Community//

“Why you should have empathy.” With Beau Henderson & Pervis Taylor

The crisis that resonates with me the most is the dehumanization of Black men. As a Black man, I for years suffered in silence with deep-seated pain. Not only from just my own personal narrative, but from a world that denies my humanity. I’ve been pulled over by officers and was treated less than human. […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

The crisis that resonates with me the most is the dehumanization of Black men. As a Black man, I for years suffered in silence with deep-seated pain. Not only from just my own personal narrative, but from a world that denies my humanity. I’ve been pulled over by officers and was treated less than human. When I did work for a corporate, I was escorted out of a building for sharing the same passion as my then white co-workers and was labeled volatile and angry. It’s been said that men scream at a frequency that only they can hear. In my experience, I’ve come to realize so many Black men are screaming internally.


As part of our series about ‘5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country’, I had the pleasure of interviewingPervis Taylor.

Pervis Taylor III’s purpose in life is to help men maximize their potential, master their emotions, and thrive in the lives of their dreams. As an award-winning celebrity life coach, inspirational speaker, mentor, and author, Pervis travels the nation delivering his uplifting message to crowds large and small. He has helped countless individuals achieve their goals, and is excited to see where his journey of self-empowerment will take him next.

Born in Dallas, TX, Pervis earned his Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Miami, then relocated to New York City to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. While he quickly found success as an actor and model, appearing in feature films, commercials, and print ads, Pervis always felt he had a higher calling. After much soul searching, he realized helping people was his true purpose in life.

He began to compile the wisdom he had acquired into his first two books, Pervis Principals 1 & 2, both of which became international best sellers. Pervis was especially encouraged to find he had found a devoted audience of young men of color who connected with his progressive vision of masculinity and emotional intelligence. Gratified by the feeling he was making a real difference, Pervis decided to devote his life to his new calling.

Pervis set out to expand his reach, and soon found himself lending his expertise to the New York City Department of Education, as well as several colleges across the city. He was invited to take part in CUNY’s Black Male Initiative, and honored as a ‘BE Modern Man’ by Black Enterprise Magazine. His work has been featured on Fox, The Today Show, Daily Mail UK, and many more.

While keeping up this tireless schedule, Pervis also found time to complete his Masters in Psychology from Columbia University, and write a new book. Surthrvival Mode. Specifically aimed at men, the book expands on Pervis’ revolutionary views of emotions and mental health. Pervis currently resides in Brooklyn, NY, where he devotes every day to improving his own life and the lives of the people around him.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Igrew up in Lancaster, Texas in a two-parent home. I’m oldest of three children. I grew up in a home filled with love. My parents encouraged me that I could do and be anything. I lived a polarized existence. While my parents were encouraging, my school life was quite the opposite. Although I was popular and an honor student, I endured bullying, low self-esteem and emasculation. In spite of the anguish I experienced, I still dreamed audaciously. I still achieved and believed.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Two books come to mind. How People Grow by Henry Cloud and John Townsend and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. How People Grow introduced me to the powerful transformation therapy provides. At the time of reading it, I was in a deep depression. My father had died suddenly of a heroin overdose. I was introduced to the book by my pastor, A.R. Bernard. The book helped me get over the stigma of being a Black man and not being afraid to seek therapy. The book provides countless examples of people getting healed through therapy. It was so empowering. I started going to therapy because of this book. The Alchemist came into my life via my cousin. I was on a quest of trying to find out deeper meaning of my purpose. I remember a close friendship of mine had ended and life just seemed chaotic. That book helped me understand the importance of the journey or process. Moreover, how the things we seek out or are in search for are already within us!!

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

My favorite Life Quote is mine: “No one is born ill-equipped, they’re born ill-informed. “ For a long time I thought I was a manufacturer’s defect. The reason why was because I looked at what others had and their journeys and felt so inadequate. Comparison is the thief of purpose. It wasn’t until I realized I had everything I needed for my journey. We have everything we need to thrive. But if we look at others, we will fall short. Why? Because every person has their own unique set of tools and ingredients needed for their lives to flourish.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership to me is being a servant. Leadership is being transparent and vulnerable. Leadership is being empathetic and mindful. I’ve coached leaders in the past who were task masters. Their philosophy was ‘get it done.’ My approach to them was creating a culture of service, empathy and deep connection. When my clients shifted their leadership style and mindset, the result was not only were goals met; they were exceeded. Why? When a leader connects with their staff in a mindful-service oriented way, the staff feels valued and connects deeper to the leader’s vision.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. We’d love to talk about the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way. Which particular crisis would you like to discuss with us today? Why does that resonate with you so much?

