Esteban Arturo and Sam Holton have very different backgrounds. But they share something in common that lets them explore their differences — and maintain a strong friendship. (Listen to episode 3.)
This week I’ll take you on a tour through a civil conversation about friendship, vulnerability, and a love of learning from other people.
Esteban & Sam’s Story
Esteban and Sam are very different people.
Esteban Arturo is a graphic designer. He grew up between Colombia and Fort Myers, Florida. He felt out of place in Fort Myers, but he met a lot of new people who exposed him to new ideas in college. He was never very engaged with politics until the 2012 presidential election.
Sam Holton is getting his masters in finance. He grew up in a conservative Christian household in Frisco, Texas. In college, Sam examined his faith and it became a very important part of his life. His first experience with politics was the aftermath of 9/11.
They first met while studying abroad in South Africa, where they were roommates.
Esteban & Sam’s Relationship
Esteban and Sam were able to have many “intrusive” conversations as roommates.
The conversations went deep. Early in their friendship, Sam asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” But both men felt they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The key? A humble desire to learn.
“Why wouldn’t you want to access knowledge that people have? Why wouldn’t you just want… to learn from them?” —Esteban Arturo
Esteban and Sam practice a level of honest and open listening in their relationship that is almost unheard of in today’s political climate. The U.S. Presidential election is a zero sum game and no one wants to concede a single point, so most people don’t enter political conversations planning to listen or learn.
“There’s always something that I’m wrong about. I’m always going to have something in my perspective, outlook, political agenda or beliefs that’s wrong.” –Sam Holton
After the 2016 Presidential election…
Esteban felt fear. “I don’t feel the fear to the same degree that I felt it before… but I don’t feel proud.”
Sam felt hurt by Christians who support and believe in Donald Trump. “I don’t think that is a Biblically-backed position to be in. I think that there are a couple things that the Republican platform itself aligns with, but that man doesn’t.” (If you’re curious, Sam didn’t vote for Trump…)
Both parties felt threatened before and during the election, and a lot of fear is still present.
But there is hope.
Esteban is hopeful for a rise of what he calls “independent identities.” He believes that fear will empower the creative community to function as independent identities and create a stronger impact.
Sam is hopeful that we might be one step closer to restarting. The clay of the United States is getting crusty and crumbling, and we can’t put it back together. If you’re sculpting something and it’s not turning out the way you want it to, it’s better to start over.
listen to episode 3
- Esteban Arturo is on Instagram.
- A couple of Esteban’s favorite causes: Take Stock in Children and iMentor.
- The “reptiles of the mind” quotation come from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake.
Production & Development for hearingUS by Podcast Masters