The World is Changing: A Conversation With William Deresiewicz

william deresiewicz podcast

Tell me about a complicated man.

Odyssey by Homer, Translated by Emily Wilson

The world is changing. Our only choice is how we will respond. William F. Buckley wrote in the first issue of National Review about the role of conservatism being to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop,” (William F. Buckley, Lee Edwards). While this has some political merit, it is a futile prescription for resisting change.

Far more appropriate are the words of Seth Godin, who encourages us to see change as an opportunity instead of a threat:

Most of us view change as a threat, and survival as the goal. Change is not a threat, it’s an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.

Survival is Not Enough, Seth Godin

Navigating a changing world is the inevitable destiny of all who live. Those who navigate it well thrive. Those who resist may for a time succeed but, in the end, change will have its way.

Every day I see and talk to people who are frustrated and angry about change. Sometimes we are aware change is our problem, but on most occasions we blame other things for our discomfort. 

Truthfully, as I age my resistance to change grows. I’ve become comfortable with life as it is, and keeping things the same feels essential to my happiness. Fortunately, I am surrounded by people from younger generations who are more comfortable embracing social, cultural, political, and religious change. Increasingly, I am choosing to see change as an opportunity instead of seeing it as a threat. Gone are my grumpy reactions and critiques of change which feed my hostility toward anything different. 

Now I realize my resistance to change is an instinct to settle for survival instead of continuing to fight for my dreams. How about you? Are you settling for survival or determined to see your dreams become reality?

Change is hard, even complicated. It requires intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and even physical growth — an untangling from the past so we can live differently in the future.

The complexity of change is best understood and navigated by complicated people whose deep reflection has taught them to untangle the complexity of life. These are those who make change simpler and sometimes easier. 

William Deresiewicz is just such a man, someone who has untangled his complexity, learned simplicity, and graciously shared the fruits of his journey with his listeners and readers.

Mr. Deresiewicz is my guest on the Lead Different Podcast. There are three episodes, with the first “The Death of Friendship, A Jane Austen Education, and the Lost Art of Listening” dropping today. 

William is far too modest to enjoy my glowing description of his life and work. But I believe it is appropriate, not because he has all the answers, which is neither his nor my claim, but because he is complicated, as are we all. Yet, by asking the deep questions, he has unraveled his complexity and discovered the simplicity of living a life of meaning and purpose.

Mr. Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and best-selling author. He has published more than 280 essays and reviews, won the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, the National Book Critics Circle’s Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, as well as a Sydney Award. He is a three-time National Magazine Award nominee, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The American Scholar, and many other publications. These works have been translated into 18 languages and anthologized in more than 30 college and scholastic readers.

William taught English at Yale for 10 years and became a full-time writer in 2008. I discovered his work when I read the essay “The Death of Friendship (Faux Friendship)” which you will be familiar with if you read “The Lost Art of Friendship.”

There are five words which describe Mr. Deresiewicz, his work, and how they are helping me change. The first is courage. He is willing to speak truth thoughtfully, sensitively, and yet boldly, in that way that public intellectuals of a bygone era spoke when they sought to change the world. The second is character, because he understands the necessity of living a complete life, which must possess equal parts intellectual, emotional, and spiritual depth. 

The third word which William and his work exemplify is creativity, the capacity to ask the right questions and seek their answers rather than merely accepting and promoting conventional wisdom. 

The fourth is thinking, something every reader of his work will redefine as originality of thought, not the mere collecting of academic knowledge for the purpose of employment or argument, but the deep reflection found in solitude.  When combined with the deep conversations one can only experience with select friends, this type of deep reflection helps us become our authentic selves. 

The fifth and final word is depth, that capacity to reach beyond the superficial to discover the satisfying life that fulfills our greatest expectations.

As you listen to the first episode in our 3-part series, you will discover more about these five words and how they can help each one of us grow. I highly recommend the following three books to get the most out of our conversation.

