Hard Pass - Episode Description

As the holiday season rolls in, we find ourselves reflecting on connections – not just with loved ones, but with the society around us. Drawing inspiration from David Brooks’ insightful book, ‘How to See a Person’, we explore the emotional and spiritual crisis that has left our society disjointed, and ponder how we can rise above it. We also discuss the art of being a ‘loud listener’ and the need for kindness, generosity, and decency in our interactions amid our increasingly isolated lives.


Then we touch on how to navigate the whirlwind of holiday festivities without losing sight of the joy they should bring. Give yourself permission to take a hard pass on things that would be burdensome, and permission to indulge in things that bring you joy! You have the freedom to create the Thanksgiving and Christmas experience that would bless you and your family the most.

Hard Pass - Transcript

0:00:00 – Announcer

We go together like peas and carrots! The Peas & Carrots Podcast, sharing life from our piece of the vegetable patch with Brian and Kayla Sanders.

0:00:11 – Kayla

Welcome to the peas and carrots podcast.

0:00:13 – Brian

I’m Brian and I’m Kayla. Good to have you along for the ride this week. So what’s up in the world of peas and carrots?

0:00:21 – Kayla

How much candy did we give out last Tuesday night?

0:00:27 – Brian

I don’t know the number of bags. I do know that a neighbor counted and we had over 270 kids come by our house, yeah, and Each kid got in like an hour and a half and we gave out two to three pieces of candy per child Per kid, so there’s a lot of candy.

0:00:47 – Kayla

We didn’t see a lot of scary costumes this year, which I’m happy, I’m glad there were a lot of really fun and this was the cool part there were a lot of family costumes. The parents dressed up with their kids and it was really cute.

0:01:01 – Brian

So and then we had a very special guest in our house last week my best friend came to visit for a few days staying and he was with us and he was out there helping us pass out candy Mm-hmm, and we got so tickled at so many things we took him to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

0:01:21 – Kayla

This has been your best friend for the last, I’d say, 35 years, so there was a lot of rich stories that you two could share with each other. I will also say this I would like to publicly apologize to Stan, because we went from a weekend temperature of 78 To the high on Wednesday. I think was 39 and he lives in Florida, so it was really cold. He was here.

I felt very sorry for him he enjoyed the quiet while he was here he did and we just we had such a fun visit and we wanted to cram so much into three days and show him so much.

0:02:00 – Brian

As you know, I have certain food restrictions, so like I can’t eat certain things, well, we took him out to eat every night, and so one night we went to our favorite restaurant here in the area. It’s called the River Company. Mm-hmm, they had bread pudding with vanilla ice cream on it. Well, miss Kayla gets some and Stan gets some.

0:02:20 – Kayla


0:02:21 – Brian

When we got home we were all sitting upstairs in the living room just sitting there talking and I look over at him we may have had a little sugarcone. He is spread out in that chair and he’s got his little hands on his stomach. I look over at you. You’re on the sofa your heads laid back, and you two are like an inch away from being. Your tummies were full. We were so happy and that bread pudding had like coated your stomach. Oh yeah, and it was apparently.

0:02:48 – Kayla

You said it was warm it had just come out of the oven, so it was just warm and the ice cream was melting, oh yeah it was this blurge Mm-hmm. Back on track now, but it was worth every minute, so yeah breaking news.

0:03:06 – Brian

Breaking news headline miss Kayla, you have an.

0:03:10 – Kayla

Unpopular opinion okay, everybody I think me and one other person in the entire world feels this way. I Stinking love this time change, why I just I do. It gives me permission For cozy, warm evenings at home. I just, I enjoy Everything about it. I sleep better. I get it. For those of you that suffer in all seriousness, for those of you that suffer with seasonal effective disorder, I understand why time change is hard, because it is dark by 5 30, but I just I feel like I’m in my element with it’s just and and. Everywhere I turn this week, I feel like it’s a closet thing that I need to keep to myself, because people are losing their minds.

0:04:00 – Brian

I want to give you a glimpse into Brian and Kayla’s home. Like she’ll get on Instagram and she’ll be scrolling on there. She’ll see somebody grabbing about the time change and this is what I hear from across the room Shut up, I love this. I, I’m so scroll. I’m like I didn’t say anything I ain’t talking to you. I’m talking to these people on Instagram, I’m like well, there’s so much griping about it.

0:04:22 – Kayla

Can I say something to?

0:04:23 – Brian

you. Those people on Instagram can’t hear you, I know, and.

0:04:27 – Kayla

I haven’t said that. I’ve said hush. The others a little harsh, so Just clarifying. I usually say, oh, just hush. That’s, that’s my thing to say. I confess I’ve said it a few times, but there’s just so much negative about it. Well, I gotta give a vote to time change.

