Joshua Gilmour and Killion [No Name Given]
DescriptionOne Small Step conversation partners Joshua Gilmour (39) and Killion [No Name Given] (56) talk about religion, agnosticism, tenacity, political moderation, and the common good.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Joshua Gilmour
- Killion [No Name Given]
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
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00:01 I'm today's date is November 6th of 2020 my location. I'm in Wichita Kansas and my conversation Partners name is killing me and I have no relationship to him. We are complete strangers.
00:20 Very good. My name is Killian and I'm 56 years old and today is November 6th. 2020. I'm in Cheney, Kansas and Josh is my partner and he is our one small step partner.
00:34 So why did you want to do this? What was your like personal reason for him to do this? I look the part but I don't fit the mold and I'm an old white guy but I've been staying quiet for for here and seeing a lots of mansplaining and not being able to to be able to talk a little bit and and and reach out and talk to somebody little bit different and find some Middle Ground. What do you feel like you've been quiet about?
01:08 Oh, I think just where I am.
01:13 I always say my radical purple moderate. I'm right Square in the middle, but anything left of right and in a smaller town and in a lot of family connections is it feels like it's in left field and so on.
01:27 Are you find some some normal out there? I think it's part of it.
01:35 Josh why did you want to do this interview today?
01:39 So I have a family that's full of dramatically far-right folks. I love every one of them but it's very difficult to have a conversation like this with a family member that has such dramatically different views. I feel like
02:05 Your description of yourself actually is a relatively accurate description of myself as well. I mean to be honest and even with the moderates left-leaning but moderate disposition. It's still difficult with the other people that I'm around most off of what should my family and when I when I heard this Wallace listen to NPR I was like amazing enough from like a real perspective and I say we collectively like as a society. It doesn't seem enough. I thought I was a great opportunity to listen to someone that may be different than me in
02:54 I think I should I think there's so much in life. That's that's good to talk about outside of of things that I think the other part is that I think so much time we spend on trying to say we're right instead of trying to figure out what's the right thing to do or just to lighten up a little bit and share what's in common. I'm with you. So I see your bio. I was going to read it out loud so I can process it again, which is your life on Kansan lifelong learner your teachers kids grew up in a small town. I grew up in a small town. Com search community in leading by example instead of work while working in high school you while working in high school and college.
03:45 Turn a new pair of glasses killed while working in high school and college law enforcement courts local politics gave you a lot of exposure to a lot of different people I can see where that would be the case for sure. What the what did you do working with the newspaper? What was your role there was planning to go into journalism. So just really wanted to learn about little bit of everything. So kind of that Ace Cub reporter and and had a good editor who was just good about mentoring in the end learning but just really getting out and talking to the local sheriff going to the city commission meetings sitting in court in sometime just watching a civil court when somebody's getting the car repossessed. Sometimes it's criminal court and that's why you know, I'm a lot of times people we don't have those opportunities to see some of those things going on.
04:45 So I feel pretty lucky about that. They kept kept me humble too. Because you know, whatever you wrote about or worked on you usually saw that person the next day or the next week. So it was hard to be anonymous. I was humbled very quickly a couple of ways one is that I wrote up Road up. My first accident report was reading a police report and it was a fender bender were a gentleman and a Truck and hit a deer and it says paper came out. He came in the next day and he says this with my look like my left front fender and I go do it looks like you're right sometimes and that was one of them another time. I was you I just graduated high school in the society editor been there for years and I walked in to start my summer and she had gone to a Topeka for her grandson's graduation fall in a broken both arms and course. We were still with IBM selectric some typewriters, and she was a society editor.
05:42 And it written up weddings and engagements hot stuff. So I was having to write weddings for about 3 or 4 weeks and I knew nothing about taffeta or pink or dress types or anything. So you just you just learn to make do and then go and I think the other part that was need about that as I as I delivered build up and down Main Street.
06:04 You learned what people who paid their bills and who didn't and kind of back side of Main Street. That didn't make the headlines every day. So you learned you were really like to know all that about what's going on in everyone's life in such a small town. Like I grew up in Augusta, Kansas. So it's probably about the same size and I like I can't imagine what it's like to know all that in these intimate details. If you're in court that like me for example would never know but you also have to not look at them differently as just another citizen of the town right that's going to be hard right and it but some of it sympathy to you. Do you just realize it's it's impacting and it's not something just like watching on TV that goes away the next day.
06:55 It's it's it's impacted. Yeah, did you find yourself judging them ever?
