« Good Life Project

Casey Gerald: There Will Be No Miracles Here.

2018-12-11 | 🔗

On the surface, Casey Gerald (http://www.caseygerald.com/), was living the dream.

Growing up in Oak Cliff, Texas, he broke from the binds of an addicted, imprisoned dad and mentally-ill mom to become a star athlete, scholar, then a student at Yale, where he majored in political science and played varsity football.

Heading next to Harvard Business School, while pursuing his MBA, he co-founded a foundation, MBAs Across America, that landed him on MSNBC, at TED and SXSW, on the cover of Fast Company, and in The New York Times, Financial Times, and The Guardian, among others.

But, when you scratch the surface, things weren't as they seemed. As he shared in this week's conversation, everyone wants to make you into a nugget, a simplified soundbite. Gerald was anything but. Struggling with everything from his sexuality and faith, to his fierce desire to carve his own unique path, to live his own life, Casey, decided to walk away from it all, begin to write, and follow a path of self-discovery and revelation. His journey is laid bare in a stirring new memoir, There Will Be No Miracles Here (https://amzn.to/2QHjyvE)


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Growing up in a kill, a suburb of Dallas texas in the Lee ease and ninetys. My destiny. Casey Gerald was the son of local football star, who eventually ended up having problems with addiction, a mom who was incredibly present and alive and vibrant in cases life and also struggled deeply with mental illness, and The grandson of a one pastor, who founded every large and revered church through his own exploration of all of these different relationships. He awakened to allow truths about himself. Came to a head when he turned twelve years old, when on December thirty, first nineteen, ninety nine at exactly midnight- something that he was told would happen didn't happen and he's kind of been reckoning with that that set him on a journey that
Sleep led him to find his way in the world. A ten yale harvard go out into the world, do big things in business, starting non profit, and one day he realised that this dream that he was living both for himself and for others, Was not in fact what he wanted out of his life and he started The question everything and re explore is most fundamental assumptions about. Why were here and what this thing called, it is really all about that is laid bare. Any beautiful, new memoir tab. There will be no miracles here, release to share this conversation with casey Gerald. I'm Jonathan fields- and this is good- life project-
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I was raised in the isis of christianity We will not less violent elites physically, but I guess there many ways of violence anyway, one of the key believes was there, There would be a second coming of Jesus and very material fall and, so happened that there was a date. There was a sign, and for this event, which was midnight december, they first eighteen, Mary man, there's also in the christian tradition. Thanks and judaism as well. This idea that you're innocent until you turn toil, you can't be held accountable for what you doing. Do you turn twelve, so just happen turned twelve and ninety nine. I saw the shit I ain't there. Now. You know chickens were coming home, the loser yeah yeah. So
we used to have this thing called. Why should I servers so? On december? Thirty? First nineteen. I now we are gathered at our church to wait for the return of christ and at midnight Those of us who had lived right would disappear into thin air Those who had not would be- behind my standing as that would be left behind for us, the period of time during which the end I Christ would be unleashed on the world and you could either sort of surrender to the anti christ and be protected in that time was to go to hell, or you could resist the anti christ and it'll be punished, but then Jesus would give you a second shot. I mean this is the rough outline of what was gonna happen, so I have prepared all year for this. I got baptized the second time I started. Reading these really traumatic novels,
and the left behind series, you know, I tried to pray. More and san a lot less, neither which were particularly successful. And then I went to church with my grandma than eleven. Fifty the pay, to say, come down to the our two we want to pray. We wanted the brain women like coms, I'm goin in his heart this pact and you know, there's a clock in the back room in the church and I hold in my grandmother's. Hammer idea was that the unused Was going to happen, and I felt that maybe, if I held her hand tight enough that when she went, I could disk sorta by the transitive property, or just you know pray, animal protein or and praying and praying in him time is running out, The per ends. And I look round. and were still there anyway very confusing. To me I mean it was shock and actually an in a way really disappointing, because
it, wasn't so much. to some degree, was really sure both not to vanish, but also not to be released. At that time, centre hail It wasn't so much delay good question. Actually there night, you know my world had ended earthly world and a lot of ways my father had. Lapsed and drug use and again Jail, my mother, suffer from mental illness has started appearing you know I had no certainty except this t of betrayal in way from the people on this planet that were supposed to the care of me. So in a way I want it to be rescued that night. I right in the book that I did not want the world and I wanted to be rescued uneasy, and so I used as entry point for this book because I think in in what ways we are living through
land politically, if my spiritually a somewhat similar moment and that the world we were born into is ending and away. And mother There are many people Fortunately, who are turning to some very dangerous, quick fixes for rescue? That doesn't change them I do believe we remember there the days of a sort of reform dangerous revolution, as it pertains to the ways that we live in the world. What life looks like what power takes looks like what love and work successfully like so say all of that to say that find in this one moment of terror, of uncertainty of a deep. Yearning desire to be saved and rescued a lot of relation with.
