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Why Am I Starting A Podcast Called “Believe!”?

Wel­come to Believe! To kick off this new pod­cast, Doug DeVos talks about his val­ues – and his vision to inspire peo­ple through dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. His first guests are two peo­ple who’ve had spir­it­ed dis­cus­sions around the din­ner table with him their entire lives: son Dal­ton and daugh­ter Mon­reau. See what Believe! is all about. And wel­come to the family!

Key Moments

  • 3:50 Why are you starting a podcast called "Believe!"?
  • 7:17 Why so optimistic?
  • 9:15 What's the format of the podcast?
  • 10:57 Timeless principles?
  • 13:18 What is our greatest natural resource?
  • 15:14 What timeless principles guide your life and where do they come from?
  • 19:25 It seems like we’re in a crisis of belief as a country. How do we get back on the right track?
  • 22:35 Why me? Why a podcast?
  • 25:39 How did you come to your beliefs? How do you best receive information when discussing issues?
  • 30:23 Trust is influenced by truth.
Show Full Transcript

Full Episode Transcript

Intro Script: We believe, and have always believed in this coun­try that man was cre­at­ed in the image of God. He was giv­en tal­ents and respon­si­bil­i­ty and was instruct­ed to use them to make this world a bet­ter place in which to live. And you see, this is the real­ly great thing of Amer­i­ca. It’s time to dis­cov­er what binds us togeth­er and find­ing it has the pow­er to trans­form our world. That’s what I believe. How about you? 

Doug: Well, hel­lo every­body. My name is Doug Devos and wel­come to Believe!” This is a pod­cast that we’re start­ing here. And it’s a pret­ty sim­ple, straight­for­ward pod­cast. What do you believe? Why do you believe it? We thought it would be inter­est­ing to spend time with guests, with friends, and with fam­i­ly like we are today to explore that top­ic. There’s so many things going on in our world and there’s so many peo­ple try­ing to tell you what to believe that we did­n’t wan­na be one of those sorts of, you know, pod­casts or peo­ple even. What we wan­na do is help explore and maybe frame some issues so that you can deter­mine what you believe for your­self. And it’s a greater depth than just what you think about a giv­en issue. We’d like to try to explore and real­ly dive down deep because what you believe, in my opin­ion, dri­ves how you behave. The per­spec­tive that you put on things, the expres­sion of your beliefs and your actions, they’re con­nect­ed. And so, what we want­ed to do is kind of explore top­ics of the day, issues that are impor­tant in life, as well as short-term and long-term that would allow us to just explore and dive into a few things that we hope will be help­ful for you. And will help you craft where you stand. So, we’re not gonna try to advo­cate one thing or anoth­er. We may explore some­thing that dri­ves down a cer­tain path, a per­son or a guest may be say­ing what they believe and express­ing and try­ing to maybe, you know, con­vince or influ­ence you. But, that’s not the pur­pose of what this is all about. The pur­pose is that you hope­ful­ly learn, like I’m try­ing to learn, you know, through­out our life and then find out what you real­ly believe on the inside going from there. So, we’re gonna try to ask some big ques­tion, some small ques­tions. We’re gonna try to keep explor­ing and drilling down deep­er. We’re gonna, long-term, short-term, or kind of all over the board with those sorts of things. And that’s real­ly where we are today. So, we’re gonna be doing inter­views. We’re gonna try to be div­ing a lit­tle deep­er. We’re gonna get peo­ple from across the spec­trum around the coun­try. But right now, we’re start­ing a lit­tle clos­er to home. So, I’m gonna intro­duce the two folks that are here. My son, Dal­ton, and my daugh­ter, Mon­reau. So my wife, Maria, and I have four chil­dren. So, two of them, I was able to talk into or force into doing this for me now. So, we’re gonna dive in. I would give you a big, long intro­duc­tion, but I know you’re pret­ty well and I think our guests could fig­ure it out on that front as well. But, one of the main rea­sons that the two of them are here is cause they were kind of the insti­ga­tors of mak­ing this hap­pen because we talk amongst our­selves a lot. And I think they’re tired of lis­ten­ing to me. So, they want­ed to share the joy with a few oth­er peo­ple. And that’s real­ly what this is about. So, I’m gonna turn it over to you guys now to explain a lit­tle bit about why we’re doing this and let you ask a few of the ques­tions to get us started.