07:03 You know, I don't think so. I think was more of empathy or sympathy, you know it what was done was done. I was just trying to figure out what happens from there and how they recover from it profile. Are we go, my name is Joshua Gilmour, I grew up in Kansas, but it went in Seattle Denver Colorado Springs, San Francisco and Northwest Arkansas on the franchise business consultant for an International Home Services franchise. I'm a divorced father of four amazing girls ages 2010a and 7. They spent half the time with me and half the time with another I mostly agnostic Eileen left on most political topics. I'm reasonable understanding person but still holds strong opinions.
07:48 Oh good. Well, I should think it popped out was mostly agnostic. So I was curious there. What was the one moment or or a van or things that that you found out her when you were agnostic? So, you know when we are getting prepared for this conversation. I knew that was going to be someone's first question and I found one hand that I dreaded it but on the other hand like okay, you know, I haven't talked about it before so I grew up as a child with what?
08:23 And there's a very
08:28 Different religious existence then your standard like I go to Catholic Church I go do whatever and so
08:42 Because of growing up in what essentially was a really high control religious environment.
08:50 If it molded the way I thought about things very quickly from a young age.
08:57 And I specifically remember when I decided that that this this this God stuff was for the birds and I was very honest 12th and like
09:14 Joico, 12 year old should be having to have that conversation internally. Like I also try not to like I'm on my way. I'll be 40 in April. So I'm I'm many many years passed that.
09:36 And in you know, you can ask as much as you want about this if you want more details happy to share it but it was a it was a very rough existence from a social and religious standpoint. Like we we just couldn't be a part of the regular nail Society you were completely wiped it there was no mingling with anyone outside of the church. And if you did the night was young I said, you know your your your son in your checked out and whatever and so. Really formed my very young opinion on. Oh, what if this is what if this is what God know about then
10:16 I don't want anything to do with that and it turned into kind of an agnostic atheist. But I believe that I still strongly hold a lot of that. I'm formative experience in my personality as it sits today made you who you are. So what you all right, so so security question and and and three that I may start thinking about last night when I went to ask you is I think about the concept of space. So so you have faith in something or faith in somebody.
11:02 I was kidding. That was just a curious question. I didn't know how to answer.
11:07 No, I guess the short answer is no but as you I'm sure you fully know and understand it for more than just a two-letter word. Now. I can't just say no to that and that's the honest do I have faith in you do the same?
11:30 The same concept of like a god that you many many many people do the answer to that would definitely be no. I think that we're all just a bunch of you know, a free radical molecules is no I don't think that either but it is there some sort of human and or otherwise connection that exists is that possible 100% I can't deny it because I can't prove 100% that is inaccurate right existence of God or a higher power or a a Creator. I can't deny it because it's I would be I will be false right? I would not be looking after the information cuz that's just not real. I just have a hard time believing it.
12:23 About face like I have a heartbeat at like I think about things very analytically. I mean as part of my job to be on a call. I just got done, you know doing a gigantic budget for a $40 company. I like numbers man of my mind goes right. So the concept of God we're going to have faith. It's really difficult for me to grasp. He always talked about we're all on the similar Journey. We're just taking different paths. You know what I think you and I are both trying to provide for our children and the older I get I can I find out things about giving and gratitude and that's not a religion thing.
13:15 And I think I think hope and love are in a religion thing. I think we have all those things are just expressed little bit differently on the child. That doesn't know anything about religion or anything about
13:31 Human, Define morals excetera excetera and all of the things that make them. Otherwise they learn
13:47 They're not official or they're not boring resentful or they're not foreign, you know riddled with anxiety or have forced upon us to your point. Yeah, I see it my kids all the time. They've just it's wonderful. But I also see the impact of of you no interaction with people in general and some of the learned behaviors that they get in overtime. So that's true. You know, I felt fortunate with my father and he and he's Christian. I'm not sure very religious specific church-based, but he always has said God gave you a brain and use it. So it was it was as more about questioning things and figuring things out and I think maybe there's a little bit of middle ground in there that we all have some intelligence and then we don't have to shut things off in the face of aleves. How does that work for you though? Like God gave you a brain music question things to me.
14:47 Based on the way that I grew up. There was no questioning anything when I hear questioning.
14:55 Religion in the same sentence, and it's not literally from my experience has been that way.
