Support for on being with Krista Tippett comes from the Fetzer Institute, helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. Fatso's new study. What does spirituality mean to us? Reveals how spirituality informs our understanding of ourselves and each other and inspires us to take action for the common good. Explore these findings and more at spirituality study, Doug. After Arlie Hochschild published her book, Strangers in their Own Land, Anger and Mourning on the American Right, just before the 2016 election, it came to feel prescient.
And the conversation I had with her in 2018 has now come to a point straight at the heart of 2020, a year in which most of us might say we feel like strangers in our own land and in our own world.
Arlie Hochschild created the field of the sociology of emotion. The social impact of emotion and emotion is now out on the surface of our life together on every side. She explains how our stories and truths, what we try to debate as issues are felt, not merely factual and why, as a matter of pragmatism, we have to take emotion seriously and do what feels unnatural.
Get curious and caring about the other side doesn't mean that you're capitulating.
See, that's the misunderstanding, I think, especially on the left. Oh, if you listen to them, that means you've been taken over.
Not at all. Not at all. It just means being emotionally intelligent. That's right. We all need to be makers. If you want to make a social contribution, help build a public conversation about the big issues of the day. You have to really be good at an emotional attachment. You know, it's a contribution to the larger whole to be really good at that. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being. The research for strangers in their own land took Arlie Hochschild back and forth for years between Berkeley, California, where she's now a professor emerita, and southwest Louisiana, a Tea Party stronghold at that movement's height.
Arlie Hochschild was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
So you were the child of a foreign service officer. So you sound like you grew up all over the world.
Yeah, I lived in Israel and from age 12 to 14, very pivotal experience. And then New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand. And then my folks were in Ghana and I spent a summer in Ghana. But by then I was in college and then they were in Tunisia.
So I was very fortunate really to get to experience all that.
Yeah, all of that, yeah.
Was there a religious or spiritual background to your childhood in your family or in those places? Yeah, yeah.
I would say my parents were very religious Unitarians. So and for Unitarians, the message I took away is that it's a very big world and we have to learn to get to know and empathize with and yeah, people in radically different cultures.
I think by the time I was 16, I had that message, but I felt something missing and I got interested in the Quakers who seemed to be much more OK.
So what are we going to do about it? You know, Unitarians were very talky talkers.
You know, talk, talk, talk of the Quakers looked like they were kind of the they were doers. Yeah.
Well, then I think how you've spoken about how living in that diplomatic world, you know, so you are you are known within sociology as the founder of the sociology of emotion.
And I just want to kind of summarize and you tell me if I get this wrong, that but it feels important and I want to really dive deep into that so that the backdrop of in terms of how we analyze and address political and social dynamics, and especially in a time of discord like this. Yes.
Where where the sides become more defined and everybody seems incomprehensible to everybody else. And so, you know, you describe in the book kind of there are ways of thinking about how people are being manipulated or bought. There are ways of analyzing how people may are being misled. And then there are ways of us describing, you know, how we're just different and that there are distinct cultural values. And you've said that for you, and especially as you watch these last few years unfold and in American and now global life, like what is missing for you in all of this?
While all of these ways of analyzing are useful, what's missing is an acknowledgement of the reality of emotion in politics.
Right. And empathy and empathy. Right.
You know, the idea of emotion being basic and foundational to social and political life is not new. I mean, Max Faber talked to that and Emile Durkheim. So that's not new. But I found that this important foundational reality of our feelings, we didn't have a language, a way of conceptualizing it that was useful. And so certainly three decades ago, the idea was that either you were thinking or you were you were emotional.
And so I thought there's something wrong about that, because when you're emotional, you you are seeing the world in a particular way and you have thoughts about the way you see it.
You know, you are thinking. And when you're rational, I mean, take the stock exchange or people are making rational decisions about buy, sell, buy, sell stocks on the stock exchange.
They're excited, they're elated, they're depressed, they're emotional.