0:04:47 – Brian

So I also like that you get it.

0:04:49 – Kayla

We got an extra hour sleep that particular we did so and it was my bi-annual torment, you with the clocks at the house.

0:04:57 – Brian

So, because I like to reset the right to guess what time she reset the clocks at our house.

0:05:05 – Kayla

Oh, what like 9 am. Yeah, it was crazy, I’m sitting there going?

0:05:08 – Brian

what time is it really?

0:05:09 – Kayla

Yeah, I’m so, I just told you to hold your iPhone all day.

0:05:12 – Brian

I was trying to watch a TV program. I’m looking at the clock, I’m like I don’t think it’s on yet. And then I scrolled and like, well, they must change your time. And I said, baby, I think something’s wrong with the television. And you said no, I switched all the clocks. I’m it’s 9 o’clock in the morning.

0:05:29 – Kayla

I just felt like getting it done.

0:05:30 – Brian

You are very efficient if you’re not anything.

0:05:32 – Kayla

I just like getting it done, so, yeah, all right.

0:05:35 – Brian

Well, happy time change to you.

0:05:40 – Kayla

You’ve been reading a book that has sparked some really interesting discussions at our house, so we thought we’d take a few minutes. I want you to share some of what you’ve shared with me. Okay, so tell us about this new book that you’re still reading.

0:05:54 – Brian

Yeah, I’m still in the process of reading it. I will just say this could be my book of the year.

0:06:01 – Kayla


0:06:01 – Brian

It is that good. It is by David Brooks and it’s called how to see a person and he’s a journalist and he talks about how to have good conversations, how to really see someone. Yeah not just hey, how you do, how do you actually see somebody?

0:06:23 – Kayla

Yeah and. So you’ve got a quote here. What does that look like? I think this quote will help to bring it home for people.

0:06:30 – Brian

This is from page 98 it says so far I’ve been describing a process of getting to know someone as if we live in normal times. I’ve been writing as if we live in a healthy cultural environment, in a society in which people are in meshed and thick communities and webs of friendship, trust and belonging. We don’t live in such a society. We live in an environment in which political animosities, technological dehumanization and social breakdown Undermine connections, strain friendships, erase intimacy and foster distrust. We’re living in the middle of some sort of vast emotional, regulational and spiritual crisis.

0:07:12 – Kayla


0:07:12 – Brian

It is as if people across society have lost the ability to see and understand one another, thus producing a culture that can be brutalizing and Isolating. Who does anybody else feel seen in that paragraph? It’s some powerful truths, yeah do you feel seen in that I Do?

0:07:37 – Kayla

well, if you’ve, if you’ve, navigated the world for the last three to four years, there is so much that resonates in that.

0:07:46 – Brian


0:07:46 – Kayla

I mean, I’m using the word you loosely here, talking of all of us. You’re scared as a human anymore to have an opinion on anything. Hmm because you may get roasted on a spit for it.

0:07:59 – Brian

Yeah, I even shared that quote, this very quote, on Facebook and I got roasted for it Did you. I did and I’m just like it’s just a quote. Here’s where I am in this. I have sensed this for the last couple of years.

0:08:16 – Kayla


0:08:17 – Brian

I have deeply sensed this and I’ve sensed it. I’ve sensed it in society and I’ve sensed it within the organization in which we work, that there is some kind of strain, there’s some kind of issues going on, and what I’m learning this is you, humanity, this is America today, and we’ve lost this ability to be in a community. We’ve lost this ability or to be in a community with, possibly, people who don’t see the world, the way we do.

0:08:49 – Kayla

Yes, we used to be able to have healthy discourse. Now it’s just well. How dare you disagree with me? Or I will say this this is what I said to you the other night COVID did not make us better as a society.

0:09:07 – Brian

It made us it made us meaner. Yes, yes.

0:09:10 – Kayla

And I stand by that truth People who the tolerance level, the willingness to see another viewpoint, the ability to just and I know we’re going to come back to this later, but the ability to just listen without always having to speak, COVID, just, I think it was the isolation I really do, and I think back to our conversation with Michael Gimbola where we talked about the shift that has taken place because of the pandemic. It’s sad that we just don’t seem to have the ability to step outside of our own perception of things and our own opinions, viewpoints, worldview, and truly see another person.

0:10:00 – Brian

There’s a truth that used to exist, and it still applies to the gospel and to the church that we attend is that come as you are. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to have your life cleaned up. Just come as you are. Yeah, just come as you are Today. When it comes to societal relationships and friendships, we don’t want to be like friends with people until we figure out. Do you agree with me on these certain issues?