15:06 That's going to be pretty awesome. Right like it was more a concept by grip Methodist and it was more like if you go to church cuz you want to not because you have to get in there were times to wheeze sometimes struggle with pastors and and and Mom was in the long run to say Pastor come and go to the church will be here here 20 College. I'm going to ymi Methodist, you know, I've been around it. I knew it but I wasn't sure and I am so you might might I took a different turn than you did and found some things about faith and some things happen in my life. I'm Indian seven years ago my wife Catholic and I actually turned and join the Catholic Church, which I have if you would have told me that 20 or 30 years ago. I would have fallen over.
16:05 And I'm more of a social Progressive Catholic from pie stuck in the sixties, then what's what's pretty strident now, but I like the structure. I like the structure of the service in with Old Testament New Testament and just having some structure predictability one day a week that I don't have the rest of my week and and I grew up in a musical household and and part of my expression for that is music and that's just where I can get some of that so everybody's different than where they get value and then work from that question Lucy off all day. There's someone who has been the most influential person in your life and what they teach you
16:50 That's such a
16:58 I think
17:01 I think it's my dad.
17:05 As much as as I can say that maybe from a negative perspective about the way that I grew up religiously from the family stand points.
17:20 It is literally the best person I've ever met in my life. He had a
17:26 Sorry, he had an accident when he was 27 before I was born and he was in a coma for three months and he was hit by a car. Whose point out to the stop sign with the car going like 90 miles an hour down a side street, you know, his head swelled up like a bird. I think it was nearing three months and one day just like came out of it. He clearly wasn't the same here. We learn how to walk and talk and read and write and use the bathroom like he was and
18:12 To this day he still
18:15 He has tenacity that is unparalleled from end it with me by anyone I've ever met and I got to learn what it meant to go do hard work and to be proud of something and to literally never give up. I just I just don't give up and I got that from him and I would say that given the trajectory of my life clearly as you can tell. I'm 39. I have a 20 year old actually 21 year old as a 3 days ago.
19:02 That was not the easiest start to life. It just was but I just I don't think I knew that I was applying the things I learned from him. It was just a example and watching someone, you know, be tenacious and always and always keep going and never give up that even through she really really tough stuff growing up watching them. You'll never gave up by it. I would say that's our quickly now that I'm saying it there is no one else that they could even could even compare.
19:38 Forms the person I am today. What a gift, you know, I thought you're a Civics teacher that got Mission Kansas history in American history and politics and I've been on over overdrive for 3 months lately love Kansas history of a Kansas. Yeah, you know, I think Kansas leave the country a lot of times and things happening about Civil War you think about summer Mercy you think about Evolution debate the Brownback experiment a lot of stuff happens here before it goes Nationwide. I like that. It's fun to follow but maybe if I die a little bit deeper, I'm back to my folks. Someone like you you think about that in my folks very much had a sense of community. You lead by example, you do the right thing. You're not vocal about it. You're not braggadocious. You eat you show by what you do?
20:32 And I think that's been very helpful in my life and and help me and in raising my children and I think part of it is I really like being part of a larger group or a more bigger good and so watching that girl that they take me to the polls right 8 years old and 10 years old and going to learn how to vote and Dad wasn't Lions Club and when he was had the band director, we have Memorial Day services and none of that was strictly voluntary to school was out by then, but we had we would have 50 to 60 kids at the cemetery on Memorial Day play marches for the for the community, you know it and I think I was in a few years ago. I thought well Sesame Street really help me to be open mind and everything I go in there's a lot of kids my agent watch to Sesame Street, but it didn't so can that really don't.
21:32 Go back to my folks right acts like the way that you deal with or raise your own children. Like you see some of that bleed Jerome's rearing of children. Oh, yeah. Yeah, but you know, there's different ways to make a difference in just trying to show them by example, but also just pushing them to try to do their part to contribute to step up. So, I mean the next thing that I would that I would ask you is kind of in the same vein, but
22:16 Did your parents?
22:19 It it sounds like your parents really informed your current view politically and maybe some of your political values. Is that a fair statement?
22:32 I think they were I think they were good about being open-minded. But they were they were on opposite sides most of the time and didn't push me to be on one of the other side. And so I think they were good to push me to the middle. So I think that that open discussion and in talking about it help me.
22:52 Opposition from my I never I never had that YP actually.
23:02 That that religion is there not even you're not allowed to vote at all. So I brought up like that and get that experience because everything politically they were just politically asexual there was nothing it was loud. I wish I could have had you for supper Josh.
23:37 Well, thanks. Thanks. You don't question. Could you briefly describe in your own words your own your personal political values?
23:55 Oh my gosh.
