You can disagree with another person’s opinions. You can disagree with their doctrines. You can’t disagree with their experience.
– Krista Tippett
One of the people turn to when I feel panicked about the state of the world is Krista Tippett. Her ability to unweave that which is complex and overwhelming, and distill it to the essential, forgivable characteristics of humanity, still impresses me each time I listen to her converse with her guests. She has interviewed many, many wise people, each with their profoundly unique gifts and impact that they have left on the world. If you haven’t heard of her podcast/radio show, On Being, here are some episodes to start with:
- Natasha Trethewey and Eboo Patel – How to Live Beyond This Election
- Rebecca Solnit – Falling Together
- Anil Dash – Tech’s Moral Reckoning
- John Lewis – Love in Action
Last week, I was able to absorb some of her words in-person, at an event put on by the SF Commonwealth Club to promote her new book, Becoming Wise. The talk was facilitated by Reverend Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus of Grace Cathedral San Francisco. They discussed a whole range of topics while I sat in the dark, blindly taking notes. Unfortunately, some are not legible, but I wanted to end with some of the paraphrased parts I found provoking. (They are taken out of context, so I would recommend watching the conversation here if you are interested.)
- Wisdom is work for public life and not just for our personal lives. We need a common culture and to humanize the way we speak to one another.
- We are on the path to figuring out Artificial Intelligence, but we are far from figuring out our own consciousness.
- America has policies focused on what hate is and defines hate crimes, but there are no policies for love.
- The most wise people are both incredibly tender and powerful, at the same time.
- We have pushed a policy of tolerance, but tolerance is just allowing others to exist? What is past tolerance?