Dal­ton: So, then we acci­den­tal­ly vol­un­teered our­selves in the process.

Doug: You did, well, it was­n’t an acci­dent. I mean, we had it fig­ured out for you.

Dal­ton: All right, well, I’ll go easy on you in the beginning.

Doug: All right, so you have this fig­ured out, it’s chore­o­graphed between Dal­ton and Mon­reau here to grill me, right?

Mon­reau: Some­thing like that.

Dal­ton: Yeah. Some­thing like that. You should put on your helmet.

Doug: Alright, alright.

Dal­ton: Well, let’s start with a soft­ball. Why are you start­ing a pod­cast called Believe!”?

Doug: Well, if you go with Believe!”, I’m gonna direct you up to the book right there, the logo that’s on the screen right there. And it real­ly goes back to Grand­pa, goes back to the upbring­ing I have and when we talk about express­ing your ideas through your behav­ior, through your actions, it’s what I’ve lived with my whole life and what I watched. And I saw my dad, your grand­pa, be very con­sis­tent in his beliefs and how he expressed them. There may have been a time or two where he went a lit­tle fast and maybe wish­es he could have brought the words back and said some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent or said it in a dif­fer­ent way. But, it kin­da goes back to what he want­ed to be able to voice and why he wrote the first book that he wrote. What does he believe? He picked a few big top­ics,. What does he believe about his faith? What does he believe about God? And how does he then think about it and express it? And what does he believe about our coun­try, about free enter­prise, about the eco­nom­ic sys­tem that we’re in. Those were the big ones that kind of lured him, if you will, into tak­ing the time and atten­tion to write it down and express it. And that’s what I think kept us curi­ous about keep­ing it going.

Dal­ton: And you’ve men­tioned it a lot and grand­pa obvi­ous­ly lived it, but that when you live your beliefs like that, it engen­ders a respect from oth­ers, even if they don’t share those same beliefs, right? I mean, he can go around the world and explain and talk about his beliefs, and they may not, you know, cul­tures around the world may not exact­ly share them all to a T, right? But, they still respect him for shar­ing that and for being hon­est in who he is.

Doug: I think you’re spot on. I think that’s prob­a­bly the most impor­tant aspect of this con­ver­sa­tion, this dia­logue, and why to do this. Because just because you believe some­thing does­n’t mean you’re right or wrong, you all get the choice to believe what you want. And if you’re okay to artic­u­late and say, Hey, this is what I believe.” And leave room for peo­ple to believe some­thing else, but still love them and appre­ci­ate them and still encour­age them and sup­port them to the great­est extent pos­si­ble. I’ll tell you, you know, obvi­ous­ly you’re gonna hit a con­flict every once in awhile, but it does­n’t have to be a con­flict. So, I think that was an impor­tant part. Dad, and of course, Jay VanAn­del, his best friend and co-founder at Amway, they always appre­ci­at­ed the right to believe some­thing dif­fer­ent. And they always expressed that, espe­cial­ly when it comes to faith or to polit­i­cal ide­olo­gies, they appre­ci­ate that. And wher­ev­er you come from. And so the idea is to explore what you believe in a way that’s pow­er­ful, in a way that’s impact­ful, but not in a way that that takes away the pow­er from some­one else or the free­dom from some­one else to believe what they believe.

Dal­ton: Makes sense. That was­n’t a softball.

Doug: No. Dal­ton, that was hard­er than a softball.

Dal­ton: Oh, come on. You can take it.

Doug: I can take it. All right.

Mon­reau: Belief is also a very like pos­i­tive and opti­mistic term. Can you expand a lit­tle bit on your pos­i­tive and opti­mistic out­look on life and how that applies to time­less prin­ci­ples rather than just focus­ing on the day-to-day neg­a­tives that the media is push­ing around the world?

