, and then, you know and I get two things quite a few at the base with them not as much anymore. Now that I'm not at the house on my own. I mean most of my household family.

34:43 Mine is my sister and my extended family are pretty conservative. Like all of them are Trump supporters to really made the last couple years hard. I mean, like I said earlier, I was, I thought Ronald. Reagan was like the coolest person ever and I've slowly grown out of that.

35:19 I mean, the moment in life that is like my politics right now. The most is the Muslim ban, which was first month of the Trump presidency. I have a family member through marriage, very close, very personal luck person of mine who is Muslim and his parents are first-generation, and that just has, like, no. And unlike from that point on. I was like, I cannot, I cannot even pretend to be okay with this. This is absolutely unacceptable. So I said in my bio that I'm Catholic and I I go to mass regularly and for the most part I can, I can live with most of the things that the church stands for. But there's a few things that I just have to be real quiet on birth controls. One of them, the

36:15 The Returned about the Muslim ban and why my mother drove my mother and I drove past the church in Edmond recently and she pointed it out to me and told me that that was the church where they are and how she say something along the line. I was helping the Muslims, get into the country so that they can infiltrate America.

36:38 He just laughed, like that's absurd. I teach ESL classes. I recently started working with the Afghan refugees. And I think when you take, when you put yourself around people that are different than you, you start seeing that they're not Muslim terrorists, ready to infiltrate your community. They're just people who want to go to work and raise our family and do the same things you want to do. They just want to go to their church and

37:11 I don't understand the fear of somebody that's different than you just because someone's black. Just because someone's gay just because someone's Muslim doesn't mean they're your enemy. And

37:23 I think the the way to to get her to improve that is for people to just have more experience with somebody different than yourself.

37:33 You just got to get out of your box. Yeah, that's what made College.

37:46 Influential on me, is if it even at OSU, I met a lot of people from different countries from get their backgrounds. Like I have a good friend whose lives in Africa, and completely different lifestyle than me. And, you know, if that doesn't that doesn't stop us from being friends. And you can really have a better understanding. You know, I heard, I heard Oprah say something a long time ago back in the Oprah days, and she said, when a mother of a Chicago gang member loses her child to gang violence, or if a Suburban white mom loses her child to a tragedy. They both feel the same. They both have hurt. It doesn't matter. That one was a gang member in one was a Suburban kid.

38:41 Pain is pain. And so I think that holds true with all those emotions. It's like

38:49 Fear is fear, pain is pain, no matter where you're coming from. It is. And so, to take the the US and them kind of thinking out of it. Don't think of yourself as I've got to protect myself from the Dems that are different than me know. They all want the same thing. You do. They want the same life and happiness and they want all the same thing. So it doesn't matter what the package looks like. They still want the same good feelings that you want to know. Do you have a specific moment in your life?

39:25 Enforce my politics.

39:29 Probably four years ago when Trump gets, I thought he was a buffoon in the beginning, a criminal, but that's probably when I became the most attentive to

39:46 Like, this isn't just rocking a long in the, in the mediocrity Zone. This is Extreme. This is too much. This is not acceptable. Like like you said when, when they start saying the Insurrection was just a little disagreement, on the front steps of the Capitol. It's like no, it wasn't and for people to be so blind or willing to accept such outrageousness.

40:14 I think that's when I really that's when I became tuned in sadly. I wish you the best player. I didn't really start questioning anything until that and

40:31 For me kind of it's like there are certain things you're supposed to hold to a higher standard and and the presidency, you know, you know people can say they dislike Obama for a lot of reasons. But I mean if she was still very presidential, you know, but he was still respectable and I'm saying there are policies of his that I disagree with you know,

41:03 Like when he spoke, I believed in him more than ten words that made sense from together. That was in, that was yeah.

41:15 What? What is something good that has happened to you recently?

41:29 So so I started a new job November of last year. My second day of work was actually election day. So I was like, what a great day to start work. But so yeah, I've been there. I've been at my second job for about a year now.

41:49 And I I guess I I I do public accounting.

41:55 So,

41:57 In a lot of hours in the spring, you know, working and lots of different projects with different people.

42:06 But I really didn't work with a lot of people. When I started, I only worked with one person cuz I was knew is dead time of the year. So it wasn't really a whole lot for me to do and people weren't coming to the office. It was open but no one is really going because I was working from home and so

42:28 For awhile, you know, I really wasn't getting to me anymore. And then some people are starting to come in the beginning of the summer to the end. And it's really these last 2 months, like 2 or 3 weeks ago. I was talking to a co-worker, but I finally feel like I belong here. I finally feel like, welcome. And that like, I have friends here, and I was getting really emotional with one of my co-workers was like, I felt so alone since last March. And like, to actually, like, finally be around people. I like care about working with them and last Friday before I took off. I mean, we're just sitting around for an hour just, you know, shooting the crap, you know, what group of us cuz we're out of working. It just made me happy, people your age. I think that's a big thing. I think that it's really important for people your age to be able to be engaged face-to-face with other people because he's grown up in such a technological world.

43:28 That you some of that just appeared just naturally because of Technology, but to really be able to face to face with people and go out and have dinner or drinks or just talk face-to-face. I think that's really important. And I really think that that contributes to

43:45 This whole discussion of, how do you talk to somebody and get each other's ideas and and talk about things you might disagree on, but when you're face-to-face that technological and an Emmitt e, that makes people so bold and say things that they wouldn't say, face-to-face, I think is really important. So I'm glad that you've gotten to get back with actually humans and talk. No, I mean, you definitely lose some of your you. No social skills and social cues, and, you know, I really like going to the movie theaters. Like, I'm going tonight to see you in a movie, or something. I really like to do, and I can think of some times in the last couple movies has gone to seeing that. People forgot what's acceptable to be like, in this in not just out in public. But in a movie theater, you know, people lately, pulling up the phones, people talking very loudly and I'm slacking.