So these two are intertwined in ways we have not carefully understood. So, yes, it led me to become extremely interested in emotion in many. Leeching emotions, evoking emotions and suppressing emotions in daily life and in work. So I got interested in that.
I mean, you're shining a light. I think that's so important. Yes. It that we don't have a language for it, but that also especially in the late 20th century, I think we don't we don't know how to take emotion seriously.
But but I think this is such an important statement you make that, you know, that runs all the way through the work that also we think the other side is being emotional and we are not.
And that the really important realization is that we are all that this is a piece of how we are all inhabiting them all.
That's right. That's right. That's right. Exactly. Yeah.
And that it's social, right. If you that's one of your big points that that this line between our private emotional lives and social realities is, is like acknowledging that is just being reality based. It's kind of like being in the world as it is and not as we fantasize it should be.
Right, right. In my latest book, Strangers in their Own Land, I got very interested in something I called the Deep Story. Yeah, which is a way of thinking about emotion. I live and have long taught sociology at Berkeley in California, which is a blue state, as you know, that blue town that I've heard.
And and in 2011, I realized that already the country was falling apart. There were increasing divide between Democrats, Republicans left, right. And that I didn't understand those on the right and that I was in a bubble. So I determined to get out of my bubble and come to know people that were as far right as Berkeley, California, was left, right.
And to try and climb what I called an empathy wall to permit myself a great deal of curiosity about the experiences and viewpoints of people that I knew I would have differences with. And it turned out to be an extraordinary experience. It took me five years of really getting to know people, asking, you know, where they were born, where their school was, what row they sat in in school, what their favorite thing to do was where their ancestors were buried and in the course of going fishing with them and of course, really getting to know them.
I came up with this idea of a deep story as a way of getting to emotion.
So that wasn't a phrase you'd use before that. The deep story know the narrative was felt right. That's such an important.
So how would you start to tell, you know, how would you start to tell that deep story of our time as you inhabited it?
Well, that experience, what I came to feel and realize is that both the left and the right have different deep stories. So what is a deep story? A deep story is what you feel about a highly salient situation that's very important to you. You take facts out of the deep story. You take moral precepts out of the deep story. It's just what feels true. And I think we all have deep stories, whatever our politics, but that we're not fully aware of them, that they're dreamlike and are told through metaphor.
And the metaphor for the right wing deep story that I describe in strangers is that you're waiting in line for the American dream, that you feel very much to serve. It's like waiting in a pilgrimage and the light line isn't moving and has your feet are tired. You feel you are properly deserving of this reward. That's ahead. And the idea is you don't begrudge anyone. Right? Right. OK, this in this right deep story, you don't begrudge anyone.
You're not a hateful person.
But you see then the second moment of the right wing deep story, somebody cutting ahead of you. Why are they getting special treatment? And then in another moment, the president of the country, Barack Obama, who should be tending fairly to all waiters in line, seems to be waving to the line cutters. And he, in fact, is he a line cutter?
The idea, yes. How did his mother she was a single mother, not a rich woman, afford a Harvard education, a Columbia education, something fishy. That that was the thought there. And so in a final moment, someone from the coasts, someone highly educated, someone from that so-called elite turns around and they're really close to the prize or they have the prize, but they turn around, look at the other who are waiting in line and say, oh, you backward, southern, ill educated.
Racist, redneck, sexist, homophobic, redneck, right, and then that is the estranging thing to that insult, and then they felt like strangers in their own land. Wait a minute. And they would say, one man told me, I live your metaphore. Another one said, You read my mind. Another one said, no, you have it wrong that the people are waiting in line or paying for the line cuts.
And so that's why we're enraged and said, oh, look, we leave that line, we secede. You know, we're getting another leader. Yeah.
So they gave different candidates. Yeah. But you can see it's my effort to get at feeling. Yeah. And how detached it can become from facts.
Yes. And something I think a lot about. And to me this comes through in you talking about the deep story because in that and as you said, the facts that facts and moral precepts arise out of the deep story we actually have, we take them, we all take them out of the story and move them from it.
What about facts?
