I get as many, if not more comments about my book now than I did when it was a bestseller four years ago, back during those long-lost pre-COVID days. We see differently now, and know to value certain things which we previously took for granted. With the advent of certain social justice movements there are obvious ways in which the book has become more topical, but there are also other things the book celebrates, which feel rarer now and thusly more precious, more worth cherishing. It isn't just institutional competence which has faded from view. There are actions we can take as individuals, ways of choosing to see, which feel deeply valuable in this new time. It is lonelier to realize them, and sometimes feels more hopeless, but it is worth it. It is worth it for the occasional burst of joyful light. It is worth it because like attracts like. We find each other by being our best selves.
And it is worth it because you don't change the world by trying to change the world. You do it by changing the person next to you. And how do you do that? Not by trying to change them (you can't), but by being your best self. Leading by example. Motivating the people around you to observe, reflect on, consider how you choose to live life. You can be the light. I know that's harder to do now, but it's in exactly these sorts of times when it's most needed, valuable, and inspiring. Thank you to the people around me who glow, who inspire me every day and night, from my closest friends to my colleagues down to the faces on the street which beam out gratitude and present verve.
Please enjoy the video above, which is two stories from my book, along with an introduction situating how the book plays in today's landscape. Many thanks to the fine folks at Chin Music and AWP at large for hosting me.
I post new material here at the beginning of every month. Check back every 1st!