  • A Jane Austen Education – before you overreact to the title, know that this book is an excellent starting point for high school or college students looking to develop the capacity to think deeply about their life. This book can do the same for adults who wonder how their academic education failed to teach them how to think about life.
  • Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life – an excellent read for high school juniors and seniors as well as college undergraduate and graduate students. Parents of these students will benefit from the wisdom and depth found in these pages, helping them to understand higher education in the 21st century. Read this book to learn how to guide your son or daughter toward the experience that will prepare them not merely for a career, but for life.
  • The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech – a great book for every entrepreneur, creative, and artist who wants to succeed in the digital age, as well as those of us who benefit from their work. This book is equal parts inspiration, cultural criticism, and prescription for a better future.
  • Essays which you can find on his site www.billderesiewicz.com

Transcript

Russ (00:25):
Welcome to the lead different podcast. Thanks for listening. I have something exciting to intro today in just a few seconds moments minutes, you’ll be listening to the podcast that I had with William Deresiewicz. He’s my guest, the first of three episodes with the first episode, being “the death of friendship, a Jane Austin education and the lost art of listening” dropping today. You’ll be able to hear that in just a moment. I wanted to give an introduction because some of you may not be familiar with William Deresiewicz, as well as you may not be familiar with the idea of taking a conversation and breaking it down into three episodes. But this particular podcast guest was so incredible and interesting, insightful, and inspiring that we felt, or I felt rather that we needed to make sure we got it all to you in digestible loads, that you could be able to mine every nugget in it.

Russ (01:22):
When I was a kid, we used to have a thing called Campbell soup. And I remember they came out with chunky Campbell soup and they said, you could eat with a fork, but you want to eat with a spoon so you can get every drop. That’s what this is going to be like. Mr. Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and best selling author. He has published more than 280 essays and reviews. One, the Hyatt prize in the humanities, national book, critics circles Balakian award, as well as the Sydney award. He’s three time national magazine award nominee his work has appeared in the New York times, the Atlantic, Harpers, the American scholar, and many other publications. These works have been translated into 18 languages, and anthologized in more than 30 college and Scholastic readers. Bill taught English at Yale for 10 years before becoming a full-time writer in 2008, I discovered bill reading his essay titled the death of friendship with some of you may be familiar with after reading the lost art of friendship, which is on the lead different site.

Russ (02:24):
There are five words and I had more, but there are five words which describe Mr. Deresiewicz and his impact on my life and the impact I think you’ll receive if you take time to listen to each of these episodes, the first word is courage because he’s willing to speak the truth that may sound trite, or to some degree, it may sound like an overstatement because who really speaks the truth, but I’ll guarantee you, if you spend time reading his essays and you spend time reading his books, you will be inspired about his pattern of being like the public intellectuals of the past who spoke the truth to society, to culture, to individuals. It’s very compelling and you’ll learn courage. Even as you read the second word, is character, because he understands the necessity of living a complete life, which must possess equal parts, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual depth.

Russ (03:17):
The third word, which bill exemplifies is creativity, which is the capacity to ask the right questions and seek their answers rather than merely promoting conventional wisdom. Not a lot of people do that today. They simply try to sell articles and books, but they don’t actually get involved in asking the right questions, which actually lead us to the right answers, which are usually far below the surface, which leads to this thing, which I call the fourth word. The fourth is thinking, which that’s more than a word. The fourth is thinking something, every reader of his work will redefine as originality of thought developed from the deep reflection found in solitude, along with a type of deep conversations, only select friends can provide the fifth and final word is depth. That capacity to reach beyond the superficial, to discover the satisfying life that fulfills our greatest expectations.

Russ (04:12):
That may sound like an over promise, but I’ll guarantee you, if you spend the time reading and reflecting, following the guidance and traveling down the paths, that bill takes himself on. You can read about that in Jane Austen education that he takes us on. You can read about that in excellent shape, the miseducation of the American elite and the way to a meaningful life. And that he’s now with his new book, taking everybody on regarding creators and the creatives, the death of the artist, how creators are struggling to survive in the age of billionaires and big tech. Listening to the podcast, you’ll discover the thinking behind these three books and his collection of essays, which I highly recommend. Let’s go over that one more time. So you can jot this down before you get to listening a Jane Austin education, before you overreact to the title, know that this book is an excellent starting point for high school or college students looking to develop the capacity to think deeply about their life, this book can do the same for adults who wonder how their academic education failed to teach them how to think about life.

Russ (05:14):
Even though it taught them how to get a job, excellent sheep, the miseducation of the American elite and the way to a meaningful life is an excellent read for your high school juniors and seniors, as well as college undergraduate and graduate students. Parents of these students have benefited from the wisdom and depth found in these pages, helping them to understand higher education in the 21st century and how to guide your son or daughter toward the experience that will prepare them, not merely for a career, but for life. The death of the artist is his newest book. And I think a lot of those who live in Silicon Valley will find this book very compelling. And of course, in some of the great creative centers like Los Angeles and New York city, where we have listeners, I think you’ll want to get ahold of this book, the death of the artists, how creators are struggling, survive in the age of billionaires and big tech.