Doug: Sure, sure, you know, you got­ta be opti­mistic or else life’s gonna be real­ly tough, right? You got­ta believe it’s gonna get bet­ter. Even if it’s gonna get worse for a lit­tle while, even if things are real­ly dark at a cer­tain time. And I think it’s a lit­tle bit going back to your grand­pa, grow­ing up in a time of the depres­sion, which is a pret­ty tough expe­ri­ence. Or, if you go back before him to his par­ents of being immi­grants to a new coun­try, being in a tough sit­u­a­tion so that you’re gonna take an adven­ture that you can nev­er return from. When they came to the Unit­ed States, there was no going back, you know? And so, you’ve got to believe that you’re tak­ing a step for­ward. Cer­tain­ly you’re gonna have set­backs. And that opti­mistic view was vital. And grand­pa would always tell the sto­ry about how in the midst of the depres­sion, when his father lost their home, when they were liv­ing in their grand­par­en­t’s attic, when they were going through all these tough times that my grand­fa­ther would always tell him, it’s gonna get bet­ter. I’m gonna get a job back. We’re gonna get our house back. We just got­ta work through this tough time. And so, if we can take the time to look at the cur­rent chal­lenges with­out dis­re­gard­ing them, and not just being Pollyan­na and pre­tend­ing they’re not real, but go through the cur­rent chal­lenge and say, Well, how can we improve on this? How can we get bet­ter? How can we make advances in what­ev­er the sit­u­a­tion may be?” But if you do it from a pos­i­tive impact, rather than just try­ing to tell any­body how bad it is. Well, every expert can do that, but how do we get through it? And that’s the key.

Dal­ton: Let’s talk a lit­tle bit about the for­mat of the pod­cast. Who do you wan­na talk to? Why do you wan­na talk to them? How are you gonna instruct struc­ture this going forward?

Doug: Well, I think we wan­na talk to peo­ple who have lived expe­ri­ences. So, you wan­na talk to some­body who’s been an immi­grant, who’s been in the mid­dle of a cer­tain issue or a top­ic, had a life expe­ri­ence that they can share and reflect on. Peo­ple who’ve been in a dif­fi­cult situation.

Dal­ton: So, peo­ple with first­hand knowledge?

Doug: Absolute­ly, if they’ve had it and they can express it. I think you also, you wan­na talk to some experts. I may not have been the best stu­dent, but I always appre­ci­ate peo­ple who are stu­dents, and this is all about life­long learn­ing. So, you wan­na be able to dive into some­body who’s stud­ied the top­ic pret­ty deeply and can express a per­spec­tive or point of view. Those are the two main areas I think you wan­na kin­da get to because I think there’s an aca­d­e­m­ic and then there’s a prac­ti­cal side of things that you wan­na be able to explore and share. And to me that’s always been the way, I actu­al­ly prob­a­bly lean a lit­tle more towards the lived, the real-life expe­ri­ence than the aca­d­e­m­ic, but I cer­tain­ly appre­ci­ate the aca­d­e­m­ic because some­times when you lis­ten to experts in a giv­en field, you just go, Oh, I nev­er thought about it that way.” And that unlocks a lot of the lim­i­ta­tions that a per­son may put on them­selves. And so cer­tain­ly, and some­body who’s lived the expe­ri­ence and done it, well, that’s just encour­age­ment, right? So, you got­ta say, Well, if they can do it then maybe I can do it too.”

Dal­ton: Makes sense.

Doug: That’s what we’re try­ing for.

Dal­ton: Sounds like fun.

Dal­ton: Going back to grand­pa’s book a bit, it was writ­ten about 50 years ago. So, do you wan­na expand a lit­tle bit on the prin­ci­ples that he talked about and how they still are stand­ing the test of time?

