Sharon McMahon is a former high school government and law teacher who earned a reputation as ‘America’s Government Teacher’ amidst the historic 2020 election proceedings for her viral efforts on Instagram to educate the general public on political misinformation. Through a simple mission to share non-partisan information about democracy, Sharon has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers online, affectionately called the “Governerds”, who look to her for truth and logic in a society plagued by bias and conspiracy. I had the absolute pleasure and privilege of hanging out with Sharon for an hour virtually, and today I'm sharing all the wisdom and insight that she shared with me, with you! I personally found Sharon during the height of political unrest in 2020, and she was more than a breath of fresh air for me. I've learned so much from her just by following her on Instagram, and whether you're already a governerd or just hearing about her for the first time today, I guarantee you're about to learn a ton from this episode, too.
[01:08] – Sharon McMahon helps the public understand government and politics.
[02:50] – Where did Sharon’s passion for politics and current events come from?
[05:26] – Sharon says she decided to make non-partisan videos for educating people instead of engaging with internet arguments.
[08:04] – Which news outlets does Sharon look to for information?
[11:03] – Corrine and Sharon talk about recognizing polarity and how to help youth develop discernment.
[13:22] – Sharon gives a dinner analogy of exercising critical thinking.
[15:59] – Which public figures would Sharon have lunch with?
[17:44] – Sharon shares her thoughts on flexible thinking, rigid thinking, and distress tolerance.
[19:26] – What is the answer to extreme polarization?
[21:46] – Most things in life are not zero-sum games, including what we agree and disagree on.
[24:31] – Sharon explains her projects of raising money for teacher grants.
[26:23] – Sharon discusses the teaching profession and the lack of support that can be experienced in some communities.
[28:02] – Teachers are going above and beyond to provide basic and core necessities for children.
[30:52] – How did Sharon raise over half a million dollars for Christmas?
[33:05] – The principle of giving is important. Intent outweighs the size of the gift.
[35:12] – Sharon points out this lesson in US History to keep in mind, since history repeats itself. Why do seemingly harmless moments become the greatest scars?
[36:37] – Sharon continues her thoughts on dehumanization. She explains the crossover of thoughts, actions, and mindsets used to justify how we think.
[38:44] – Corrine talks about the relation of repeated polarizing experiences globally as she recalls a museum visit during a trip to Rwanda.
[40:36] – Sharon says it’s important not to step toward dehumanization. She explains why situations that appear sudden are unconsciously developed.
[42:53] – Sharon urges people to not give up hope in doing their part to make the world a little better.