0:10:39 – Kayla

Does everything fit in my nice neat little square?

0:10:42 – Brian

Yes, and I don’t want anybody in that square who might see the world a little differently and, as a result, we have become mean toward each other and all we do is fuss and argue and that kind of stuff. And if you don’t, well then you’ve created this little tribe of people who think just like you, and that is very scary. But yeah, I do think, because we’ve talked about how the world is now very isolating, and I also think that that’s a result of, like, social media. You think about it? I think Facebook is now 20 years old. That’s a whole generation that’s like grown up with that. We’ve had that now for 20 years. Think about that. We’ve had Facebook for 20 years. How has that changed us? How has social media changed us? We feel that we can interact with people who may be a thousand miles away, but yet we don’t interact with people who live a hundred yards.

0:11:46 – Kayla

What is it? I read the other day we are more connected than we have ever been, but we are lonelier than we have ever been. And I see this. There are people who will voice things behind the screen that they would never say sitting directly across from someone, and I don’t understand that Brooks Brooks wrote and this is the second quote, so he starts talking about why are we in this mess? Yeah, what’s caused all this? Yeah, and this is.

0:12:14 – Brian

This is just one line. As a society, we have failed to teach the skills and cultivate the inclination to treat each other with kindness, generosity and respect. He said those are three and he calls it a moral formation. But think about this kindness, generosity and respect. I have another theory as well, and he may get to this, but the church’s influence is probably waning in society. That’s probably fading. It’s getting less. I see that and as a result, we’ve allowed other things that we’re passionate about to take over.

0:12:54 – Kayla

Yeah, well, what is it that we read? A pastor friend shared this with us. Is it that 40% of families did not return to church after COVID? Think about that.

0:13:06 – Brian

It didn’t make us better.

0:13:08 – Kayla

They got so used to their own patterns and habits on the weekend that there’s not even the influence of the church anymore for that large of a percentage of society.

0:13:22 – Brian

Again, I go back to this point, and when we remove ourselves from that group, we remove ourselves from the ability to interact with others, we remove ourselves from that community. So he says that we’re no longer teaching these things of kindness, generosity and respect.

0:13:40 – Kayla

So how can we change this? What does he tell you? He writes a phrase that you found it fascinating.

0:13:48 – Brian

Yeah, he says be a loud listener. I love that phrase. I’m going to adopt that phrase. Be allowed. And I’m not even halfway through the book, y’all.

0:13:59 – Kayla


0:14:01 – Brian

I want to kind of put all this in a little bit of a gumbo and let it simmer to the top. Why do we not listen anymore? Because we’re too concerned with being right or wrong. Why are we no longer kind, generous and respectful? Because we’re too worried about being right or wrong? Yeah, and instead of being worried about being right, why not be kind?

0:14:26 – Kayla


0:14:27 – Brian

Why not be generous? Why not be respectful?

0:14:30 – Kayla

And you don’t have to surrender your right or wrong just by listening to another viewpoint or by respecting someone enough to let them share. And we struggle with that as a society. We really do.

0:14:49 – Brian

If I could say this, what he’s doing is first of all you know this is that Brooks is a believer and but he’s not putting Jesus front and center. Jesus is like in the background and he’s like peeking around him, because he’s writing this book not to the church but to America, as a whole.

So here’s where I am. Will this book change people? I would hope it would. But if we want to get back to where we were and I’m not sure we will ever get back there but if we want to progress and be better, we’re going to have to be kind and generous and respectful and we’re going to have to be a loud listener yeah, because we love to talk. Look at Facebook and Instagram and Twitter X, whatever it’s called.

0:15:40 – Kayla

Those tend to make us so narcissistic, because it’s look at me, look at what I cooked, look at what I’m doing, look at the successes I’m having, look at my beautiful home, look at this, look at that, me, me, me, me, me. And yet what it seems that Brooks is trying to remind us is let me look at you, let me, let me see you, let me hear you, let me focus on being a student rather than a teacher.

0:16:10 – Brian

Now in our marriage and you weren’t expecting me to say this. Miss Kayla is a very loud listener. I’m a very loud talker and you have this gift where you can listen to people and you can empathize with them. You see, I think you’re a part of the solution. I think I’m part of the problem, so that’s something I got to work on my word.

0:16:34 – Kayla

I don’t know about that, I do.

0:16:36 – Brian

I mean, I mean whenever I grow up, I want to be you, because you have this heart and you want to see people, you want to understand them and you listen to them.

0:16:47 – Kayla

So, Miss Kayla, well, I wasn’t expecting that, so thank you.