And it's not about moral rights either. It's a felt truth and body count. When I went back and forth between Berkeley and the people I came to know and really respect in the other world of the south southwest Louisiana, I came to to realize that there were different truths, living a different truth. So there are facts, I believe, in the reality.
Yes, yes. The deep story. And again, we all have a deep story. It repels certain facts that don't fit it and it invites other facts that do. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being Today with the esteemed sociologist of emotion, Arlie Hochschild. You in a strangers in their own land, take up what you call a keyhole issue to kind of go deep into what are the dynamics that collect around a specific subject and to really understand the dynamics.
And you talk about the great paradox and, you know, you point at this dynamic that in the part of the country you're in, there is, well, first of all, an abundant and beautiful natural environment and great pollution and great resistance to regulating polluters. And I think that's such an example of where people from the outside of all the dynamics that go into that would say it's just obvious and.
But, you know, there's there's a background, I think, right, right. Partly, I think people I came to know in Louisiana felt that the federal government was a bigger, badder version of local government. And the truth is that in the state of Louisiana, the local government, that it's the state government has not protected people from pollution.
You know, there's a there's this passage in the book that I and strangers in their own land that I, I just this is an example of this. And maybe this is a person you're talking about. You know, Harold, someone in the state always seems to come down on the little guy he knows. This is take this by you. If you're motorboat leaks a little gas into the water, the warden or write you up. But if companies leak thousands of gallons of it and kill all the life here, the state lets them go.
I don't know. That example hits home.
It may. I can see that. Yes. Yes. The big companies are so rich and powerful that they basically have bought the legislature and that the words that the companies have outsourced the moral dirty work to the state.
So they say, OK, you know, let's let's get a legislature that goes along with our development. Let's talk jobs, jobs, jobs. And so the companies with the money that the state gives them in this, I think it was one point six billion dollars that was in the last five years in Louisiana offered to companies.
To come in with that public money. It came from taxes.
They then can make donations to the Audubon Society or for new football uniforms for LSU games.
You know, they're looking good and setting up third grade classes in chemistry.
Meanwhile, the state officials, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, is being very weak and giving out permits, as one of the people I interviewed said, like candy.
So the state looks terrible. The company looks good. It's kind of emotional, actual manipulation, you could say, to get you to feel like the company is your friend and to feel like the state is your enemy.
Yeah. And there's you also describe this interesting dynamic that that, again, is is nuanced. It's not something that would be obvious to anybody. I mean, a lot of this is true, but mean. For example, you.
You have this chapter called the remembers, and there's something where you add this, there's this amazing sentence about a sociological understanding, that memory just in general is an indirect expansion of power. And then you say so ironically, strangely, embarrassingly, the memory of Southern environmental glory fell in part to respectful clerks in federal offices and to northern environmentalists.
Are so much complexity there? Yeah, isn't that break your heart?
Yeah, it does. Mine, yes. Oh, yes. Yeah.
Because the people I came to know are know more about the environment. They know, you know, which fish are in what area where you said the crab pots where you know what ducks you can shoot at. What period of, of the year they love their land. And yet and yet they're they're caught. I mean, people working in the plants. And I talked to a woman who said, you know, I asked you, do you talk to your neighbors about the environment?
She said, you know, our neighbors work in the plants and I don't want to hurt their feelings. I don't want them to feel accused. Yeah.
You know, as if the people working in the plants would take on the guilt. Right. Or so that goes along out a person you know or a person you know.
It's not their personal guilt. It's a company policy and it's the absence of regulation.
Here are the rules here. Right. You know, like California has very strict rules. We enjoy a cleaner environment as a result. It's that that level, the guilt. It's not a personal one. Right. So that was very poignant and sweet of her to be mindful that, you know, an operator might feel accused.
Yes. And again, like poignant. This whole thing gets. It does well. And what you are shining a light on is the human complexity here. And we may think it does make things messy. Right. But again, you know, I just feel like you are for this is saying let's let's deal with reality, not wishful thinking, and let's talk about reality and not wishful thinking by having a civil, respectful public conversation.
