R.H.E. Origin story
The setting is Bakersfield. Location: a small dingy dive bar/pizza parlor. A group of atheist have gathered for a round of beers, pizza and freshly minted complaints about Christians, God and anything else that happened to come to mind. I had been watching this group for a while and, if I am honest, was mildly offended and looking forward to putting some people in their place. One man in particularly stood out and I was looking forward enacting revenge! But this retribution would have to take a waiting number!
As the brew flowed and the grease laden Italian carbs were consumed, we found that we had a lot more in common than the world view which was separating our minds. It wasn't for many years after the fact, but the thought, the dream of a safe-space podcast was birthed in our minds, then reality. As the months passed we worked on several working titles which were arranged in various orders and with differing letters. In the end, we changed the H.E.R. to R.H.E. to avoid any confusion, but the principles remained the same.
For as much we disagreed on, there was a complete consensus that no matter what we did, respect would have to be the corner stone to lay the foundation. In the child that was being birthed, respect would have to be the blood that would sustain her. While humility is often considered a Christian value, it is one that is shared by people from many backgrounds and we knew this was an essential ingredient that would raise the cake we were looking to bake. We could have essentially substituted humility with honesty, but there was a more poetic ring to humility. The reality is, though, that in order to be honest, we had to be humble and gladly say so. Anyone listening with a BS radar would quickly see past any kind of non-sense we were peddling if we were lying or improving what we had no idea about. So, the desire to be truthful and up front was something we vowed to do.
Finally, empathy was the glue that was needed to hold it all together. Empathy sees the other as another "you". No one wants to be talked down to, disrespected or marginalized, so we don't do it to others. This basic golden rule would be the oxygen that our baby would breathe on a constant basis. Whether the person is Jew, Muslim, atheist or none of the above, for the time they are on, they are
To fully see the podcast in action in the real world, check out Daryl Davis' Accidental Courtesy on how one black man was able to take down entire chapters of the KKK using the very principles we strive for.
Isaiah Perez has authored one book and is close to finishing a second. Writing is his greatest passion as a means to create living art.