23:59 Be nice to each other. That's it. I feel very strongly about a lot of a lot of things on the left side of politics such as
24:20 Do not sit not the people on the right or not interested in the quality, but I feel like no good. The last few of equality as is generally portrayed my view and the way that I see everyone I just although I'm not perfect. I think that there should be absolutely no judgments about anyone like you work on talked about earlier that really that that made a lot of sense to me like you were you were talking about you knowing the things from Corpse not judging people. Just seeing them as they had a hard time this day and they ended up in court or whatever like not judging people not making assumptions about people is important to me even though unfortunately, I'm human and I still do it. I work really hard to not do that. I feel like
25:12 That is all part of the the the conversation on the left of politics in this country that I really agree with.
25:23 Much like yourself. I feel like when it I feel that when it comes to political conversation, a moderate view is always better because there is two sides to every
25:38 Every discussion I do feel like something's are just flat wrong. I think they're treating someone differently because they have a disability different because of the color of their skin being somewhat differently because they're just different than you. I think it's just flat wrong and and I'm vehemently opposed to it.
26:06 Ends and sometimes I do struggle to see.
26:14 To see that same
26:19 I struggle to find that same you when I'm talking to someone that's on the opposite side of the political Spectrum. I feel like it's not the same coming from the other side.
26:32 And even though I know like inherently like this not correct.
26:37 It feels like that and I struggle with that quite a bit other political views that I have, you know, I am very much on the left when it comes to to helping people in you know, rough spots, you know government programs. I'm okay with your brother and I were talking about this yesterday and and it was it was an interesting conversation was a good preparation for this for this conversation to be honest, but I really do feel like we having a moral obligation as a society to help each other and I fight I feel like
27:24 The way that I think it should be done. Is it maybe it's just different than the way other people think it could be done. But I try to keep that in mind, but I definitely am far left on my social programs and things like that. I think is a map of needing a massive place has of redistribution of wealth. I think that's kind of going a bit far but on the other hand without completely going down the steps you are a Marxist past that there is a way that we can can help each other as a society and M people that do have more can help a lot of people and I certainly don't want to Discount that but
28:17 I feel like there could be more of that and that would be that would be a
28:22 That might be a catalyst for really changing some of the things that they're doing in our society that maybe I could be better, right?
28:35 Where am I not the kind of go back to the radical purple moderate and I used to say it was fiscally conservative and socially moderate but just clean conservative. I'm probably pretty moderate about that. I think it's things make sense from you think about school or health care if it makes sense to to take care of things. It's at the alarm. OK pain a little bit more to make things work, you know, we we very so so so for me, it's like if you can if you show a good argument to me and a good reason to do things and it gets better for the community right better for the common good. Let's talk about it. Yeah, I'm through there. So that's probably be I think the other part is a lot just watching with a coronavirus but with other things to so I get snot real till it's real and then it's real and it's so people can have pretty strident beliefs on things and then life hits him in the nose and they go away. Maybe we are generalizations and and go so you know my house
29:35 We joke where the house of compromise where wife and I are from rival school and two of my three kids went to her school. So that didn't work out but we have fun with it. And if we were to where we were in two different churches and now I've joined up but very different through there but early on I had a monsignor talk to his he said, you know, 85% of your two religions are the same you said those are the same and then celebrate the 15% And so yummy for the political side. There's just a lot of noise there, but I think Will and we just haven't done anything. I think people just sit down and say we've got to do things and let's figure out what works both give up a little bit. Let's let's do it. So I think I'm getting that purple metal. You know, I clearly we were we were partnered up to have this conversation because we see certain things differently.
30:34 What what weather is politically or religiously to build those two topics? Really? I think there's a lot to unpack there a lot. Like what time what are some of your really your core beliefs or religiously that inform your political view. Do you have anything like that that I don't I don't have any of that. I just have to let you know if you and then just what I think is being a good human. Right? Right, and I think it's it's very much about it. Sounds like a broken record, but we're here for the common good we're here for a bigger thing things bigger than ourselves that we need to take care of others in and how do we go about that and then provide and sometimes it's in charity with in churches. Sometimes it's how we in different ways that we can do that, but I think it's for
31:34 It's All God's Children no matter what color or back or what it is and everybody needs that needs to be offered the same opportunities to succeed and we're not there right now. And so we got to figure out how do we get everybody to the table? All right, and I video on YouTube where they have the kids lined up and they said if you have this this and then take a step forward and take a step back and how many people are just so privileged in the way out there before everybody else got started. So you ever feel like
32:10 You know when you meet someone is different than you or believes differently than you that you're completely misunderstood. I can only imagine you would be as moderate. You are you're Catholic in a small town and you're like you got to be completely misunderstood when you can't sit down and have a conversation with you like we're doing now, right right and insert I just a quickie with family member. Sometimes you just try to things bring things and and toss out a nothing to talk about and it's you can't even get to the table to try to three or four times and it is a challenge. You're right. It isn't an so it's just my luck sometimes and if you talk if you find a few people around to know that you can trade notes on politically and religiously, but it's sometimes clandestine unfortunately, but only one there's people around
33:09 Because we're quieter.
