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President Conant: Colors of the Wind

April 1, 2021 in Guest Columns

As promised during KCRAR’s Recharge event last Thursday, my April message, in celebration of Fair Housing Month, is inspired by “Colors of the Wind” by Judy Kuhn, made famous by the Disney movie “Pocahontas” back in 1995. I love this song, not only because it speaks directly to the nature lover in me with verses like:

“Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest

come taste the sun sweet berries of the earth…”

But it also has a message that is still incredibly relevant today:

“You think the only people who are people

Are the people who look and think like you

But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger

You’ll learn things you never knew, you never knew”

My life has been enriched simply by surrounding myself with people who don’t look and think like me. Bringing together people with different experiences, perspectives and knowledge strengthens committees and boards. Studies show that when we are surrounded by people who don’t look and think like we do, we are better critical thinkers and less susceptible to “Group Think.”

So, are you up for another challenge? I know many of you have been “leading with love” as I challenged at the beginning of this year, and I appreciate that more than you know! Now, I’d like to ask you to expand your mind even more. Think for a moment; do most of the folks you come into contact with in business, in social circles and in your personal life look and think like you? If the answer is yes, I’d ask you to take an active approach to change that! I promise that if you make this endeavor, you will look back very soon and ask yourself, “What took so long!?” 

After all:

“…We are all connected to each other

In a circle, in a hoop that never ends”!

Brenda Oliver • April 3, 2021 at 1:52 pm

Tony, when I saw the title of your blog this month, a huge smile covered my face. I knew you and I were kindred spirits but highlighting this song just sends chills down my spine. When I planned by installation ceremony in 2003 as President of Missouri Women’s Council of Realtors, I asked fellow WCR member Julie Dumpskey to sing this haunting song to emphasize how diversity enriches our life experiences and how nature demonstrates that embracing all creatures is the mandate of the universe. Thanks for bringing back a warm memory for me, brother.


Nancy Davis • April 1, 2021 at 3:40 pm

Well said Tony. I think that song should become our National Anthem.


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