Episode #134 – “Lessons on the Road to Peace”
As the world wrestles with chasms of division, John Noltner and his wife Karen, set out to traverse the American heartlands, a journey that would span 93,000 miles and countless narratives. Their quest, part of his project “A Peace of my Mind” and captured in John’s book “Lessons on the Road to Peace,” is an exploration of the threads that bind us in our shared humanity. In our conversation, John unveils the mosaic of America’s story, emphasizing the power of empathy and understanding in transcending differences.
He talks about his experiences traveling across the country, meeting people from different backgrounds, and seeking out stories that challenge divisive narratives, with the goal of helping us all to rediscover what connects us as human beings and promoting understanding and empathy. John also discusses the importance of deep listening, challenging our own expectations, and staying engaged in difficult conversations. He shares insights on building trust, finding common ground, and the power of modeling empathy and respect.
Welcome to “Lessons on the Road to Peace”, Episode #134.
Key takeaways you won’t want to miss include:
- everything is more complicated than it appears in a headline;
- exploring shared humanity can help to bridge divides;
- if you sit down and you talk to somebody, hear their stories, and understand some of their experiences, it becomes infinitely more difficult to vilify or demonize or hate that person
- listen deeply, challenge your own expectations, and keep showing up.
- “When we are engaged in conversation, when we are staying connected, when we’re staying involved and in relationship, there’s some hope that we can move through whatever tension and conflict and difficulty we encounter. But when we walk away from the table, that hope walks away with us.”
A gifted storyteller, John Noltner has worked on four continents, gathering stories of human courage, grace, and resilience. He has produced projects for national magazines, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profit organizations. A Peace of My Mind reflects his belief that art and storytelling can help individuals, organizations and communities articulate their deepest values and encourage action toward building social capital and community connections.
John hopes that “Lessons on the Road to Peace” can serve as a model for how to encounter differences, how to challenge our expectations and how to see the common humanity that is all around us. This book is intended to encourage and inspire the peacemakers of the world