Doug: You know, I think that’s the big thing. With­out div­ing into the prin­ci­ples, they’re prin­ci­ples that stand the test of time, that have been around for the test of time, the things had impact peo­ple, ideas like account­abil­i­ty, respon­si­bil­i­ty, per­son­al worth, peo­ple hav­ing val­ue, just intrin­si­cal­ly hav­ing val­ue. And that’s been a belief that he held and that we hold, I hold. Every per­son you look at, no mat­ter what cur­rent sit­u­a­tion they may be in, there are a child of God. They were cre­at­ed spe­cial with unique tal­ents and abil­i­ties. And maybe they’re just not achiev­ing those, the fullest extent of those abil­i­ties or their poten­tial. And there­fore let’s remind our­selves of the val­ue, of the intrin­sic val­ue that every per­son has. And I think when you look around the world in the busi­ness sense, there’s lots of exper­i­ments that have been tried. The Unit­ed States as a great exper­i­ment, right? You got 50 exper­i­ments in every state, they can try things dif­fer­ent. You can look at coun­tries around the world. What’s worked? What’s been the out­come or the result of cer­tain polit­i­cal sys­tems, of cer­tain pol­i­cy deci­sions? You can look and study and learn from those things. We’ve got a lot of his­to­ry and let’s apply those prin­ci­ples to a real fact base and fig­ure out what we can learn and see if it shapes our belief going for­ward. A lot of peo­ple thought the world was flat until new infor­ma­tion came along. And so, you have to, or I think, on some fun­da­men­tal lev­els of faith, you have a fun­da­men­tal belief, but you can still learn and shape and devel­op that belief. On some more, maybe more tem­po­rary issues like pol­i­cy, or gov­ern­ment, or busi­ness, or com­mu­ni­ty, there’s a lot of learn­ing that can hap­pen and things can hap­pen pret­ty quick­ly. And so, you know, I think though, tying things back to a time­less foun­da­tion or time­less prin­ci­ples gives you a stronger foun­da­tion to be able to adjust to the things you may be learn­ing in the short term.

Mon­reau: There’s a sto­ry you’ve told us many times about the val­ue of peo­ple. Do you wan­na expand on that a lit­tle bit with grand­pa in Malaysia?

Doug: No, yeah, well, yeah. That’s like Believe in Peo­ple 101. It’s one of the ear­ly expe­ri­ences when we went to an Amway event in Malaysia, when I was, I think I was 15 years old. And the Amway busi­ness was pret­ty new in Malaysia at that time, maybe I think three or four years old, and hav­ing a ral­ly, a few thou­sand peo­ple were com­ing to an Amway meet­ing and dad had the chance to meet with the prime min­is­ter of Malaysia at the time. And of course, the con­ver­sa­tion goes to gen­er­al eco­nom­ic busi­ness issues. Dad was a busi­ness guy. And so, that was what the dis­cus­sion was. And, the prime min­is­ter was say­ing that at this time, Malaysia was hurt­ing because the great­est nat­ur­al resources of Malaysia were cop­per, tin, and oil, and their prices were depressed on the glob­al mar­ket and there­fore had eco­nom­ic con­se­quences. And so, the con­ver­sa­tion went and then he turned it and said, Yeah, but your busi­ness is doing great. You’re new, you’re young, you’re grow­ing. You’ve got all these peo­ple com­ing to this meet­ing.” And he goes, you know, What’s the secret?” And dad’s reply was sim­ple, he says, Well, Mr. Prime Min­is­ter, you think the great­est nat­ur­al resources of Malaysia are cop­per, tin, and oil, and in the Amway busi­ness, we think the great­est nat­ur­al resources of Malaysia are the peo­ple of Malaysia. And an Amway we believe in peo­ple, we invest in peo­ple.” And you know, that prin­ci­ple has nev­er wavered. It does­n’t mean that some­body won’t dis­ap­point you at some point in your life or that some­body won’t reach their poten­tial because noth­ing’s guar­an­teed, but his belief in the abil­i­ty of peo­ple to be suc­cess­ful and achieve their goals, nev­er wavered. And his will­ing­ness to con­tin­ue to invest in that belief or stay true to that belief was pret­ty powerful.

Dal­ton: So, that’s one time­less prin­ci­ple. What are a few oth­ers that you find to be time­less and guid­ing you on your life?

Doug: Well, I think we spent a lot of time talk­ing about this actu­al­ly as a fam­i­ly in years past. And so, I think there’s some oth­er things that come come through. One is integri­ty, who you are, espe­cial­ly in the vis­i­bil­i­ty and trans­paren­cy of today’s world. If you wan­na act one way in one sit­u­a­tion and anoth­er way in anoth­er sit­u­a­tion, you’re gonna be found out as a hyp­ocrite pret­ty quick­ly. If you said some­thing 10 years ago and now you com­plete­ly are on the oth­er side of it, you’re gonna be found out. So, you just got­ta plan on every­one know­ing every­thing. It does­n’t mean you can’t change your position.