Russ (06:00):
It’s for every entrepreneur, regardless of your market. And especially for those who influence tech from Silicon Valley, this book will really get you started on one, understanding the challenge of being an artist in our time and also the path, the purpose and the possibilities that exist. If you go ahead and take a take on the risk and the possible rewards, finally, you can find his essays www.Bilderesiewicz.Com. All these will be in the show notes. And so without further, I don’t like saying further ado that such an overused term, right? So prepare yourself for one of the best podcasts you’ll ever want to listen to. Here’s my conversation with Bill Deresiewicz,

Russ (06:42):
Welcome to lead different. We’re excited today to be able to have a William to rescue it’s on the, on the podcast. Many of you are familiar with them because you’ve read the article. The law started friendship, where I quoted quite extensively from his work the death of friendship, but there’s a lot more there. I think a lot of you are going to be excited to be able to hear a read excellent sheet. You can get that on audio, or you can read it in print. And it’s exciting on both ways. I did both and the new book called the death of the artist which is really great for if you’re living in Silicon Valley and you’re a creative and most of us here believe we’re creatives. This is going to be a book you want to read mostly, I think because it kind of inspires you about being able to build your own creative enterprise, but also to be an entrepreneur.

Russ (07:27):
But here’s the other thing. It makes those of us in Silicon Valley think about what we’re building and what we’re doing to other people, which is something that sometimes we can forget about. And so that’s a great book. There are more books and we’ll mention them along the way, but I want to welcome William Deresiewicz to our podcast 10 years of teaching at Yale. And then you struck out on your own and you’ve created quite a little industry of deep thought. I call you a public intellectual. You may not call yourself that and an essayist, but thank you for coming and welcome. Thanks

William Deresiewicz (07:57):
For having me on it’s really my pleasure to be here with you.

Russ (08:00):
One of the things I did is when I was, I was reading your work is I thought of you when I was reading Emily Wilson came out with a new translation of the Odyssey and and she, she begins it really different and she begins it by saying, tell me about a complicated man. And I read that. And I was like, that sounds like you, because before we get into each of the books, I’m really curious about how you arrived. I mean, you’re an, you were an English professor. So part of it, I understand, but how you arrived at a point where you would look so insightfully and thoughtfully at calling, I think all people, and I’m going to say, especially Americans to think deeper about life, deeper about what we’re doing and where we’re taking society. How did, how did you get here?

William Deresiewicz (08:48):
Oh gosh, it’s a long and twisted road, much like Odysseus, although I wouldn’t compare myself to him in any other way, which I think is true of a lot of people is one of the things I tell students, like your path is not going to be linear. Certainly if you want to have an interesting life, it’s not going to be linear, right. So I will, I won’t drag you through all the stages, but you know, you asked me, how did I arrive at the point where I’m asking these deep questions, right. You know, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable putting it that way, but I understand what you’re saying. It’s not that I arrived at that. That’s always what I’ve cared about. Okay. Those are questions that I was asking myself or talking about with friends. I was very fortunate when I was in high school to be in a Jewish youth movement that helped us to ask those questions. A lot of what we did was sit around talking about those questions. And I guess I’ve been, I mean, I’ve been searching for context in which to learn about them and talk about them and think about them. And at one point that meant teaching literature which I really love to do and still really believe in. And now it means being a full-time writer.

Russ (09:51):
That’s great. You know, one of the things that I was in, when I was in college as a freshmen and then throughout high school, I did a lot of things, but I played basketball. I really got obsessed with basketball, was wanting to play in the NBA. I was like, I’m going to the NBA. And so I started being focused on that. I got out of high school, didn’t end up going to the NBA, went to college and I got an English professor and he gave me, I think, a C I hadn’t had one before. And he gave me a C on a paper. And I went to him and I said, what is, what’s the problem here? We have we have a communication problem or something here. He goes, no, it’s not up to the standard. He and I ended up building a friendship. And he, he challenged me that I wasn’t, I had stopped reading and thinking. And it was, it really was, it was really an incredible experience that shaped my life. But it sounds like in your work as professor and reading excellent sheep, the miseducation of our elite students, that that’s something you did is you spent a lot of time mentoring kids and helping them be able to learn, to ask these questions. Would that be accurate?

