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  • Dr. Autumn Swain

Color Makes Everything Better


Book covers! Wall murals! Fall foliage! Fashion statements! A child’s doodles!


When I felt called to start this blog, Seeing Color, it wasn’t just to defy the damaging concept of “color blindness”. It was to celebrate seeing people - seeing all that makes an individual unique and valuable.


We want to see color.

To see stories.

To see experiences.

To see people.

To see culture.


See the other kids running around on the neighborhood playground.

See the other commuters across from you on the metro bus.

See the neighbors on your block - at a bus stop, walking a dog, pushing a stroller, rolling in a wheelchair, crying, or flying high as a kite.


A common theme in my new book, The Playground Leader, is the importance of encouraging our youth to thrive and grow in their leadership so that they can help transform their communities. And for a community to be effective, empathy must be a household goal. Empathy must be a characteristic we all seek after; it’s the only way to really see all the beautiful colors in our world in all its vibrancy.


Empathy must win. But for empathy to win, we have to see color, culture, stories, experiences, laments, and celebrations.


For empathy to win, when we see people, really see people, what goes into our eyes, must pit stop in our hearts, before going to our heads.

Make that pit stop a daily practice.


That pit stop means leaning into a desire to understand another’s perspective.

That pit stop means seeing a situation from another’s point of view.

That pit stop means recognizing there is value in seeking to understand how and why a person experiences things the way they do.


I leave you with a message from Chapter 5, “Empathy” from The Playground Leader.


Where we want to actively counter division and see greater unity, empathy must win.

Where we want to see less brokenness and more peace, empathy must win.

In every scenario where we want to see greater wholeness and well-being, empathy must win.


How does empathy win? We care and then care some more. We teach our children to care with a genuine and generous heart. We fight indifference. We do this together with our kids, with our neighbors, and with our friends.


So go forth and actively defy indifference, don’t let vision bypass the heart, and care enough to see color!



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