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Laura and Scott share stories, advice, and a few laughs in their One Small Step encounter

Scott Mathis and Laura DeWitt pose at KSUT following their One Small Step conversation, August, 2022.

Scott Mathis and Laura DeWitt found common ground right away, when they sat down for a One Small Step conversation at KSUT in August, 2022. Laura works as an optometrist on the Navajo reservation; Scott is a retired medical equipment salesman, and it turns out they have colleagues in common.

But they also explore their differences–both their politics and exploring the definitions of liberal and conservative.

"A conservative tends to want things to stay the way they are, if they’re working,” Scott told Laura. “It doesn’t mean that you can’t change.”

One Small Step pairs strangers with opposing beliefs for a conversation focused not on politics, but on getting to know one another.

“I would say I’m liberal because when I hear conservative viewpoints I generally disagree with them,” Laura said with a laugh.

As they went deeper into the conversation, Scott shared a personal story about growing up, being involved in a nearby church. Scott’s older sister was often in trouble with their parents. He viewed his sister as an example of what not to do, and his experience observing her formed some of the basis of his conservatism.

By the end of their conversation, they’ve established enough of a connection that Laura feels comfortable asking Scott to be her advisor when it comes to navigating interactions with other conservatives on school board matters.

Editor's note: Scott and Laura's conversation has been edited for broadcast.

KSUT is one of six public radio stations partnering with StoryCorps hosting the One Small Step project in communities across the US.

StoryCorps’ One Small Step Radio Station Hubs is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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