Archive for February, 2010

Becoming a World Class Person

February 21, 2010

Four Programs with a common theme

by Ed Chasteen

The Pedalin’ Prof

from William Jewell College


The 20 Minute Overview

Designed for civic clubs. Introduction to the idea

The 90-minute Program

Focuses on Step Three

The Half-Day Program

This three-hour presentation covers Steps 1 and 3

The All Day Program

This six-hour presentation covers all three steps, the three-step week and the Human Family Reunion

             I’ve never been comfortable attaching a price tag to my services. Years ago my students at William Jewell College and I wanted to help someone hurt by hate, and we started HateBusters. Word got out, and we began to be invited all over the country. We got so busy that I gave up my other teaching to give full-time attention to HateBusters. We became a 501 C-3 non-profit. We decided early on that we would never say no when asked to help and would never charge fees.

We rely on donations for everything we do. If those we help cannot pay us, we work for free. From those who can, we ask that you give what seems right to you. All money raised goes to support the work we do.

World Class Person

The idea of World Class Person came to me that summer I went to the Olympics and saw world-class athletes. World Class Persons! That’s what the world needs. But what’s a World Class Person? I made my own definition. “A World Class Person can go anyplace at anytime and talk to anyone about anything and feel safe.” That’s my definition.

            Just a few in every place on the planet. A few World Class Persons. And if we had just a few everywhere, we would be calmer. We could talk to one another in our normal voice. We could listen to each other.

            So I wrote a book.

How To Like People Who Are Not Like You

The Three Step Formula

Ó 2010 bv Ed Chasteen



This book is intended for all those people who either want to or are required to move outside their ordinary circle of friends. Tourists, students, business and professional people, people of faith, and anybody with a spirit of adventure will find this book helpful and challenging.

I intend to explain to readers in minute detail exactly how they first learn to like themselves, then to like people like themselves, and finally to like people who are unlike themselves.

This book joins three traditions in literature: self-help, personal relations and how-to. This book is rooted in sociological, anthropological, and religious principles, but there is not a word of jargon or academese in it.

I’ve used the first 10 editions of this book over the past 30 years in classrooms, from third grade through middle and high schools to college and university. In churches, synagogues and mosques. With seminars, club and business meetings. Response has been enthusiastic and constructively critical. It’s a far better book today because of the many helpful suggestions.

Chapter 1        Why Bother?

This chapter looks briefly at the various reasons for liking people who differ from you: religious teaching, economic need, personal enrichment. Without putting any of these down, this short chapter challenges the reader to do it to see if she/he can, and if so, what difference it makes.

Chapter 2        Step One

Learning to like yourself is the first step toward liking people who are not like you. This chapter describes the things you must believe, think about, and do in order to take that step.

Chapter 3        Step Two

Us and Them: the only two kinds of people there are. Learning to like us is not easy, but it’s far more simple than learning to like them. This chapter describes, in the same format as chapter 2, how a person learns to like people who are like him/her. This chapter also raises questions about what it is that makes people alike.

Chapter 4        Step Three

            To learn to like people who are not like you is probably the biggest challenge that any of you can undertake. To do it requires that you first like yourself and those who are like you. Once that difficult task is accomplished, you are ready to attempt Step Three.

Chapter 5        Where To Take The Three Steps

                This chapter describes the two worlds in which you live: your private world of me and us, and your public world of them. Step one prepares you for a richer life in your private world. Once your private world is in order, you are ready to take steps two and three in your public world.

Chapter 6        The Three Step Week

            After learning the three steps, you will need to practice them in order to become proficient. Practice is easier if you set aside a certain time to do it. This chapter describes when to schedule your practice time and the exercises you need to do during that time.

Chapter 7        The Human Family Reunion

                Many thousands of people over the last 30 years have demonstrated that it is possible to like people who are not like you. They have all participated in the Human Family Reunion. This chapter describes these reunions: how they came about, who comes to them, what is done at them and how they make everyone feel.


