By Victoria Lynn Hall
“Being connected to others gives us a stake in more than our own interests. It expands those interests to include our whole community and thus increases our motivation to work together.”Vivek H. Murthy, MD
When I began this episode asking Jesse his take on Biden’s Infrastructure plan, I knew I wanted to talk about economics but I had no idea that would lead us to a discussion of alienation and connection. Still, I’m not surprised.
I think we are all aware how politics divides us but it wasn’t that long ago that it really struck me that this was by design. In fact, it is my opinion that the most dangerous propaganda that politicians and the media disseminate is the propaganda of convincing us to blame, demonize or dehumanize other people.
It makes me angry to see the divisions that causes and how those divisions serve power at the expense of our mental, emotional, physical and yes, I believe, spiritual health.
That anger can be useful. Its heat can burn away illusions and its energy can fuel my courage. But if I let that fire rage too long, it blinds me. It makes me forget the humanity of the people who, though they may benefit from our system materially, I believe are victims of it in a way too. That doesn’t mean that I excuse or condone their actions. It just means I have to remember that it is a system we are fighting and not any one individual or group of individuals.
More importantly, I have to remember who we are fighting for: for the people we know who are struggling, for the people we don’t know who are struggling and allow the steady glow of my love and compassion for them to guide me – not to an easy target – but to the next difficult but attainable goal; like making a new connection or repairing an older one.
Because as much as alienation serves power, connection is what will give power to the powerless and how can I further that message without living it?
Another quote that relates to what I said above is one my favorites from Marianne Williamson’s book, “A Politics of Love” (which I highly recommend):
“A belief in separation is always at the root of a problem, and a realization of our oneness is always at the root of its solution.”
Jesse mentioned this episode of Chapo Trap House where Matt Christman talks about how our current circumstances influence Biden’s spending philosophy:
Jesse mentioned David Sirota’s reporting which you can find at The Daily Poster.
As we often do, we talked about American economist Stephanie Kelton and recommend her book, The Deficit Myth
.I didn’t get a chance to mention him on this episode but I have been learning a lot about economics by watching videos with Greek-Australian economist and politician, Yanis Varoufakis.
Here’s one of a recent lecture he gave (long):
And a recent interview (shorter):
Jesse talked about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches in 1967 and 1968 and how relevant those ideas still are today.
One of the best examples of this, in my opinion, is what is known as his “Three Evils” speech at the National Conference on New Politics in Chicago in 1967.
Watch the video: https://youtu.be/6sT9Hjh0cHM
Also read: 12 Quotes from MLK’s Three Evils of Society
The quote from Dr. Murthy at the top of this post is from his book, “Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World“.
I learned about this book through his discussion with Brené Brown on her podcast, Unlocking Us.
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A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.
A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.