Yeah. You know, where nobody is is bullying conversationally. Anybody else you know, you're coming together to see if there can be common ground on the environment. And there can be I think the people I came to know were very interested and very approving of renewables. In fact, there's something called the Green Tea Movement that is Tea Party. That's all for renewables. But we're not even finding that common ground because we aren't even respectfully reaching out to look for it.
We're in our bubble still. In fact, I think that problem remains with us and especially on the left.
I think there's a kind of a rigid sort of inward turning. I would say. I find it very sad. I think we have to reach out looking for potential common ground.
After a short break, more from my conversation with Arlie Hochschild. You can always listen again on the On Being podcast feed wherever podcasts are found.
And being is brought to you by the John Templeton Foundation, harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind, learn about the 2020 Templeton Prize winner Dr. Francis Collins and his work to find a cure for covid-19 at Templeton Prize. Doug. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being Today, a conversation with sociologist of emotion Arlie Hochschild on how our stories as felt rather than merely factual, shape our life together. The five years she spent between Berkeley, California and southwest Louisiana while writing her 2006 book, Strangers in their Own Land, has given her singular insight into current political and social dynamics.
We started out speaking about your your work in sociology and your focus on the sociology of emotion and and taking emotion seriously, which I really it's hard for me to imagine anybody could argue that emotion does, in fact, seriously matter in politics now.
But, you know, and then there's an obvious extension of that here, which is that we need emotional intelligence. Right. I mean, that's what mediation to. And we need to say this is as important as all of our other forms of intelligence that we that we wield. Yes. That we wield very confidently and boldly.
You could say that much of my work has been an effort one way or another to honor and try and get the world to honor the importance of emotional intelligence as especially as used by service workers, you know, caregivers, child care workers, elder care workers, who anybody in the service industry is using emotional intelligence.
And it matters enormously that we all learn to do it well and don't sneer at it.
But in fact, see that really the crust of society is very thin, you know, and it needs to be kind of it needs water and sun and nurture is so that it's not as brittle as it has now become in America.
Yeah, our life together needs caregiving.
Yes. Also, I feel that we actually possess more intelligence about how to be in relationship across where differences present and where true misunderstanding is that we have a lot of intelligence about that in our families.
Yes, we do. And you know, when I set out on this odyssey, people would I got two kinds of responses which were very interesting.
One was, oh, I couldn't do that.
I'd be so mad. I know those people are wrong. And the other one was, oh, you're going where you're going to send me?
Oh, they wouldn't say it. But the kind of facial expression. Well, maybe you're pretty right yourself.
In other words, you're going to an enclave in which you will be embraced as similar. What was missing from those two responses was the idea that you can be exactly who you are. Yeah. And take your alarm system off, climb an empathy wall and get to know people on the other side of it. And I don't. And then I got. Oh, you must be especially empathic. No, not at all. In fact, you know, I think we're all actually extremely good at it.
The only thing is we don't apply that skill, that knowledge to getting to know the other.
And whether we define as. Huh, that's the only thing different.
I did. Yeah, I noticed that because I looked at and read a number of interviews that were done, you know, interviews you gave and have given across your site.
Notice that a great number of especially, let's say, the progressive interviewers they like, they remark with great astonishment on your kindness.
Right. I kind of like how could you be so kind? And it in in a way, it kind of models kind of the rut we're in. Right. They that right.
Or want to kind feel right. All right.
What do you do with somebody said asso after Charlottesville now that we've seen that.
Yeah. How can you talk to these people, you know. Yeah. And and to me another great paradox of engaging difference, which is you describe right.
Is, you know, you said it's not about going in and saying, change my mind.
I want to be a Republican. Right. Or I want to join the Tea Party or for or expecting them to because they engage with you say, you know, I want to I want to be at Berkeley.
Why didn't say you didn't change your politics. But what you said and and I think this is true and I know you've seen as a sociologist across all kinds of like meaningful encounter with difference. You said it enlarged me as a human being. Right.