0:16:52 – Brian

But this is a book you would definitely recommend David Brooks how to See a Person, and it’s the number two bestseller in America right now. Wow, so the holidays are upon us and, as a matter of fact, last night I was playing holiday, I was playing Christmas.

0:17:12 – Kayla

You were. I came in from outside and there’s Christmas music playing in our house which I’m so here for this. So yeah, I was like wait a minute, this girl loves her Some holiday.

0:17:24 – Brian

loves her some Christmas.

0:17:26 – Kayla

You’ve always told me and I get it. After Halloween it is the official kickoff for retail of the holiday season.

0:17:35 – Brian

Yeah, is anybody else getting 18 emails a day?

0:17:37 – Kayla

It’s a bit much, I mean even, I have to say but we decided that we want to do our annual. This is your permission slip, so we want to give you a hard pass, is what we’re calling it and so let’s jump in. These are just recommendations. Take the ones that mean something to you and shake off the ones that don’t. But, for example, you can say no to as many invites as you need to. In order to stay sane and to do what is best for your family, it is okay to say no.

0:18:18 – Brian

You go. You don’t have to attend every single party Now. I would recommend that.

0:18:24 – Kayla

I mean, don’t be a hermit.

0:18:26 – Brian

Cause, yeah, you can pick one or two and you can go to it, but if you get invitations to 15, you don’t have to go to all 15. You know what I’m saying?

0:18:35 – Kayla

Yes, choose the ones that are meaningful to you.

0:18:37 – Brian

Yes, yeah, you are free to skip the professional family photos. Okay, you are free to skip the enemy. Say this once your kids hit about 15, 60, don’t put everybody in matching jammies.

0:18:52 – Kayla

Oh, why so low judging, do you don’t think that looks a little? I think I’m giving them freedom to do whatever they want to do, but you and Sprocket used to address.

0:19:02 – Brian

I was about to say you’ve kind of stepped on my yeah. Okay, well, dress as you want, but you don’t have to do the professional family photos at Christmas.

0:19:10 – Kayla

If it’s not for your family, skip it. You are not obligated to buy a gift for everyone. Let me say that again you are not obligated to buy a gift for everyone. Don’t blow your budget trying to impress others, and if the only way you are going to feel loved by people is by giving them a gift, then maybe reassess your friends.

0:19:40 – Brian

You preaching today, you meddling, and remember this you’re never there’s just so much pressure. Yes.

0:19:47 – Kayla

On people this time of year and you need to come out of this season not sitting with so much regret and so much burden and one of the biggest disfinances for people that they get to January. Then those payments roll in, and was it worth it? I mean for something that someone may end up taking to the thrift store.

0:20:11 – Brian

And don’t allow other family members to pressure you to buy gifts for. Like other family members Like perhaps you haven’t seen in 45 years, oh, you need to get that person. I hadn’t seen that person in 45 years. I don’t interact with them.

0:20:27 – Kayla

Your presence is a gift Right.

0:20:29 – Brian

Now, if you want to and you feel led to do that, then by all means go for it. You are free to keep it simple with your menus. It doesn’t have to be a six course meal. Well, since I’m allergic to everything under the sun, You’re gonna have three items on your plate. We’ll have like three items on my plate.

0:20:47 – Kayla

But one of them will be mashed potatoes, so we’re good.

0:20:49 – Brian

All God’s people said Amen, we’ll have brisket.

0:20:52 – Kayla

Yes, but if cooking is your thing, we give you permission to make as many courses as you want to. If cooking stresses you out, it is okay to go somewhere and pick up a meal.

0:21:05 – Brian

Cracker barrel will prepare you a meal that you can serve to people.

0:21:10 – Kayla

You are free to create your own family traditions, just because your great aunt, tessie, did this for six generations. Don’t feel it’s just the first name that came to me. Do not feel that you have to continue doing this. It’s not on you to carry the torch for everyone else’s expectations of your holiday season.

0:21:37 – Brian

There are certain shows that, like we like to watch the Christmas, the year of the Santa Claus and the Otters.

0:21:43 – Kayla

But some people do Christmas on Christmas Eve, some people do Christmas on Christmas day, some people do Christmas at Thanksgiving, believe it or not, because that’s when everyone is going to be together. If that’s what works for you, let that be your tradition.

0:21:59 – Brian

There really isn’t a rule saying you have to wait until November 24th to put up your Christmas decor Now this.

0:22:05 – Kayla

I know that’s right.

0:22:07 – Brian

This is.

0:22:08 – Kayla

This has become such a thing.

0:22:11 – Brian

I mean.