The Three Step Test

            This test helps readers determine how much they like themselves and other people. Using true-false and multiple choice questions, this test leads the reader through an assessment of personal feelings and offers the reader an objective evaluation of his or her inter-personal behavior.

                The reader might wish to take this test before reading the book. Doing so would identify for you those parts of the book that would be of maximum value to you.

                After reading the book and practicing some of its recommendations, you might want to take the test again in order to assess how far you have come.

                A reviewer called this book “profoundly simple and simply profound. A formula for building human beings.”

The Three Steps

Step 1 Learn to Like Yourself

Believe these things

My Life Has Meaning And Purpose

I am unique

I’m as good as anyone

What other people think of me is less important than what I think

My self worth is based on who I am, not what I can do

What I want Is less important than what is good for me

                        Owning things only seems to make me more attractive

Think about these things

How lucky I am

My strengths and abilities

Other people’s problems

Finding peace of mind

Making the most of today

Something beautiful

My death

Do These Things

Read good books

Develop a skill

Talk to other people, and listen to what they say

Achieve the proper pressure

Take part in projects designed to help other people



Step Two–Learning to Like People Who Are Like You

Believe these things

I am a part of my people

I am as valuable to my people as my people are to me

My people’s motivations are as proper as my personal motivation

I will bet from my people as I give to my people

I will find myself through knowing my people

My people know me as imperfectly as I know my people

My people will be increasingly important to me as I grow older

Think about these things

Finding ways to know your people better

Why your people do what they do

Supporting your people

Who are your people?

How are you and your people alike?

How are you and your people different?

Who tells you how to relate to your people?

Do these things

Join them

Volunteer for extra duty

Learn the history and values of your people

Talk it up

Go to bat for your people

Becoming a loving critic of your people

Share your people’s fate

Step Three–Learning to Like People Who Are Not Like You

Believe these things

Their ways make as much sense as mine

But for accident of birth, I could be one of them

Who’s right? is the wrong question

I may never agree with them, but I can relate to them

They are as attached to their way as I am to mine

The world would be a poorer place if they did not exist

Only by understanding Them do I come to understand myself

Think about these things

What are the really basic differences between us?

How and when did our differences start?

                        How am I like them?

Are they as uncertain about how to relate to me?

What is really happening in my encounter with Them?

How will my children and theirs relate to each other?

What does knowing those who are not like me tell me about myself?

Do these things

Learn another language

Visit ithnic communities; attend their place of worship

Eat their foods

                        Study other cultures

Put yourself in uncomfortable situations

Feel good about not trying to change Them

Don’t pretend to understand

To invite Ed Chasteen, the Pedalin’ Prof

Call 816-803-8371




February 21, 2010

Sarah Cool was a student of mine at William Jewell College. She  visited Hati in 2007and wrote the account of her trip below. I thought we all should read her words.
Tables Turned, Trip #1 to Haiti, January 2007
A recent humanitarian trip to Haiti allowed me the chance to accept acts of mercy and hospitality from others.

The group I went with had no special project to complete, nor did we bring anything with us, other than a willingness to complete our “mission”: to listen, learn and be changed. And that’s what happened.

The changes began the day I left on the trip when accepting a $20 bill from a stranger, after the first of several flights I’d be on that day. She’d overheard my conversation with the bank about how I’d realized that I’d forgotten the PIN to my debit card just before leaving, and so I’d left home without any cash. As I hung up my cell phone, with no resolution from the bank, this stranger pressed a $20 bill into my hand, insisting that I just couldn’t be without any cash. I didn’t want to take her money. $20 seemed like too much. I wanted her to give me her address so that I could return it to her as soon as I got back home. She refused, telling me to just pay it forward. I assured her that I would, as I was on my way to Haiti for a week.

The group I went with stayed with Haitian families for several nights in the mountains where there was no electricity and little running water. These families shared everything they had with us: food, water, time, and friendship. In fact, they slept on straw mats on the floor while we were given their beds. That was the most difficult for us, but what were we going to do, refuse to accept what they had to give?