Right. It did. It did.
And to be able to imagine myself into a different heart, one man told me, you know, look, we have similar minds and we have similar hearts, but we have different souls.
I thought that was so interesting. And so I said to him, thank you for saying that. Would you be a co sociologist with me and figure out how the souls are different?
And he looked at me, Scratch said, Well, I'm not sure what I know what you mean, but you're.
Oh, yeah. You know, this empathy thing, another wonderful encounter was with gospel singer who was sitting across the table at a meeting of Republican women of southwest Louisiana.
And she said, oh, I love Rush Limbaugh. Well, I first thought, oh, my goodness.
And then I thought. Wonderful. I here's a chance for me to get larger here, so I said to her, could we meet a sometime this week for some sweet teas? And you can explain what you why you love Rush Limbaugh. And she said, yes, sure. So the next day we're meeting for Sweetie's. And she explains, I love Rush Limbaugh because he hates feminazi. So I thought, oh, my goodness. So I asked her, well, what is a feminazi?
Well, it's it's a feminist who, you know, doesn't like children, doesn't, you know, once meant Coke. And she goes on to environmental wackos, you know, it's people that want to regulate us to death.
And after I'm asking her, she stops me and says, you've told me that you come from, you know, the other side. Is it hard for you to listen to me? And I told her, actually, it's not hard at all. I have my alarm system off. And you were I'm learning about you and you are doing me such a big favor to share your thoughts. I can't. I grateful I am. And then she says, take your alarm system off.
I do that, too.
She says, I do it with my kids. I do my parishioners.
Right. And I thought, you know, OK, well, let's start with that, you know. Yeah. Little common ground.
We in fact, do that all the time because I was say, what do you mean when you when we say, you know, do you is it a moment where you say, OK, but but actually we it's a habit we have and in the other.
Right, we do it at work. Right.
Because you can't just blurt out how you really feel about what someone said at every moment.
Oh, no, no. There are rules about that. There should be. It's kind of the ground rules of social. Interesting. Yeah, yeah.
One thing I get really better at it than than we are. So that's a great invitation. Yes. Doesn't mean that you're capitulating. See, that's the misunderstanding I think. Yeah. Especially on the left. Oh. If you listen to them that means you've been taken over and not at all.
No, not at all. It just means being emotionally intelligent.
You've developed a way of talking. Yeah, actually, that is the fundamental flaw of social interaction when you Barellan in there and ignore the competence and identity that person is talking to.
Yeah, it's just counterproductive. It is counterproductive. And I sometimes want to say the way people talk down to. You know, any point, right, that might be made. I sometimes want to say, you know, do you want to be right in every moment, you know, or do you want to be part of the larger healing?
That's right. That's right. We all need to be makers. If you want to make a social contribution, help build a public conversation about the big issues of the day.
In order to do that, you have to really be good at an emotion management. You know, make it it's a contribution to the larger whole to be really good at that. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being Today with the esteemed sociologist of emotion, Arlie Hochschild. One of the poignant things I felt, you know, throughout strangers in their own land and this time you've spent in Louisiana is. And it's the Bible Belt, right?
It's one of the things you found, which I think is an interesting critique for, you know, the more the side that considers itself to be enlightened is that regulation that a lot of the things are coming at people as what needs to be done, in fact, is not about repairing like not about how do we get whole.
I mean, you said, you know, the question of how could repairs be made? A lot of people find, you know, that their Bibles are more useful in that sense than the government. Mm hmm.
So that's a question. OK, what has the government done for you? Let's you know, maybe they have a point.
Maybe it hasn't lived up to its promise or maybe it's getting blamed for things it didn't do.
OK, let's figure that out. Let's have a respectful public conversation about just that.
Is the government kind of, in fact, letting people down, you know, or are they expecting too much of it? What's the record? You know, let's let's talk about that and the specifics. Yeah, yeah.