the very earthly experience they were going through I can definitely see that in a lot of ways, and I want to kind of put a pin in that and actually circle back to this idea of we are in this moment now, which is deeply reflective of where you are we can fill in a little bit of their the story along the way to It also maybe even use this as a jumping off point backwards and then maybe a little bit towers, because at twelve, so you're growing up in the town outside of Dallas texas, as you shared dad form Athlete who had challenges with conservation, your mom, Was it sounded like it was and she was eventually diagnosed with bipolar agus, but at that point when in your sort of first twelve years were you start starting to become aware of her and her presence her struggles with her own mental illness,
so funny I mean I was aware of her presence. I suppose before I was aware of my own presents a main as we all love. You know latina mothers, the first presence that we have. Of course my mother, I tell also reminds with blush to blah from a street car name desire. May she is, is a real star meg in a very strange, beautiful, peculiar, bizarre person. You know a right in the book that I'm not on to describe her when I was very small in she would laugh a lot even when nobody had told a joke, and sometimes she might cry when nothing was particularly sad, and you know she didn't either the ball. Then you know she didn't we the clothes around the house, because she sort of stood in the mirror and put on makeup all day. You know she made this thing up called sugar cheese toasts though, instead of making like to with jelly. She put cheese and sugar and of in it like give.
To me you may she was just as I say in the book that I don't mean that she was perfect. All I'm saying is that I've been it from her imperfections may There were magic is a useful mistake. So I was very aware of my mother's presence, ITALY and how her strangeness provided a lot of safety for makes? I was very strange care I am she was married. A lot of ways When I was five, must don't I was sent to Dallas on us Were we were tall. He was going to beauty convention for it you know. Had to go to Dallas. We will live in a close at the time, and this may says to me one because I was five and dumb, but also because my mother was a very beautiful person, so I said hey, you know I guess maybe she would need a year to talk about beauty. I dunno when I was eight she drove me,
the three lines of oncoming traffic on our the school try to capture the absurdity of that actual experience in the book. Every practice level. Will it take everybody who has read the scene in the book. They say to go back. two or three times to understand what was happening because are the punctuation was gone and sunday they just and understand, and I actually wanted that I want the reader to have that experience of been disoriented. to capture the disorientation that I felt as an eight euro. You know my mother. I haven't a seizure, but I thought she was there. I'd never saying about have a but After that, nobody talk to me about it, you see So when she disappears when I was thirteen. You know there is never a direct conversation head about it with me so much so
I write in the book that, if ever your mother asks you to choose between her death and disappearance, have her die, always though, not immediately, of course, so the things that china point out and live. By writing. This book sharing. It that he can't he'll from anything. If you don't face it, Anna The way that I was raised, well. You know the way we're gonna get through. This is to act like it never happened, you know to me, but all that stuff you ignore comes jason, empty My mother, in our relationship there, What when was it? When did you actually realise? Looking back, your mom actually was living with mental illness at there was something else going on was ever
the conversation that eventually was had in your family that brought you to her. How did that come out? There was never conversation. We were taken around the time I was eleven or twelve to psychiatric hospitals to visit her. And I don't think this is the phrase mental illness I don't know that I've even ever heard there remain. it was interesting now this book, transgresses. So many of the things that are sort of standards of writing one of which showed don't tale. And. a ride in the book and am very serious about it. I'm gonna tell you what I saw inside the psychiatric ward tell you what was done to not done to my mother and the patients there we saw in there. What I do know is that it didn't seem to be particularly helpful. So the language was not mental illness or treat me.
above all, I was these people are crazy. And you go in there and you see people in catatonic state or whatever it is you knowing hear them screams and others can stuff. You know something has gone on and you know that whatever is being done to fix it didn't seem to be too successful. Imagine for I mean for any it's vital for that age, especially age, especially so format ever so close, your mom that had to be a dish, tough seeing your mom in that setting. Which your kids are very resilient. resilient like that were killed, can endure some really awful shit. That's not to say we should subject them to When I was right in this book, I'm started disappearing again. Emma she came back to fill in the plot. She does when I was thirteen, she was gone.
Five year she came back when I was eighteen. of resurrection? You know that assume she had. She was there. So when I was right in this book, she started despairing again and my niece was toil. And it was so interesting flash heartbreaking to see her experience the same that idea without that age, and what was so useful about the book and I hope we can do for other young people who are going through a dramatic situations that it helped me understand. An alternative way of being with my niece? Then people were with me when I was your age, one of which was very simply tell the truth to her. Allow her to tell the truth from her perspective, was sort of opening up the space where she could be very honest about the anger that she felt toward my mother. You know I was from texas here we are still have a sort of