The crisis that resonates with me the most is the dehumanization of Black men. As a Black man, I for years suffered in silence with deep-seated pain. Not only from just my own personal narrative, but from a world that denies my humanity. I’ve been pulled over by officers and was treated less than human. When I did work for a corporate, I was escorted out of a building for sharing the same passion as my then white co-workers and was labeled volatile and angry. It’s been said that men scream at a frequency that only they can hear. In my experience, I’ve come to realize so many Black men are screaming internally.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience either working on this cause or your experience being impacted by it? Can you share a story with us?

For nearly a decade I’ve equipped and empowered men of color of all ages to begin to process their pain with the hopes of leading to a place of thriving and wholeness. My book for men of color, Surthival Mode is a tool that has been extremely helpful. One story that comes to mind is a young Black male in college who participated in my emotional-intelligence program, Alchemic Solutions. For years he’d been molested and struggled with self-esteem issues. He was very angry, hurt and despondent. Throughout our sessions I emphasized it was his right as a human to get healing, thrive and be made whole. I empowered and affirmed him in humanity. Then I empowered him as a Black man. Often in our communities speaking of molestation, depression, etc. is deemed taboo. I wanted him to know that his pain mattered. His voice mattered. His healing mattered. We made a breakthrough. He shared that he took hour long scolding hot showers to scrub off the years of abuse. At the end of our sessions, he stated for the first time in his life he looked himself in the mirror without disgust and shame. The hour long showers were reduced to 15 minutes. A space was created for his humanity to be acknowledged and received.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

1. In order for us to heal collectively, we must heal individually. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent time of self-discovery. In this time of introspection, we can ask ourselves those difficult questions about how we are showing up in the world. What are contributing to the problems or solutions. What issues am I refusing to address etc.?

2. We must have empathy. Even if you can’t identity with being a person of color. You can identify with personal injustice. You can empathize with loss and unfairness. Empathy is essential when it comes to healing.

3. We must get educated. Beyond opinions we must educate ourselves on the history, the facts and truth about our issues. Ignorance can no longer prevail when it comes to our country’s issues. We must do our research.

4. We must be intentional about healing our country. We must want to heal on purpose. We have to purposely put aside our egos and biases in order to get on the track toward healing.

5. We must be vulnerable. Vulnerability is a strength not a weakness. It’s in our vulnerability that the ultimate healing can take place. Vulnerability has to do with being seen intimately. The only way a wound can heal is if it’s first exposed. We as a country have to get to a place of being vulnerable enough that intimately our fragility can be exposed and be healed.

It’s very nice to suggest ideas, but what can we do to make these ideas a reality? What specific steps can you suggest to make these ideas actually happen? Are there things that the community can do to help you promote these ideas?

We can never legislate the human heart. But we can appeal to the humanity in each human being. We have to be comfortable with having difficult conversations as a community. We have to admit our fragilities, our ignorances and biases. We have to be willing to be wrong (leadership) in order to get it right.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

I’m always a believer in hope. This has been an ongoing issue. It’s going to take a ton of work and unlearning and deconstructing narratives and such. We can’t treat this moment like a social media challenge. We can’t move on to business as usual.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

The answer is simple: we need you. You are our future leaders. You matter and your voice matters.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Jada Pinkett, I’m loving her platform of Red Table Talk. I’d love to have a seat at her table. I think she would totally like me.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram and Twitter: @pervistaylor www.Surthrivalmode.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

A plea for peace in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death

by Kristin Clark Taylor
Community//

Then and Now: Anniversary Reminder of Ongoing Violence

by Anniryn Armstrong
kelly bowden/ Getty images
Well-Being//

Why I Won't Date a Man Who Hasn't Been to Therapy

by Vernā Myers

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.