There's you know, there's a paragraph in your book where you just list you say, even among the most ardent and extreme. I think maybe this was another interview you gave. You said even among the most ardent and extreme people you met over five years of research, you found specific issues on which there was potential for coalition safeguarding children on the Internet, reducing prison populations for nonviolent offenders, protecting against commercialization of the human genome, pushing for good jobs, rebuilding our rail system, roads and bridges and our social infrastructure.
That is so interesting to think about.
What have we started by saying what we could start talking about tomorrow?
Right. Right where we're not hanging fruit, right? Yeah. Yeah, that's right.
And do it in the in the spirit we've been talking about. Yeah.
Mm hmm. You and strangers in their own land, you near the end, you say you write a letter to a friend on the liberal left. You write a letter to and Louisiana friends on the Earth.
You'd say, you know, if you imagine if I if I had a right to my friends in Louisiana on the right or the right to a liberal friend.
I mean, there was a sentence in in your letter to your friend on the liberal left. And I just again, it's humanizing and it's provocative in a human way. Consider the possibility that in their situation, you might end up closer to their perspective.
I think I think that's true, that we are products of our own experience, you know, and what if you grew up in a family?
So many said, oh, we were poor, but we didn't know it had a great childhood, but we were poor, didn't know it.
OK, what if that had been your experience? And what if your dad's job and how much he earned was the central fact of your life? You know, and what if it was a blue collar job but you felt put down for doing that blue collar job?
No, I think there's something actually missing in the entire vocabulary we have for talking about social class.
Yeah, because I didn't go just to another region or to people with different political views.
I went to a different social class and there is a lot of sneering on the left at the blue collar class that felt like they're serious. Look, we're the elite workers. We're climbing the telephone pole to repair your telephone wire or repaving roads. We're who are you, you know, to put that down. And there's a lot of humble pie to eat here. And I think it's a problem. I didn't know when I set out that I would come back and be as critical of a little cocoon.
I've long been in here as I am. And a kind of you know, it's not only a contempt that really bothers me now whenever I hear it or see it, and that is buried to some degree. But there's a kind of reluctance to to reach out. It's as if on the left there's a lot of good political will, but it's gotten curled up in onto itself and become a kind of a self-monitoring program. Oh, you said this. Instead of reaching out to build coalitions because we're a big country in ruins like us, everyone's like them, what we need our sturdy coalitions.
And I think labor unions, when the labor movement was much larger and there there was a way that people of different colors and classes got together.
And when you had a compulsory draft to write with different colors and and classes got together, a natural way is an experience.
Yeah. Yeah. Public schools have done this, but we're down on those those crossover connective institutions. I think we need to build another one. I would like to see a civil service, you know, one year required of everyone.
Of everyone where everyone. Yeah. Yeah, of everyone. And you go to a different region and get to know people. First of all, get to know how to treat people respectfully and listen actively.
Everybody should learn those skills and then go across to see if we can rebuild those that connective tissue.
Yeah, I'm sure people have said to you and I get into this conversation myself, that this critique that, you know, there are all kinds of groups of people, including like people of color who have long felt like strangers in their own land in this country. Oh, yeah. And then ruthlessly. Right. And it's. Yeah, yes.
And especially now yet again. And it's when white people, you know, the critique that white people wake up to this phenomenon when it's about other white people.
Mm hmm. How do you how do you work with that in your mind?
I say it's true. And I think it's it's an important insight. Yes, I I think it's an excellent point. I mean, for example, the opiate. Yes. Addiction problem has has been oh, now they're called diseases of despair and which is kind of a compassionate way to crack.
Epidemic was nice, whereas the crack epidemic in the inner cities which hit blacks wasn't it was criminalized benignly. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Even worse.
So it's a it's a point that should be broadly received.
Yeah. So I want to draw to a close to suspend just such a big wonderful conversation. Just kind of curious about that.
You say somewhere that.
The English language doesn't give us many words to describe the feeling of reaching out to someone from another world, and then this is in italics and of having that interest welcomed. And he said some of its own kind mutuel is created.