Dal­ton: Espe­cial­ly in the dig­i­tal world today.

Doug: Espe­cial­ly in the dig­i­tal world.

Dal­ton: It’ll be record­ed and remem­bered for eternity.

Doug: Which is what we’re doing here. So, if we say some­thing here, you at least have to speak to it and say, Yeah, that’s what I believed then, but I’ve changed my posi­tion now. Here’s why.” It’s not that you’re hyp­o­crit­i­cal to devel­op or change your belief, but what was your jour­ney? What was your path­way to get there? You know, respon­si­bil­i­ty, I think is a huge one. I have a role in your life as your par­ent, as your father, but I can’t con­trol your life. And what you do is up to you. I can have an influ­ence and I can try to have a pos­i­tive influ­ence, and I can try to influ­ence you in a direc­tion that I think is best for you, but I can’t do it for you. I can nev­er do it for you. And that was always the view in the Amway busi­ness. We cre­ate great prod­ucts, but I can’t sell it to a cus­tomer for you. You’re gonna have to do that. And I can’t make you suc­cess­ful. You’re gonna have to do that, but I can try to be a viable, help­ful part­ner and a piece of the solu­tion. So, you know, I think that one’s pret­ty impor­tant. And I think the, you know, we talked about the ideas , of the val­ue of every indi­vid­ual. I think the oth­er side of, you know, some­thing is just cel­e­brat­ing achieve­ment. When grand­pa came back from his heart trans­plant surgery, that was one of the sto­ries he told. He talked about cel­e­brat­ing achieve­ment, about just mak­ing sure you’re with peo­ple, because at the very ear­li­est stages, what do you do as a child? Hey, watch me. Watch me, check this out.” Dad, grand­pa, uncle, broth­er, sis­ter, what­ev­er, Hey, watch me.” And we nev­er real­ly grow out of that. We all wan­na have some­body cheer­ing for us. And so, I think there’s a prin­ci­ple of say­ing, how do we find, to your point ear­li­er, Mon­roe, how do we find the good things hap­pen­ing and then expand on it? Not that you sug­ar­coat the bad things, but how do you find the good things and say, That’s what we can build a bet­ter future on.”

Dal­ton: If I may dig one lev­el deep­er, where do those time­less prin­ci­ples come from for you?

Doug: Well, they come from your faith. From my faith as a Chris­t­ian. I believe that I was cre­at­ed. And if I believe that then I believe you were cre­at­ed, and I believe that God loves me. And if I believe that, then I believe He loves you. And there­fore, you’re wor­thy of love and appre­ci­a­tion. And it’s not for me to judge. So, I think it comes from a faith basis about how I think, or I view, or I believe, the world was cre­at­ed. And there­fore, that lev­el of trust that world was cre­at­ed, the world’s not an acci­dent. I’m not an acci­dent, you’re not an acci­dent. And you start with that struc­ture of trust. Then you can find the things that are impor­tant to you with your val­ues. And then you can spend your life express­ing those val­ues, talk­ing about them, liv­ing them, and try to find a pur­pose and mean­ing in our exis­tence. So, that’s where it goes back to that lev­el of trust or faith.

Dal­ton: It seems like we’re in a bit of like a cri­sis in our coun­try of belief, not nec­es­sar­i­ly from a faith per­spec­tive, but just in each oth­er and kind of bridg­ing a gap that we’ve cre­at­ed. How do you think we can get back on the right track?

