Crowley and Gates “Agreed To Disagree”

I wasn’t there when Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cambridge police sergeant James Crowley met at the White House with President Obama.

I don’t really know what happened. I have read multiple times that Crowley said they “agreed to disagree.”

In one report it was reported that Crowley said the two men “have agreed that both perspectives should be addressed.” *

Regardless of what did happen at the meeting . . . I feel called to comment on “agreeing to disagree.”

In Power Abused, Power Healed, as Mita is talking with Jason about her correspondence with Alan, she says:

His phrase, ‘This is my truth and that is your truth’ actually muddies the meaning of ‘truth’ . . .

Statements such as ‘This is my truth and that is your truth,’  and ‘we can agree to disagree’ offer an escape from the need to do the hard work to know, learn, and face an objective truth, a deeper truth. (P 52) **

And in my audio “Woman, Come to Your Self,” I invite you to …

Imagine being that truthful.
Imagine being that much yourself
and still being in relationship.
Imagine being that real
and still being valued.
Imagine being that much yourself
and still being loved.
Imagine being that real, that much yourself
and when the conflicts come
you both stand in your truth
and instead of collapsing your truth,
instead of compromising on the surface,
you trust truth
to take you deeper
into a real solution,
a true resolution
within each of you and between you.
A real resolution created from truth… ***

I know this may seem like it contradicts what I said in my book. But actually it says the same thing. It says that we need to take “our truths” and do the deep work to follow them to the deepest truth and the deepest resolution possible.

Back to Power Abused, Power Healed . . .

Like the old story of the blind people standing around an elephant, each thinking she knows what an elephant is from feeling it, while describing only one part of the elephant – the tail, the trunk, the foot, the ear, the belly.  (p. 187 )**

Is it enough to agree that you think this is an ear and I think this is a trunk? It’s better than warring with each other over who is right. But far better still, is for each of us to do the work – whatever work we need to do – so that we both discover this is an elephant.

Who knows what Crowley and Gates would have discovered at the core? I can tell you that I watch people learn how to do this in every appointment, every workshop I do.  It is a far deeper, far more expansive way to be in life. And it offers far more possibilities!


(c) Judith Barr, 2009