In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt invites African American Scientist Booker T. Washington to the White House for a visit. As is often the case whenever a president does something, there was immediate furor over whether or not it was appropriate for the president to do that. As many opined in the papers, a well-known African American scholar, Charles W. Chestnutt, wrote this in an essay entitled “Obliterating the Color Line” in the New York World:
“We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things; there is no more powerful a factor than sentiment in the conduct of human affairs.”
We do not go wrong by listening with empathy and extending understanding to those around us.