44:45 Oh my God, guys. I know it's been a year-and-a-half. But but come on the movies 400. Yeah, they're just so that's just one example, you know.

45:10 Should we switch to that clothing questions?

45:15 You want to start? I'm not sure where we're at here and expected me to be.

45:25 Yes, I, you know, I try to be very open to any one before I let you know. No preconceived judgement, cuz I know sometimes it's really hard to get past the first judgment. Yeah, I know. I mean, I think you put it on your bio that are more than that. So anything surprise you

45:56 I do want to say, you know, you said you were catholic and pro-choice and I know that's a pretty, that's a pretty hot take for that. So I don't think you should get an abortion. If you don't want one, and I'm not going to get one, but I'm certainly not going to tell somebody else what they can or can't do.

46:25 Oh, yeah, but I'm well, actually, I'll tell you what took me to that position is I've been a teacher for a long time. And I've seen teenage girls come to the class pregnant and not know what to do about it. I worked in a maternity home for homeless women and saw the

46:47 Major life difficulties that they encountered with a child. They couldn't work. They couldn't get Transportation. They couldn't, they couldn't get daycare. They couldn't get a lot of things. And there were no men lining up to help them. I just, I just seen it up close and first-hand even in my own family where it just wasn't an option to, I mean, they just didn't have any choices and that's not okay. We live in a world like Brayden said, where women are going to get abortions, whether we like it or not, whether it's legal or not. We might as well make it safe and accessible and and but I also believe that it should be a decision that's made long before you're pregnant, you know, you have to decide, you know, is sex something I'm going to do that could lead to this pregnancy. Am I going to be in relationships where this could even happen? And you have to start making those decisions long time. Before that my

47:47 Mother blister sweetheart. When I was seven years old. She sent me down the kitchen table and threw me a picture of sex and told me how sex works and how, what made babies and ISO was so happy and excited that I had this newfound information that I took it down the street and share it with the girl down the street and I got it's just I think we live in a different world. And, you know, I may have to answer for my my feelings someday in heaven standing there at the gate and trying to defend myself, but I just think it's not my call to make, it's just not my call. I won't have one. I won't encourage someone to have an abortion. But if that is something someone is going to do then. That's okay. It's their choice.

48:36 Shelley, it's your turn to do a closing question, two braids. I asked him if he if he was I who he expected to be and it was my turn. Ask was I who you expected me to be a little more left than I thought you were then then I'm what I hear is. I thought you might be a little more.

49:08 I guess I thought maybe you'd be more like my youngest son. Who challenges me all the time. On one thing should be free and why you know, we should just have socialism that just makes life easier for everybody and you're more you given it more thought than that. You're a little bit closer to the middle than than what I thought. So that's the price me a little bit and I think that that's kind of maybe I'm Maybe I'm Wrong here, but I think that's a twenties and thirties kind of opinion that the more liberal Progressive position and I'd okay with it as long as we don't bankrupt our country.

49:47 You know, providing those things, although I do, I don't mind paying my taxes. I use the roads. I use the police, I use the fire. I'd go to the Post Office IU school. So I don't have any problem paying for it. And I think that somewhere along the line people have lost track of of that. You know, it's like your taxes are not a penalty, your taxes are a payment for the things you use and so I definitely do believe in a lot of those things. Like, I do believe in like free healthcare infrastructure. Oh my gosh, I believe that, with where Society is gone, internet is something that should be my taxes as we saw help children struggle.

50:34 And so, I do believe a lot of things, but also I try to be very pragmatic and say, you know, we can't just argue for it. There has to be, we have to get into how this helps and what it will cost and actually breaking down, you know, cuz it cuz I know people who live in countries like, you know, Denmark and Finland and Switzerland who have lower GDP per capita, have these things until I believe in them, but I also believe there's very pragmatic View and it can't just be who I want it cuz I want it, right? You got to want it for to help and you have to know, right? It's so I do want to clarify that.

51:16 Well, I have a son that's in the military and I'm I am very pro-military, but it takes up 53% of our federal budget. Come on, people we can afford more than aircraft carriers and aircraft carriers, a billion dollars. Lot of social programs can go on a billion dollars.

51:35 Caitlin, did you want me to continue with closing questions? Or did you want us to Avant?

51:41 Another one that you would want to ask but we're about to wrap up, which I put a note for you guys. You think we can come together after paint damage. Can the bicep election this last year at The $64,000 Question?

52:06 I think people have to stay engaged. I think people get to being just a robotic in our lives. I think you just go through the motions and you don't stop and verify facts. You don't talk to people, you don't look into the candidates for voting for you. People just going through the motions and I think that we've been a privilege country since at least World War Two, and people just assume. We're always going to be this safe and comfortable and I feel like there's you no entities and beings and countries and

52:40 Things in place that are kind of sitting there waiting for us to put our defenses down. And I think our defenses are down. I think we need to pay attention, just wake up and pay attention. I don't know how you do that though.

52:56 Braden, Braden. Braden Braden, I'm so sorry. Thank you for this was fun. I enjoyed it. I hope you learned something today. I did. Yeah, I'm happy with it.