I do what you know, before we close for you to talk a little bit more about your life before politics, because I think most of us are aware of your career as a best selling author, but we don't have as much insight into that.
That Marion and how you were able to communicate all of these things which are considered to be radical in the political sphere to a more for lack of a better word, Normy audience like who were you talking to and why do you think they were so receptive to what you were pitching?
OK, well, first of all, I told you something about my father when I was 12 years old. I came home from school and I told my parents that my seventh grade teacher or however I think that's 12, whatever, my seventh grade teacher had said that if we didn't fight in Vietnam that we would be fighting on the shores of Hawaii. It was called the domino theory. My father stood up. He said, that's it, God damn it.
He said to my mother, get the visas, we're going to Vietnam. I just didn't go to my children's brains. God damn bastard. You have to understand, my father, he took us to Saigon. Wow. This is where I want I grew up with now when I went to college, we read in the morning lambdas and Alan Watts, and in the afternoon we went to anti-war Vietnam War anti-war protests. So when I was growing up, they weren't these separate categories.
It was a revolutionary time. That was sexual revolution, musical revolution, a social revolution, political revolution, spiritual revolution. The two did not exist and they separate lanes. Now, I never lost to my political sensibilities or my political activism. It's just that I felt that my talents and abilities, I found where I felt I had the highest role to play. And when my father said to me, these were my father's words, what happened to you?
I raised you way to the revolution, what happened to you? And I said to him, I believe love is the greatest revolution today. I believe it is the greatest revolution. And he thought and he said, you're right. Now, I actually feel right now that the intersection of the two, it's exactly what is needed. See, because after the assassinations in the nineteen sixties, the spiritual camp and the political camp separated and they both looked with mutual disdain on one another.
Do you think that is? Well, I think what happened was that those assassinations. Created a what today would be called a trauma, a collective trauma among a generation, we were young, I was very young in 1968, I was 16 years old. Those assassinations, in a way, psychically shot an entire generation of Americans. You look at Bobby, you looked at Martin, you looked at Eugene McCarthy. They were holding aloft in the political sphere that you your humanistic issues that you were talking about before.
They were saying politics and just playing a politics that was a container for our highest philosophical aspirations, which are the highest American ideals. They were shot and killed literally in front of our eyes. And then just in case we hadn't gotten the point, they assassinated those kids at the students, just like us at Kent State. The message went out very loud and clear. There will be no further protest. No, you will do whatever you want in the private sector and you'll be so free there.
You can buy the green one. You can buy the red hat, you can buy the yellow one, but you will leave the public sector alone to whoever it was that wanted to control it so badly they were willing to kill in order to do that. Now, an entire generation just did, as we were told, and took all this amazing talent, amazing ability, amazing educational level, amazing intelligent, imported into the private sector, because whether we were conscious of it or not, we had been warned away from the public sector.
And then those who went with politics, with the polite cut. All right. And became so juiced, I don't know how the left became so boring and juiced, including spiritually Bobby and Martin and JFK saying we cannot afford to be materially rich, but spiritually for. So I, I somehow the disconnection never occurred in me. And because I was so devoted to spiritual things which I remain to be and which Martin was, by the way, I mean, this is not this didn't used to be seen as an odd thing during the Vietnam War, the Berrigan brothers and William Sloane Coffin, there was a serious political left at that time.
So I just majored in spirituality, minored and in politics. You didn't see it, but I was always. But then what happened? For me, there is a story that was written by a Protestant theologian, and I don't remember his name. And I think of this story as what I think of as the story of the transformation of the Good Samaritan to the conscious Samaritan. The Good Samaritan is walking down the road and he sees a beggar and it gives the beggar arms.
And then he walks down the road to more and gives a beggar, sees the beggar and gives the beggar arms. And then he walks down the road to more and sees the beggar and gives the beggar arms. And then at some point he says. Why are there so many pictures and I saw something shift in my career about 20 years ago, I worked a lot with eight patients. My career is based on working with people in the most difficult moments of their despair.
But I saw something happen. Something definitely changed around 20 years ago where I saw too many people living with too much despair who shouldn't be living with that despair. In the richest country in the world, they had done everything right. They had done everything right. This doesn't make sense. This doesn't make sense. And I began to say, no, these are not individual issues. These are the effects of bad public policy are they are passing public policies that are soulless, that have no heart, that have no compassion, that are causing all this unbelievable pain and suffering and then dumping it on people like me and clergy and psychotherapists that you handle it.
And I went along with that. And then I lived in Detroit for eight years. What I saw on such a level. And I wasn't raised to be quiet when the motherfuckers of that loud.