William Deresiewicz (10:53):
Absolutely. For me, teaching was about mentorship. Mentorship was the essence of the enterprise. So that affected the way I conducted class. But especially the fact, the way that I made myself available to students outside of class, you know, in office hours and students would come and we’d build relationships. I built relationship. I mean, many of them, I’m still in touch with some of them. I’m friends with 25 years later, you know, and have let them have open-ended conversations with me. That’s so much what it’s about. And I learned that mentorship is about listening, not talking it’s about asking questions, not about giving answers or giving advice, helping students hear themselves. And I think I would say the teaching in general, in the classroom as well, you know, there’s this image that a teacher has a lecture and, you know, there can be inspiring lectures for sure, but, but that’s not really what teaching is about to me. It’s about that seminar situation where you have a text in front of you or a question in front of you and you’re working out questions together, and you, your job as the teacher is to guide, to be open-minded to teach students to think rigorously. And again, to hear what they themselves are saying to hear it better, to articulate what they’re trying, what they’re groping towards better.

Russ (12:09):
Yeah. It’s difficult sometimes when you’re I, what was I 18, 19 years old, it’s difficult to navigate that. And for a lot of of our listeners, I know that many of them I guess a bit like myself, they had an ambition, they had a plan, they had a track and they were on it. And that was, that was what you, I thought I was supposed to do. And I was doing it. My professor ended up running into me and my going to my sophomore year. And he said, did you do the reading? Did you do the thinking over the summer? And I said, Oh yeah, I did. I really got after it. And I found my new philosophy of life. He said, well, what’s your new philosophy of life? I said, Ayn Rand, I’ve read everything. I could find. He looked at me and said, Ayn Rand.

Russ (12:47):
And he kind of, you know, made me question that. And then about 24 hours, I dropped Ayn Ran and said, I better find something different. And so I think that’s something you do in your writing. I looked at Jane Austin education. And one of the things that interested me was your writing about Emma. And you said something, you said, Emma, who had it all was forever discontent with the world around her, just like me and my perpetual fog of resentful gloom. Instead it was Ms. Bates scraping by facing a lonely old age dependent on everybody. Else’s Goodwill, who was the happy one. And as I read through and I looked, I thought that, that you, you came to, well, I guess it’s a conclusion. I thought it was. But Emma finally learned that everyday life is not only more joyful and more dramatic than she could have imagined it’s more joyful and more dramatic than anything she did imagine. And I was wondering what it was that you were teasing out, that we should know about appreciating the magic of everyday life and maybe how that connects to finding better and more deeper and richer meaning in life.

William Deresiewicz (13:49):
That’s a really good question. And I should say that that advice is, is always hard to follow. I mean, like, I think a lot of the best advice, it’s something that you have to perpetually refresh and renew for yourselves because so much takes us away from the appreciation of the everyday, from the appreciation of the things that are around us. I realized, you know, I think I read Emma, I was 26 and I had never, before really paid attention in a deep way to what was going on around me to the people around me. And it’s hard to put into words. It, it, it can just be when you, when you have to let go. I mean, I think you have to let go of your grip on your ego, right? On your ambition, on your self conceit on your arrogance. And there’s a, it’s a, it’s a form of mindfulness, right?

William Deresiewicz (14:42):
Just like, so of the people who teach us mindfulness can, can make us. It’s not that we see that the flower is beautiful because I think you can always see that it’s beautiful. There’s a feeling, there’s a feeling there’s a powerfulness of feeling that really hits you and arrests you when you really stop worrying about the next thing you’re going to do and see the flower or see the person in front of you and happiness is elusive. I’m not going to say that, you know, I’m, I’m happy minute to minute. I think happiness is not actually a good goal to aim at. Yes, I agree. But I do think that that, that there can be a fullness, let’s say a fullness of experience that becomes possible when you let go of the grip of the ego and really kind of let the world take you, you know, take you.

Russ (15:35):
Yeah, I think, you know, I think one of the things that is important for those who are listening for everybody out there, whether you’re doing laundry or you’re driving in your car, going to work, I know I’ve got some people they’re driving at 5:00 AM to work is they work in a, in a, in a certain arena. And the Jane Austen education, some people don’t like literature that much or because they haven’t had a chance to, to really dive into it. I think you talk and we’ll hopefully get to this later about your journey of of, of becoming, going into English from, I think biology and but I think getting this book for some of you who might be like, why would I read a Jane Austin education? Well, it, it really is, in my opinion, a deep dive into reflection, which a lot of us have a hard time doing on our own learning, how to reflect and think about life. And so I recommend that book and it’ll be in our show notes. If you want to check that one out. Now, the one that I got me rolling on you was the death of friendship. I got it. I just going to ask the question, what led to you writing that book or that essay?