Again and again we were treated like royalty, from wonderful meals, to visits with local artisans to see and even learn their crafts, to lessons with the elders of the community about their rich history, culture, economy and politics. Songs were prepared and sung for us on several occasions. We were treated with hospitality beyond anything I’d ever experienced. We were included in their daily activities and fellowship like we’d lived amongst them for all of our lives. We were cared for and looked after as if we were their own. And yet, we’d only just met. We were strangers and family all in the very same instant.

It’s as if I was plopped down in the middle of what my associates and I hope it’s like for our neighborhood friends visiting Cherith Brook, the new Catholic Worker house we’ve recently opened in downtown Kansas City. I was at the reverse end of all the hospitality and acts of mercy we’ve been offering in our new community. Now I was the one receiving rather than giving. It felt somewhat awkward, but reassuring too.

I tried to pay that $20 forward several times over during the trip, both monetarily in the purchases I made from artists that I might not have otherwise, and also in the attention I paid to those around me, and in the extra awareness I had of my surroundings.

And now, being back on the other side of giving, I have a different appreciation of what it feels like to receive. Although uncomfortable at times, it’s very inspiring to know that God puts folks in our path to take care of us when we’re most in need. And likewise, God puts us in the path of those who most need us.

What more did I receive from Haiti?

I went on this trip with such misconceptions about the country, her culture, and her people. I imagined that what I’d been told by the media and others was true, that most of the land was brown from deforestation, that most people lived in stick and mud huts, that I should be fearful of disease and for my safety, and other misinformation I dare not even repeat. Once there, the only thing I feared were the armed UN officers patrolling the streets in their tanks.

In fact, after having arrived, I was almost instantly ashamed of myself for not having gone to Haiti before to find out the truth for myself. It feels as though something powerfully evil has been at work, poisoning the world’s view of Haiti and therefore her ability to turn the tide. And for what purpose must the world persecute this tiny speck of an island? The bible verse that comes to mind is the parable of the laborers in Matthew 20:16. So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. In the end, I envision that Haiti shall be first, and the rest of the world, especially the US, last. Haiti will be, must be, chosen.

On the contrary to my false impressions, I found Haiti to have an atmosphere of peace and calm beyond anything I’d felt before. Her people were genuinely interested in getting to know us, and in us getting to know them. We hiked up into mountains covered with lush vegetation and trees full of fruits, some I’d seen before and some I’d never heard of. We experienced waterfalls, swam in the bluest ocean waters, and saw the most beautiful palm trees. We learned of her struggles and of her triumphs. What a strong people she holds!

Haiti revealed to me the most deeply spiritual and genuinely honest people I’ve ever encountered. Things I’ve wondered about all of my life became crystal clear during my short stay on her sacred ground. I feel a profound gratitude towards Haiti and her people for accepting me, embracing me, taking me as I was, in the midst of all the negative notions that I had, and helping me to see her in a new and clear light. What a gift!

And what will I give back?

I’m committed to telling her story, the true version, to as many as will listen. I will encourage others to do as I did: go and see it, experience it, feel it for yourself. I will share the lessons that I learned, carry her in my heart, speak well of her, sending positive vibes with all that I say and do. These are my responsibilities, now that I know better. To do less or otherwise would be reprehensible. It’s as if I’m bound by a contract, one more powerful and obligatory than if it were written, to uphold the truths as I’ve seen them, to promote a different consciousness about Haiti, to do my part to turn the tide.

For more information on Haiti, please visit or

(If you are able but have not yet made a monetary donation to the relief efforts in Haiti … please go to and do so. ANY amount will help. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.)

Sarah Cool


February 11, 2010

By Ed Chasteen

 Nine pages of fine print in a small town newspaper telling about couples who couldn’t pay their mortgages and announcing the date their homes will be sold on the courthouse steps. Sad news to read over breakfast on a snowy day.

