Those Who Inspired Me 31: Alexandra Kuykendall
Written by Tanur Badgley (PoP’s Creator & Host)
Interviewing Alexandra Kuykendall was very influential for me.
It had such a strong influence because she's talking about a simple topic that I felt like I and a lot of people already kind of knew. But at the same time, I was curious to see the depth in which she thinks about and acts on this topic of loving your neighbor.
I learned so much from our interview. She talks about the power of getting into people's stories and understanding who they are and where they come from so that we can then learn how to better love and connect with them. It makes it seem like it's not so hard and that we can be intentional with it.
She talks about this lovely story of Betty, her neighbor, at the end of the second part of the interview.
The story just brought me to tears because it captures so much of the arc in which we can like to be in a relationship with someone.
You can be super different from one person and have nothing bonding you nor feel a strong love for anything other than just that they're another human. But a relationship can develop over time with being intentional about leaning in and giving these people a few moments and finding these nuggets of time and connection. We can then get to a place where our lives are being more intertwined and intersecting, and eventually, come full circle to where they're a member of the family.
Seeing that story and knowing the power that these bite-sized ways and practices things that Alexandra focuses on in her book, which I'm super excited to read, is like a mindset shift.
Whatever it is, it's going to make the world so much grander, so much more beautiful, and so much more connected because we love each other as neighbors.
She had such brilliant wisdom around how we have to go into grief with people without giving answers for a while.
As a Christian, I recognize that God made everyone in his image. We paint a perfect picture of the relationships that God has intended for us as we hold space, sit in discomfort, and be humble and vulnerable as we open up to each other. I think it's beautiful.
I encourage you to lean into the small things that Alexandra teaches.
It's easy to overlook the importance of this, but this is the work. It's how we relate to the people in our lives daily.
I know that it's going to influence you when you listen to this episode. I highly encourage you to read Alexandra's book that we talked about in the interview.
I'm excited to see and hear how this interview impacted you. Please leave reviews and comments, and let's start a conversation in the dialogue as neighbors about what this meant for you.
It would do so much more to bring more people into the PoP neighborhood.