William Deresiewicz (16:37):
The internet led me, Facebook led me. It was 2008. It was right. It was the same year that I left academia. And I moved out here to Portland and people I knew were joining Facebook. And one, one friend in particular convinced me like, you have to be on Facebook. Everyone’s on Facebook. Okay. I was on Facebook and, and it was, you know, great at first, I mean, you connect with people and I had just left all my friends back East, et cetera, et cetera. But I started to notice what it was doing to me and to my friendships. So I wrote two essays. One was called the end of solitude. Yes. That was the first one about solitude and how I felt that solitude was being taken away from us because it’s not about being alone in the room. It’s about being alone with yourself, with your thoughts. Right. And then that sort of the next, the next thought about that was what is this doing to our friendships? And so it involved, you know, it was kind of urgent for me to kind of work this out and articulate what I felt was happening and it involved a lot of introspection about it. And also both of those essays start with a history, you know, how did we get here? What did it look like before? Why was solitude important? Where did it come from?

Russ (17:50):
One of my favorite lines actually, and I wrote it down, cause I didn’t want to forget. I love it is how did we come to this past? And I think it’s a transition sentence from describing all the, you have been seeing the idea of friendship. This one, this one blew me away. Bill it, bloom. It just brought me the idea of friendship in ancient times could not have been more different. And you talk about the fact and you talk about a really a variety of people, both anxious, biblical. It’s really interesting. And you say this far from being ordinary and universal friendship for the anxious was three things rare, precious, and hard one. I, I, I think, and I’m a big user of technology and have benefited from technology, but there’s very little rare, precious and hard one about getting a Facebook friend or even following someone on Twitter.

Russ (18:38):
And one of the things I’ve talked to people about, and like I said, I’ve lived in Silicon Valley is in the speed of life. It becomes easy to diminish the definition of what real friendship is. And like you write about before, you know, it, everyone is called a friend, but no one actually is a friend. And so when you were writing, what’s the one or two things. If you were going to give someone a tip and say, look, if you’re really going to build quality friendships, knowing that I know I don’t always do that, but if you really going to build quality friendships, here’s two takeaways that you can explore and look at to be able to say, this is, this is going to be the standard by which I live.

William Deresiewicz (19:16):
Oh gosh. Well, let me go back a second because I realized as you’re talking that I didn’t really unpack what was behind that essay for me, because let me say, you know, I mentioned this Jewish youth movement that I was in, in high school and in college as well. It was, it was all about building really, really deep friendships. I mean, you go to summer camp together and you’re there. Maybe you’re a counselor in summer camp. I mean so much of who I became as a young adult and how I learned to establish my own identity away from my family and the community that I came from. So much of what was precious and valuable to me in my life all the way through my twenties was about my friends was about friendship. And how are those friendships built? I mean, through, you know, common experiences for sure, but mainly in, especially through very long conversations.

William Deresiewicz (20:10):
And then also there used to be this thing. We, we did call writing letters and, you know, before the internet, and I remember spending hours writing like a 10 page typing like a 10 page single space letter to a friend who was living in another country, like this was really crucial stuff. So when I think about recapturing friendships or maintaining the friendships that I still have, I still think about those things. And, and how do you have a long conversation or a long written exchange? Well, you have to obviously give yourself the time for that and you have to sit down without a clock running in your head again, it’s open-ended we have all the time in the world. We’re not rushing anywhere.

Russ (20:54):
Boy, that’s a great point

William Deresiewicz (20:56):
That, and I would say the other thing is learning how to listen,

William Deresiewicz (21:03):
I have to say one of the, one of the ways that I really, when I meet a new person one of the most important things that I I’ve quite frankly judged them about is whether they’re capable of listening. And I would say most people aren’t and and I think listening it’s it’s, I mean, I guess the professionals call it active listening. Yes. You know, you’re asking questions, but you’re not asking questions for the sake of asking questions. You’re asking questions because you’re actually interested and, and a question that can show the person that you’ve taken in, what they’re saying, and it’s making you think, and you’re, you know, receiving their experience. You talk about the Odyssey. I taught the Odyssey and great books classes. And I remember the person who taught me the Odyssey when I was doing the teacher training, talked about how the Odyssey says, Odyssey shows us that the, that the, that the highest act of humanity is to ask someone for their story and want to listen to it.