0:22:12 – Kayla

It’s like culture wars over when the tree goes up.

0:22:15 – Brian

So you can put your tree up if you want to.

0:22:19 – Kayla

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I don’t care.

0:22:20 – Brian

The day after Halloween you can put it up.

0:22:23 – Kayla

I will go ahead and give a disclaimer. Hours is going up this weekend, which will be the second weekend in November.

0:22:30 – Brian

I’m excited about that. I’m ready for it, are you really? I love the lights and that kind of thing. It’s totally acceptable to pile in your car in your PJs and go enjoy Christmas lights I’m all for that. But when I go out in my PJs I’m worried like is the car going to break down? And I got to call somebody and they’re going to see me in my pajamas.

0:22:53 – Kayla

That’s how my mind works. I’m thinking families here with their matching pajamas, so leave them alone. I’ve been a little hostile earlier about the matching PJs. That’s a strong word to use. Let yourself enjoy the holiday treats.

0:23:11 – Brian

Ones that you’re not allergic to.

0:23:12 – Kayla

Well, there’s that so don’t steal your own joy with the fun foods that you like at the holidays.

0:23:20 – Brian

Here’s what I’m going to say. Be a kid again, yes. Watch your favorite holiday shows, eat some of your favorite holiday treats. Just be a kid again and relive some of those memories. It could be a sad time, but it’s. It’s good to do that, and then finally see the birth of Christ as the most joyous thing, because he came to forgive his people of their sins. Put Jesus in your Christmas celebrations, because he’s the reason why we do this.

0:23:56 – Kayla

That’s right and the law of the other stuff is negotiable.

0:24:00 – Brian


0:24:01 – Kayla

But the reason for it’s very cliche, I get it. The reason for the season is Jesus.

0:24:08 – Brian


0:24:09 – Kayla

And so don’t forget to include him in your celebration.

0:24:15 – Brian

I have one more.

0:24:16 – Kayla


0:24:17 – Brian

That I have left as a surprise, okay, that I want to get your live reaction to on this podcast. Oh dear, here we go, okay. So that’s something I have wanted for the past two or three years and I found it when I woke up at three o’clock this morning and I ordered it from Amazon.

0:24:34 – Kayla

Hey, oh my goodness.

0:24:37 – Brian

There is a little ornament.

0:24:40 – Kayla

You did not. That is a toad. Is there a toad coming to our house.

0:24:45 – Brian

It’s a toad and he’s got a missile. He’s got a missile on his back and it’s called the missile toad, and so I’m going to wrap some ribbon on it, I’m going to hang it in the offices.

0:24:56 – Kayla

Oh, you think you oh at the office. Okay, Put that at the house.

0:25:00 – Brian

But we’ve got a missile toad coming to the offices.

0:25:05 – Kayla

You are out of control If.

0:25:07 – Brian

I put a picture up on our Instagram page and you can everybody can go see it. By the way, you can follow us on Instagram.

0:25:14 – Kayla

So yeah, if you don’t we apparently are you’re going to get to see the missile toad.

0:25:20 – Brian

He’s coming, He’ll be here he’s and, a matter of fact, he shipped this morning. I got a notification, so there you go.

0:25:27 – Kayla

This is what happens when he’s left unsupervised.

0:25:30 – Brian

It says you told me I have the freedom to celebrate this as I see fit.

0:25:34 – Kayla

I’m getting a missile toad delivered. You go right ahead and I have the freedom to say you’re not hanging that in our house. So here we are. Anyway, please do If you do not follow us on Instagram, please do that and also, for the first two people who go to our website, answer our trivia question correctly, which is going to be what did Brian order from Amazon?

0:26:05 – Brian

I’m going to change the question.

0:26:06 – Kayla

So what did Brian order from Amazon? If you can answer that correctly by clicking the trivia button at peas and carrots podcastcom, you will win a coffee mug and some beautiful stickers. You love the stickers.

0:26:23 – Brian

I do, they’re so fun. So, yeah, you can go do that Also. Search the peas and carrots podcast wherever you get your podcast and just subscribe to it. You can also visit our website peasandcarretspodcastcom, and when you do, don’t forget to subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook.

0:26:39 – Kayla

Yes, go to Facebook and Instagram. Just search for the peas and carrots podcast.

0:26:43 – Brian

Y’all, we got a missile toad coming our way.

0:26:47 – Announcer

For more about the peas and carrots podcast and to reach out to Brian and Kayla, visit peasandcarrotspodcast.com. Friends who care, sharing life and insights along the way. Jesus fix it. The good morning radio podcast with Jess. Like today, wherever you listen.