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Perspective: Be an illuminator, not a diminisher

Vladimir Fedotov

“They will come here demanding to take our services away from us.” The woman shouted with fear and anger from the podium. It was an open meeting to discuss a “non-sanctuary” county resolution.

I recalled David Brook’s latest book: How to Know a Person.

Brooks describes people who are illuminators and those who are diminishers.

Diminishers are those who make people feel small and unseen. They see other people as things to be used, feared, or judged, and stereotyped.

While illuminators have a curiosity about other people. They try to understand how the other person sees the world.

Illuminators shine the brightness of their care on people and make them feel bigger, respected, and most importantly, seen.

For diminishers, the world is a dangerous place and filled with dangerous people, however for illuminators the world is a wonderful place filled with wonder, mystery, and people to be discovered and seen.

When I try to see the world as the woman at the podium sees the world, I feel sad, diminished, full of dread, fear, and darkness.

When I am in the company of an illuminator, I feel there is light all around, there are horizons and not dead ends.

I hope you ask yourself, am I an illuminator or a diminisher. I hope you are or will become an illuminator. The world needs more light and hope.

I’m Dan Kenney and this is my perspective.

Dan Kenney is a retired elementary school teacher and the founder of DeKalb County Community Gardens. He's also a published poet and writer.