33:20 How they communicate can you buy I think I see it, but could you repeat that? You people from your own side and around and how they communicate those beliefs the others every day.
33:40 Every single day
33:42 And yeah every single day I turn off my Facebook notifications. 6 months ago and I did it because of the way people communicate something that perhaps I would a hundred percent support. So for example, you have since this may go on the air of the personal go on name that had someone on on your friend on Facebook that has very similar views as I do in regards the black lives matter movement or support 100% support and and have even been out now a couple times as you know, demonstration happenings a voice my support. I've no problem, you know voicemail support. It's not a private hidden support. It's an active support and
34:37 The way that this person was communicating their support was just over the top it was
34:47 The dishes it was violence. It was not it wasn't with the spirit of what was trying to get done.
34:55 I'm scared all the time. I hate I feel like temperature communication.
35:06 Calm words do a lot better right yelling and screaming even though the yelling and screaming gets her louder or is it her flowers about you? I mean it if your I got to get this right you are a radical purple conservative moderate modern way. I can only help you might well, yeah, there's sometimes it's like, you know, what you're trying to say is good and you're on the right side of History probably but while you're so strange about it, you're not going to win any buffets near Bank of the division further. I don't want to make sure I get this question in and it keep going so far but we're both damaged and I have a 19 year old daughter. You have a 21 year old daughter is 20. What do you want the world to look like in the next few years for a daughter's any percent better than what it is.
36:03 I know that's generalized. But sincerely, I I want, you know, all the opportunities that I have as a white male.
36:14 Right for my for my kids that are are and will be women and wage equality. No question that has got to happen for my kids in particular because of the question you answered or you ask but everyone is just it it's got to be something about it. If I'd if there was one thing I I had to pick it would be that because so much of the challenges people have in life and we can really come back turning potential and or lacquer up. That's what I was doing for you what would you like to see your kids in the world in the near future? I think it's getting likes it before taking everybody the table and everybody had my opportunity and and and things in the in the community and its Society represent and what it is so you think about a legislature that's
37:14 50% female I couldn't agree more we're a long ways or that and then I think there's there's value and and in a lot of different ways for having a lot of different voices there and then we're just missing it right now and cash. I got a lot of work there. So so everybody brings their value and and you know, I have two sons that are white males, but they have value as well too. But let's just get everybody to the contributing in and make it a better place and he's the only other thing I can think of that I would but I would want different is less less ranker less divisiveness less.
37:54 Less angst I think that's a nasty world to live in.
38:00 And if if just this conversation has just a tiny bit of impact for anyone or you know, what does the multitude of these conversations are happening all over? I hope that that we as a collective group of people that have chosen to live here to get it together and start communicating over there. I'd like to see that for my kids as well. I think we've got to break through that fear fear and fear of others and fear fear of things that might or might not happen in your life too short, you know, it really is but how do we come together because other country
38:45 After this election, this is like it's not even over right? We're still in the process of how do we all come together? Because right we are ripped apart right now regarding your own patients in the end. I think we have to show some of our calmness with it to my my 94 year old father. He said when Harry Truman take took office and if you remember back then Harry was a vice president and then losing control the atom bomb. My dad said and dad was a lifelong Republic At The Strain Republic at that place is I thought the world is going to end. He said, you know why Truman was a pretty good present, but if you want to talk to him on Election Day 1948 probably wasn't feeling that for a while. So I thought I'd like to take some of that wasn't okay. We got to think about the long game let the dust settle that we've got to do our part to reach out to people in and talk about things and let's go. Let's go. Let's get some things done.
39:41 I couldn't agree more. I know it's it's basic political rhetoric like bring the country together except her but we really need to like we've got to talk to each other not to tease each other but give you a little bit of trouble and go look at it. Isn't that serious? I had a friend that worked with at a previous job 15-20 years ago and we disagreed on Sports religion politics and we are best friends and we love going to lunch and I miss his is a direct friendship living in the same town now, but we were healthy and we were okay. I know it's possible. We just we just got to get back to that and get back there and have a beverage of your choice. That's right. I think the cocktail we're all good, right?