Doug: It’s talk­ing, it’s con­ver­sa­tion, it’s inter­ac­tion, it’s study­ing the facts, it’s look­ing at what’s hap­pen­ing with the direc­tion that we’re going, it’s lis­ten­ing and under­stand­ing, that’s the biggest part of the con­ver­sa­tion. I always go back, God gave us one mouth in two years and it’s the sim­ple piece of going back there. Of course, you know, my expe­ri­ence, as you know, and you know, at Amway was as a part­ner­ship, not only with the VanAn­del fam­i­ly or with Amway busi­ness own­ers around the world, or employ­ees, but with Steve in par­tic­u­lar. And when Steve and I had to make deci­sions, you know, if we weren’t on the same page, we did­n’t fight. We did­n’t, you know, entrench our­selves in our posi­tions. We kept the con­ver­sa­tion going and kept gain­ing more infor­ma­tion, more knowl­edge in lis­ten­ing to each oth­er and try­ing to find the res­o­lu­tion about what was the best deci­sion for the orga­ni­za­tion. And so, you know, I think that’s a, it’s more than win­ning an elec­tion. It’s more than get­ting what you want at this point in time, you know, with­out con­sid­er­ing the col­lat­er­al dam­age or the costs. And so, I always have the belief that there’s more unites us than divides us, but if you only focus on what divides us, then that’s where you’re gonna live your life and it’s not productive.

Dal­ton: A con­tin­ued focus on the lit­tle things that might divide us just cre­ates a big­ger chasm.

Doug: Well, and the things that divide are big things too. I mean, there’s seri­ous issues that can divide us, but there’s noth­ing that we can’t over­come or that we can’t learn from or do bet­ter in the process going for­ward. So, I don’t think because it’s a big issue, it should scare us from hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tion either.

Dal­ton: Yes, but you get can­celed for hav­ing some con­ver­sa­tions nowadays.

Doug: That’s a real­ly, you know, in my opin­ion, a very bad tac­tic. And I think that’s some­thing that in our coun­try and around the world, this idea of a free­dom of speech, a free­dom of thought, a free­dom of your intel­lec­tu­al capac­i­ty and your abil­i­ty to express it and share it was vital for soci­eties to be able to thrive and to be able to advance. And that as soon as you stop that, and there was one human source of truth, because they were in pow­er, that a soci­ety gets stuck, just like in a fam­i­ly. You know, I mean, if I were the only one to say in our fam­i­ly that I had all the things fig­ured out. Well, first one, I think your mom would dis­agree and then you guys would dis­agree, but our fam­i­ly would not move for­ward with that sort of a system.

Dal­ton: Well, then we’ve asked you a lot of ques­tions. Do you have any ques­tions for us?

Doug: Well, yeah, why are you here?

Dal­ton: Cause you asked us to be.

Doug: No, no, no, before that. Why did you want me to do this?

Mon­reau: Well, I mean, we can speak a lit­tle bit too, just like your pub­lic speak­ing back­ground and you’re just moti­va­tion­al speak­er with Amway, but you’re just like, the way you con­vey your mes­sage and your beliefs, it’s very pow­er­ful and also like con­ta­gious I feel like. And yes, we’ve spent a lot of time togeth­er in the past year, espe­cial­ly with COVID and just hear­ing you express your beliefs. I think more peo­ple need to. I’m not able to con­vey it to my friends and my gen­er­a­tion in the way that I think is miss­ing in the world right now. And so, self­ish­ly I’ve kin­da thought this was a good idea for you just to broad­cast it, but not specif­i­cal­ly your beliefs, but just to help oth­er peo­ple solid­i­fy their beliefs. I know it’s been very impact­ful for me, even in the past few years, fig­ur­ing out what I believe.

Dal­ton: Yeah, it’s also a way to dive in deep­er. A way for you to have con­ver­sa­tions that need to be had. And then, when it’s a pod­cast it’s held pub­licly and every­one can par­tic­i­pate in that con­ver­sa­tion. So, not only are you div­ing into what some­body else may believe or what this con­ver­sa­tion could be, but every­one lis­ten­ing dives into it as well. So, you’re explor­ing answers to those types of ques­tions, not just on your own, but with these sub­ject mat­ter experts. And you’re not claim­ing to know the answers to any of this, but I think you do a great job of pos­ing the ques­tion. And we’ve seen you do a lot of inter­views over the years. We think you do a great job. And we think that all of those con­ver­sa­tions were real­ly intrigu­ing for us to lis­ten to. So, why not make it avail­able to everyone?

Doug: Well, it’s always good to have two fans to start the process here. Pub­lic Speak­ing 101 is at least get a small fan base that at least goes to the meet­ing and cheers for you when you’re intro­duced or some­thing like that.