Kayla takes my order. Evelyn stops by. We talk about her plans to decorate the newly remodeled back wall. I ask about Kay and Claire and Vickie. Sickness has interrupted their service here. We all miss them. They come when they can.

Overnight snow kept me off my bike this morning. I’ve biked here hundreds of times. Sixteen miles of rolling hills over a road so inviting I ride it in my dreams. Closer eating places draw me now and then, but it’s here I have to be today. I don’t know why. Something on a back channel of my mind is over riding every objection my conscious mind presents: the cold, the snow, my warm house, the food in my refrigerator and pantry, the work I could be doing. So in my PT Cruiser I’ve come today.

Everybody greets me as I step through the door. I don’t know all their names. But they all are familiar. “Mornin’ guys,” I call to the half-dozen seated at the round table. “Need a menu?” Kayla asks. I don’t. I take the table directly in front of the door, the counter with its several stools just to my right, the round table directly in front of me.

Smoking is not allowed in the other room. That’s where we always sit on Saturdays when a dozen or so of us bike here to breakfast. But during the week when I come alone I always sit in this room where I can see waitresses place and pick up their orders, patrons step up to the cash register to pay their bills, staff enter and emerge from the kitchen, join the good natured banter and greet folks as they come and go.

This is only one of the many small town cafes I love to visit. And when I’m asked which is the best, I name the one we’re at when the question is asked. My reason for doing so I should explain. It’s because that’s where I am at the moment. And this moment is all there is. I have sat at times in these places and talked to folks whose lives ended unexpectedly shortly after. Jimmy Oldfield and I sat two tables over some years back. He told me about the award he won from his company for driving his 18-wheeler a million miles without an accident. A few days later I returned and asked, “Where’s Jimmy? “He died.” They said.

This moment we have together is precious. Precious beyond our understanding! To compare other places and people to these we’re with at present is to miss the moment. Milk the moment for meaning! This person! This place! All else is has been and will be. Life is in this moment. That’s the idea. In these places where we know one another by name, such thinking comes naturally.

Carl is the first at the round table to stand. As he comes past my table to leave, he speaks. “You didn’t ride here today did you?” “I wanted to. I couldn’t. But I wanted to be here.” I say. Carl lives alone across the street. Does his own cooking. Comes over several times most days for coffee. He brought us all a bowl of his blackberry cobbler one day.

“Have a good day,” he says as he leaves.

No problem!

Baha’is Face Grim Threat

February 7, 2010

 ATTENTION ALL HATEBUSTERS, I have promised on our behalf that we will never say no when asked to help where hate has come. The message below is from Barb McAtee. Barb is a member of the Bahai’i community here in Kansas City and a dear friend of mine. I told Barb that my  church and my college would pray for the seven Baha’is imprisoned in Iran for their faith. Barb’s message to me today contains the TV coverage from India, explaining the campaign by the government of Iran to imprison and kill all members of the Baha’i faith. The Baha’i faith originated in Iran and has millions of adherents worldwide.

I have pledged HateBusters support to people of all races and religions who are persecuted because of their race or religion. I ask that each of you who get this message watch the TV story from India. You will see pictures of the seven who are accused. I ask that you then send this message on to your friends and ask them to do the same. I also ask everyone to send emails to your local newspapers and TV stations. They probably don’t know this is happening and will report it if they know someone cares. If we can publicize their plight widely, we will at least shine a light on this injustice and perhaps produce a fairer treatment of these seven.
I believe that as we treat a single person, so we treat the world.

At this most critical hour, the situation grows increasingly dire.  Beyond prayers, we need you to speak out; especially if you have connections in the Middle East, Iran or India.  As 7 leaders of the Baha’i community go on trial Feb. 7, for wholly false and trumped up charges, the world is watching with bated breath.  This is not a political matter, it is a matter of human rights.  As expressed on this news broadcast from India (see link below), it is not just the 7 individuals, but the entire Baha’i community on trial.  The Iranian government is influenced by the press and by the weight of international pressure from national governments.  Now is the time to be heard!


Please watch a news report from India at the following YouTube website: