I catalog the books I read on Instagram. A picture, a note, and a number. For this particular book I wrote, “…[it] is such an important, timely book. Goodness, if you’re tired of seeing political discussions via memes on the Internet, this book is for you. And, if you’re making, posting, sharing, or even liking those memes (guilty right here!), this book is for you, too.”
In general, this book makes the case for being a better human being and gives concrete steps on how to do just that.
It’s a call to trust ourselves and others and to behave in a trustworthy manner.
It’s a call to stop bullshitting. (Thank you Internet. Again, guilty right here!) And, to call out bullshit.
It’s a call to connect with people on a human level.
It’s a call to stay vulnerable while maintaining the strength to endure the conflicts and criticisms that doing the above 3 things will cause.
I’m paraphrasing, of course. Brown says it simply:
People are hard to hate close up. Move in.
Speak truth to BS. Be civil.
Hold hands. With strangers.
Strong back. Soft front. Wild heart.
Honestly, this book got my mind racing and thinking about all sorts of experiences I’ve had. I wrote down a lot of quotes in my trusty notebook. For now, I’ll share this:
[Harry] Frankfurt explains how the widespread conviction that many of us share about needing to comment or weigh in on every single issue around the globe leads to increased levels of BS.
I think the Internet and self-publishing via social media and blogs have contributed to this. If you’re on any form of social media, you immediately have a megaphone. And, social media isn’t fun unless you’re posting something, anything, and garnering clicks, likes, and shares. There’s also a vast array of quick “articles” that have the sole purpose of getting picked up by Google searches, yet offer superficial information. (I could go on about this, but I’m still researching and thinking.)
I’ll say it a third time, I’m guilty! Here I am writing this on a blog! I’m a fan of memoirs and personal essays. I try to write them, but when I’m guilty of bullshitting, I twist my personal experience into “how-to” pieces that maybe, pretty please will rack up some traffic. But, that’s bullshitting. Why not just write my experience as a personal essay? It just may be more persuasive.
And, that’s all to say, go read this book.