William Deresiewicz (22:06):
And Odysseus is washed up after all these years of wandering in Phikeia, it’s like the place where we can finally catch his breath. They sit him down, they give him a bath, they feed him and then they ask him for his story. And then we get the next four books. He goes all the way back to try and tells us about the Cyclops in Searcy and everything. Okay. And the other author where I really found that lesson was Jane Austin, especially Mansfield park, poor little Fanny. She’s the poor relation. Nobody even notices her, but her older brother, step a step brother. Tell me about your family. You know, you came to us from your poor family. Tell me about them. And she’s like, her gratitude with, for him is lifelong. Like, that’s the best thing anyone’s ever done for her.

Russ (22:50):
You’re talking about old books right now, which I love. And you’re talking about, I believe in the essay solitude on leadership, or it was electronic. And you talk about the importance of reading all books. And I’m changing my little script around because you got me going on that. And I had to you know, really well, I’ve always loved reading. My mother was a teacher and she had her master’s in reading, teaching it and everything like that. And so I’ve always read a lot. What, as you’re, as you’re sort of unpacking that, and you mentioned that your Jewish movement youth group a couple of times, I relate to that when you combine relationships with the willingness to read about times earlier than our time, do you think those two things give us the perspectives to make maybe better judgments about where we’re at, because when you have the trends and you’re listening to them, and I agree with you about the story, is that something that helps someone have let’s use the word wisdom, gives them wisdom. So even if you’re young, maybe you can add to your wisdom by having good friends and great books that have a little age on them.

William Deresiewicz (24:02):
I love the questions you’re asking me. They’re not questions people usually ask me and they’re making me think, and they’re getting it really, really important stuff. I think any book that comes to you from outside of your own experience is a great book to read. I have to say, this is why it really distresses me, that students are now being taught that they should only read books by people who are quote, unquote, look like them or like them. Yeah. Yeah. I hate to think where I would be if I had only read books by Jews, Jewish authors of which there are many, and I love many of them or men. I mean the whole thing in Jane Austin education, which is about my history with Jane Austen, is that I learned that there’s women authors have something to teach me beautiful. So I think so I don’t think it has to be old books per se, but an old book is going to be a book that comes to us.

William Deresiewicz (24:51):
First of all, it comes to us from a different time. It’s a different way. It’s just by that fact, a different way of looking at the world. Second of all, if it’s old and it’s, and you’re reading it, it means that it’s, it’s almost certainly means that it’s a really good book because it wouldn’t have survived as something that people talk about being worth reading. If that weren’t the case. Right. And, and to me, you’ve put your finger on sort of what the most important thing that reading gives us is which is the ability to see ourselves better by showing us how other people see the world by helping us imagine our way into other people’s experiences. And I don’t think other, and the only other thing that can do that, I’ve never put this together before. Like that the only other thing that can do that is friendship, right? The only way to know people that intimately, right friendship, you know, or obviously marriage, or, you know, a romantic relationship, but these are the things that give us real access to people and help us to understand that other people are just as valid and just as valuable, their, their perspectives are just as valid. And they are just as valuable as we are, which to me is maybe the highest or one of the highest spiritual teachings, but we’re not the center of the universe.

Russ (26:12):
Yeah. It took me a long time to learn that one, that I wasn’t the center of the universe, you know, going to college, I tell people a big part of going to college is is, is finding out that you’re not as great as you thought you were and that that’s okay.

Russ (26:30):
We promised, and I’m sure you agree with me. We delivered. That was the first episode. And we’ve got two more to come. And I think that’s exciting. But while you’re thinking about this episode, don’t forget to go over, to Bill Deresiewicz’s site. You can look and follow the links to some of his essays. One of which I’m working on right now, producing an article on solitude and leadership by William Deresiewicz. I think I’m going to call that how to become a leader. Here’s a quote. Solitude is the very essence of leadership.

Russ (27:00):
This is the lead different podcasts. Make sure you help us out by giving us five stars. If you don’t mind and sharing this with your friends, we’re going to be producing more and more guests of this quality. And I think you and your friends will benefit a lot. And we’d love to have your support to help us be able to continue to grow our audience and be able to bring great content to people who are looking for inspiration about living a life at home, at work, at play in school, the life of a leader. Thanks a lot. Lead different join us again next week.

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