greetings from waiheke island. i’m struggling less, and feeling the warmth of all of you. it makes me so happy when you comment, empathize, and just wave over at me in mutual lostness.
i’m cross-posting the rest of this to socials..
this morning, in the wee hours, i called my new friend, sherry turkle.
the podcast that we released last week: “is technology killing our hearts”, and her book, “the empathy diaries”, have been weighing and bouncing in my mind.
like after many of my podcasts, i found not only an interviewee, but a soul friend in sherry, who has spent her adult life at MIT studying the effect of tech on our souls.
i told her how my life was going. she told me about hers.
her book was a critical smash, but it’s still painful and isolating to be the one pointing out the poison in the system. in her memoir, sherry discusses what it felt like to fight for tenure at MIT and the punishing backlash when she got what she asked for, and what she deserved.
she’s now had profiles in the new yorker and a rave review in the new york times. but, as we spoke in the early hours of my morning and the afternoon back in massachusetts, we still feel lonely. pats on the head do not come from the places we are trying to fix. we often feel exiled. outsiders and kind people call us brave, but it’s poetically impossible to “satisfy” the system against which – and within with – the two of us have struggled. you cannot tell the truth about the system, and how damaging the system is, and expect the system to celebrate you and pat you on the head. sherry is in her 70s and still disappointed. i’m almost 45 and still disappointed.
you will not be admired for your defiance.
you will not be admired for asking for what you deserve.
you will not be celebrated for going against the grain.
do not expect a party.
do not expect them to turn around one day, hand you awards, acknowledge and befriend you, or put you on the cover of their magazines.
if you are seen as a threat to a struggling old-fashioned university, a toxic workplace, a powerful man’s successful career or company, an industry that relies on fear to make a profit, or a quiet little town where rocking the boat is not advisable…you will not be admired for your defiance.
but i will admire you.
sherry will admire you.
and maybe you will admire you.
so do it anyway.
do it anyway.
i love you.
the link to listen to the podcast is here if you missed it. it’s really, really good.