I just found that intriguing because I think so much about the power of words. And I wonder if you are their words you're using now, are you thinking or their friend and friend that gets added symbols and how important that is for us and in constructing our world?
Well, I use the word empathy, and it's something we're all capable of. And we, in a way, carry around empathy maps who we should and shouldn't feel empathy with.
And we need to enlarge those maps. Right. And shift them. And so maybe there are different kinds of empathy. That's a and one is you could call it pragmatic.
To see if OK, let's see if we can heal this divide.
You've got a purpose to it. And then some is just there and it doesn't have that purpose. So, yeah, that's a very special word. And having it returned is you're kind of seeing the humanity of the person you've reached out to, like Madonna Massee, this gospel singer did to me. Oh, I do that, too.
She says, right when you talk to her about the empathy, you all right? And she said, I have one of those, too. Yeah.
Yeah. She said, Oh, you're my first Democratic friend. Yeah. Yeah. So we laughed. We could laugh.
There's a new pool of laughter possible that started with an absolute acknowledgement of our differences.
I think that's a good metric. Like have you created a new pool of what do you pool of laughter possible.
That's good. Yes, yes.
Yes. So I, I think I would just want to ask you as we close and perhaps thinking about. Yeah, how you continue to live with this, what you learn, what you not just not just what you learned as a scholar, but what you learned as a human being.
You know, right now, as you look around in the world and as you move through this experience that has changed you like what makes you despair and what is giving you hope.
Hmm? Well, I'm a positive person, I would say, and I tend to see the glass half full.
And I think we're at a moment of challenge as a culture. But we've been in those moments before. And I think it's time for us to look at leaders who have been real models of repair. And let's look at Nelson Mandela, for example. You know, his country was going to go to war with itself, right? Right. And there it was, a bitter if you look around the world, it's hard to find a place free Mandela that was more bitterly divided, black and white.
And he did it differently. He did it like Gandhi. He was a unifier. He was a guy who was very good at talking across these hardened lines.
And we have a lot to learn from Nelson Mandela studying that kind of history and that kind of leaders.
You know, Martin Luther King, as were people who were not often in their corners just separating themselves off, but were good at saying, look, there are better angels here, let's access them and create a public conversation about a problem. See where we can go with that.
So let's think of those positive leaders and look to them and learn from them because they were real experts in empathy and pragmatism.
Yeah, yeah. I like how you really like keeping that and empathy and pragmatism go together. I just this is a weird connection to make, but I think it's in the afterword of your book that you mentioned Café Gratitude in Berkeley, which I didn't realize had closed until I read that because I was kind of an institution there.
And you you I think the story said it was a raw vegan place. And you were you were kind of imagining with this new kind of these new sets of eyes, you have you're saying, look, you know, thinking about some of your Christian friends in Louisiana and you're thinking, you know, maybe they would think here about café gratitude and think, oh, it's a hippy place, but maybe they would see that it has there's some real echoes there with with their Christian touch of church.
Yeah. Tons of church. And then I actually looked because, like I said, that had closed and I looked online and I found this article in the I think the Berkeley student newspaper and the student. It was kind of an obituary for Café Gratitude and the student saying that they loved the daily question that they used to ask there. And then it would be in this then the examples they gave were, what are you grateful for or who can you forgive?
And you know you know, those are actually questions, for example, that Nelson Mandela asked.
Yes. Very, very surprisingly, given what he's been through. That's right. That's right.
Imagine so we have a lot to learn, you know, if we can live up to his model. But it's worth a good try. Early Hochschild is professor emerita in the sociology department at the University of California, Berkeley.
Her many books include The Managed Heart, The Second Shift and Strangers in Their Own Land. Anger and Mourning on the American Right.
The NBN project is Chris Heagle, Willie Percy, Lauren Dawdle, Aaron Kosaka, Eddie Gonzalez, Julian Roe, Lucas Johnson, Suzette Burley, Rose Grassley, Colleen Sheck, Cristian Wartell, Julie Siple, Gretchen Honold, Patrick go to him and Benkert Beyond Being Project is located on DeCota land.
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