Dal­ton: I think your curios­i­ty as well. When you’re hav­ing these con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple, your curios­i­ty real­ly does come through and you real­ly wan­na know and get to the bot­tom of what they believe and how they are think­ing about things. And you’re not just gonna sit there and say, Oh, well, oh, inter­est­ing. Okay, mov­ing on.” Like you’d rather dive into it and real­ly fig­ure it out. And you’ll chal­lenge things. I mean, we know as your children.

Mon­reau: For sure.

Dal­ton: When we try to present some­thing to you, if we haven’t thought it through very well, it’s not gonna go any­where. We got­ta be able to think through our ideas and sug­ges­tions before we can present them to you and actu­al­ly get any­thing out of it. For bet­ter or for worse.

Doug: For bet­ter or for worse. So, two things and answer how­ev­er you want, how did you come to your beliefs, where you are now? What were some of the things that were impor­tant? And how do you best receive infor­ma­tion? What’s the best way to com­mu­ni­cate or con­nect with you when you think about these issues or even maybe what’s the best way to raise them so that an issue that some­body may not have thought about before all of a sud­den they go, Hey, maybe I should start think­ing about it.”

Dal­ton: That’s a good question.

Doug: That’s why I posed it.

Mon­reau: I think the first ques­tion, going back to, how do we decide or deci­pher what we believe? I think that kind of goes back to val­ues a bit too. So, I mean, grow­ing up around a din­ner table and fam­i­ly was a key val­ue and faith was a key val­ue and just believ­ing in peo­ple, I think, we’ve always seen the best in every­body. And I think that’s a main one and just team­work and know­ing that you’re bet­ter togeth­er than alone. I think that’s a big part of what I believe.

Doug: What were some of your expe­ri­ences that either rein­forced some of those val­ues, and not just your expe­ri­ence. Sports, school.

Dal­ton: Most­ly sports. 

Mon­reau: Yeah, most­ly sports. I grew up play­ing soc­cer as my key sport, espe­cial­ly mov­ing on to the col­le­giate lev­el. You can’t do things alone, it’s a team sport. You need to push each oth­er to believe in the poten­tial of each oth­er and con­tin­ue to prac­tice and work hard. And I think that’s def­i­nite­ly made me who I am today.

Dal­ton: Yeah. I think the oth­er thing there is div­ing into your faith as well. And div­ing in, read­ing books, and read­ing the Bible and find­ing out what’s in there, right? And that real­ly helps set a cor­ner­stone and a foun­da­tion for your life going for­ward and how you treat peo­ple and how you think of your­self. There are a lot of ills today and peo­ple are feel­ing down or not feel­ing so opti­mistic about them­selves, but you know, through our faith and through the Bible we are told and we’re taught that you real­ly, you are wor­thy no mat­ter what, God loves you no mat­ter what. And so, that’s where a lot of these val­ues and these beliefs are ground­ed for us.

Mon­reau: Main thing from grand­pa was always too, like, you can do it regard­less of any­thing. What are you doing today? Oh, I don’t know, I’ve got this big thing com­ing up.” He’s like, You can do it.” Like, that was a key to my child­hood, to col­lege, to life in the world today. It’s just always see­ing that, like, you can get your­self through it.

Dal­ton: You beat me to it. I was also gonna say we had good role models.

Mon­reau: Yeah.

Dal­ton: Our grand­par­ents, our par­ents, our aunts and uncles, you know, we’re very for­tu­nate, our spous­es now.

Mon­reau: Yep, that too.

Doug: But, my point was that you had your own expe­ri­ences out­side of our fam­i­ly. You said you read and stud­ied more deeply. You had sports expe­ri­ences too, but it goes both ways. But, your sto­ry that you were part of a team, you were part of an orga­ni­za­tion doing some­thing at a high lev­el. So, just unpack that with the fact of, or with the idea of what’s the best way that you found that you received infor­ma­tion that was impor­tant for you. I mean, a coach yelling at you is a good one.

Mon­reau: I don’t know about that. I think per­son­al con­nec­tion. I mean, the peo­ple you trust and respect and know­ing that they feel the same about you and are giv­ing you con­struc­tive crit­i­cism maybe.

