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StoryCorps In Kansas City — 'What Are You Most Scared Of?'

Kristin Chow and Kurt Wheeler shared their fears for the future with each other for KCUR and StoryCorps One Small Step.
Kristin Chow and Kurt Wheeler shared their fears for the future with each other for KCUR and StoryCorps One Small Step.

KCUR is part of StoryCorps' One Small Step initiative to bring together people of differing political opinions for real conversations. This is one we've chosen to highlight.

Kristin Chow and Kurt Wheeler met for the first time as part of StoryCorps' One Small Step. To get a better sense of where Wheeler's ideology stands, Chow asked a big question.

"When you think about the future what are you most scared of?" Chow asked.

"I'm most scared of us losing sight of our core values as a country," Wheeler said. "I'm scared of people feeling entitled to things that are not a right."

Wheeler, who is conservative, believes American society is turning towards a culture of entitlement and reliance on government. 

Chow, who is progressive, disagrees, and thinks that America is threatened by selfishness and individual comfort.

"I'm actually afraid of hyperindividualism, that we will forget that it's community that sustains us," Chow said. "If one person is failing, then it's our responsibility to try to hold that person up."Ron Jones is KCUR's director of community engagement.

Matthew Long-Middleton is a community producer for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter@MLMIndustries.

Cody Newill is an audience development specialist for KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter@CodyNewill.

Copyright 2021 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Ron Jones returned to KCUR in September, 2013 as Director of Community Engagement. He leads a team that will focus on the arts, entrepreneurship, neighborhoods and community diversity. Its goal is to coordinate community conversations about important issues on-air, online and in person.
Cody Newill was born and raised in Independence, Missouri, and attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cody won a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for his work curating kcur.org in 2017. But if you ask him, his true accomplishments lie in Twitter memes and using the term "Devil's lettuce" in a story.
Matthew has been involved in media since 2003. While hosting a show on his college radio station, he quickly realized the influence, intimacy and joys of radio. After graduating from Kenyon College he had a brief stint as a short-order cook in exotic Gambier, Ohio. He then joined Murray Street Productions as the marketing manager. At Murray Street he also conducted interviews, produced podcasts, wrote scripts for Jazz at Lincoln Center Radio, and made the office computers hum. In addition to working at Murray Street, Matthew has done freelance radio production and his work has been featured on Chicago Public Radio’s local news program Eight Forty-Eight. He has also worked as a marketing assistant at WBGO in Newark, NJ, where he helped to grow audience through placing advertisements, managing the station social media, improving the website, building email campaigns and doing in person promotion at jazz events throughout New York and New Jersey. Matthew has won several awards for radio production including a Gold and Silver from the Kansas City Press Club in 2017. You can find Matthew bicycling around the city and the globe.