Dal­ton: Stole the words right out of my mouth.

Doug: We are a fam­i­ly so some­thing like that hap­pens often.

Dal­ton: Com­mu­ni­cat­ing telepathically.

Mon­reau: But that’s a main one for me.

Dal­ton: Yeah. Yeah, I think you hit on the real word there, which is trust, right? You’re will­ing to take crit­i­cism, even if it’s not con­struc­tive from some­one that you trust. So, you know, build­ing trust is key and, you know, being when you read things and when you’re learn­ing some­thing, you know, when it comes from a place that you trust, you’re more apt to believe it and you’re more apt to allow it to force you to take a step back and rethink your pri­ors. Like, Oh, okay, that’s inter­est­ing. Did I real­ly believe that? Or, what made me believe that and does that con­tra­dict what I’m read­ing now or what I’m lis­ten­ing to or hear­ing now?” So yeah, that’s a lot of where we get it.

Doug: But, this idea of trust is inter­est­ing because you may have a source, you know, trust does­n’t mean some­body just told you what you want­ed to hear. So, you can devel­op trust in a source that you may not trust it the first time. You may not like this per­son telling you some­thing, or this infor­ma­tion, this fact-based telling you some­thing, how do you deal with that?

Dal­ton: Dou­ble check things. I think the largest thing that influ­ences trust is truth. And when you are able to real­ize that, oh, okay, you know, this per­son, this orga­ni­za­tion, this out­let, what­ev­er, is focused on truth. And I’m only, you know, not only, but I’m most­ly hear­ing the truth from them. I’m not expect­ing any­one to be perfect.

Doug: No one’s perfect.

Dal­ton: But, you know, when it’s based in truth and it’s ver­i­fi­able, that’s when you know that you have a good source or you have a good place to go for infor­ma­tion and for influence.

Doug: Well, you guys, we’ll wrap this ses­sion up here. Thanks for your encour­age­ment and for help­ing to do this because behind the scenes, you guys did a lot of the work to pull this togeth­er. The for­mat and every­thing, even the phys­i­cal space that we’re enjoy­ing right here is because of all the work that you did. So, thank you for that. I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun with this adven­ture as we go for­ward, as we explore these top­ics that we’ve devel­oped to talk about that we think will be impact­ful and help­ful as peo­ple shape their beliefs. Any final words you guys wan­na add?

Mon­reau: I’m excit­ed too. I mean, we’re look­ing for feed­back too, from the lis­ten­ers. I mean, this is what we’ve got start­ed and we’re gonna roll with it, but if they have oth­er ideas or top­ics of inter­est, then we’ll explore those as well.

Dal­ton: I’m very excit­ed and curi­ous to lis­ten in on these con­ver­sa­tions. I think they’re gonna be absolute­ly fas­ci­nat­ing. I don’t expect them to be very con­sis­tent with entire main­stream nor­mal thought. I hope that they’re kind of push­ing the bound­aries a lit­tle bit and mak­ing us real­ly think about what we believe. So, I real­ly look for­ward to this and I think it’s gonna be a very, I think it’s gonna be a bit of a grow­ing expe­ri­ence for all of us.

Doug: I cer­tain­ly think so. I’m look­ing for­ward to learn­ing and hear­ing from sub­ject mat­ter experts like this. I’m real­ly curi­ous how they come at things, how their per­spec­tive is sim­i­lar to mine or dif­fer­ent from mine and how it’s gonna chal­lenge us, how are they gonna bring things that we’re gonna learn from and shape and devel­op our beliefs and strength­en them, or ques­tion them, or chal­lenge them, what­ev­er the case may be so that we strength­en what we believe because we will have more knowl­edge, we’ll have more expe­ri­ence, we’ll have gained a bet­ter under­stand­ing about some of these top­ics. That’ll help us think through and be more pro­duc­tive peo­ple and cit­i­zens in our com­mu­ni­ties as well. So with that, thanks gang. Thanks for join­ing. Thanks for help­ing us set us up. And with that, we’re gonna wrap up this episode and look for­ward to see­ing you next time on Believe!”