tara about speaking back to adults, you know I'm almost thirty. Two years old, it's like you know at at you know. Yes, sir. Yes ma'am, you know kind of thing, so it it was so import for me to give her space I think so important give children space to say. You know what I hate my man I mean I would have been slept, enter the twenty twenty ninth century. If I'd say something like that, look here, so that there was important one too. it is very important and I was able to do it because of the work that was done to this book to say: hey You're not alone so important and third, equally important I was able to help her see because I had to do the work to see for myself. There. I can just see from our perspective. I had to actually work through my own pain, to see my mother.
as a human being, not as my employee. And when I did that, I was able to see that the worst thing that ever happened to me was perhaps the most important thing that ever happened that she ever did for herself worse thing than ever. happened to me was perhaps the most important thing. She everyday for herself, a net really that's real life. And so much of what I had to do as a person and what I try to do on the page is let the language reflect the complexity of the truth. There has not been button. Mass is simple thing and here's that lesson has, though, not life alone people initially We are worried that the book was too messy to chaotic. I had a friend
It's very respected writer. I love great deal. He is awesome early chapters, he said what, in the hell is this man, you know you've been hired to write an autobiography is a straightforward exercise. It's got a beginning middle and end. You know, is grounded in the facts of your life. You got. It is a great tradition of autobiography in this country of people on the margins to who write to assert that they exist. You go ahead and read those books, man, you know and learn how they do it. Well, I was so grateful for that intervention. It helped me real, as early on that there I'm gonna be the kind of book I wanted to write. I thought about Lamar on section eighty he says I'm not on outside. Looking in I'm not on the inside, like an I'm in the day at fuckin center. Looking around, you say that perspective about one and I wanted to bring language to the raw strangeness of the human experience. I think that's will literature to do otherwise is kind of fraudulent, nothing there.
As he is designed to make you feel at say here- and it is also interesting me right when we we should have we reach out to for help in some shape or form, I'm workin on something where it's like. A pure expression of her heart. But the tradition out there of how this type of thing- is to be done and there's a formula and there's a methodology, and this is but a quote successful version of it, looks like and then you go out, and you look at that- you like that's, not what I'm being called to do right now. They had it how do I navigate that? Because I Between myself, but that me, at the basically reject having before this. That's just microcosm of life in this society. You see somebody asked me: hey was the one nugget. I was when an was the one like the still your life down so right only for he was the one now get us there
my one nugget is that, though we wants to turn you into a nugget small low peace, a sum ass easily digestible, Why should it be a stranger to yourself so that your recognisable to others wants you to mutilate yourself so that your acceptable to others that should be invited to the right parties and IX. in the schools and higher for the right job you see and liked by them. France, at the right parties- and you know, welcomed by buy the right god to the right, haven't you can down down to him ever and ever and submission? I mean this is the reward for your submission to be a well liked wholly nugget. What kind of life is that man, you know, but from a very early age, were condition: cut off the low pieces of ourselves, so that the thing Of course, there remains makes sense. and his norm and his right and fit. Inter tradition of them,
yeah as and where the seal is still the air. If you haven't your man, it's again so yet. hey it's jonathan from good, like project. If you are in your thirty or forty is with friends too busy to join you on a vacation, you have to check out flash back the only group travel brand for solo travellers, your age, imagine danny with sumo in japan, or basking on a private got in croatia. All with people like you, visit flash pack, dot com, slash podcast, to save to under fifty dollars on your booking an offer only available until july, fifteenth.
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Didn t speak and, having seen your ted talk and suchlike deserts A puddle we haven't talked about, but he can probably get him to a certain extent, by the open story was you you're you're brought up in a house in a community build deeply my faith. In fact, your grandfather was a woman. stir, and it sounds like it was very much a part of your europe bring about their tradition and culture ends It is interesting because, hearing what watching you at ted and is hearing you talk. I wonder if there is this influence. There is a there's, a preaching element: there a cadence. There's a rhythm. There is a vision. There's a sing song sort of energy to the way that you deliver your message. The way you think the way that you communicate with your voice, that is, is
strong and poetic and as far as I was watching, your ted talk shows like really curious, only I wonder how much of that actually came either directly or indirectly through being around it. And father and that community, when you're a kid so much how much are you my grandfather's? Probably the only genius I've ever seen. You know her His grandmother had been sleigh, my family spinning. Access is full of war. His grandmother been sleigh whose boy low town thousand taxes drew up and has the floor start a preacher. exciting. He was paid and canned goods. I don't know that I'm sure he knew how to read to some degree, but I dunno how well or what kind of education he got and all that costa he up to dallas in the fifties. He started this low church. four allow here. My grandma integrated our neighbourhood a clue.
And one of the most prominent churches in the area. Less than a decade later, one first past Mister shepherd to locations in dallas, which is now so the mega church capital of the world. But beyond that I mean what he did with language. Was always to me just sort of of sight. I mean it was it was it was. It was. Genius is only worth half what he'd make up these store is he used to tell this great deal when he was preaching about them in between. Death and the grave and, before Jesus crucifixion, and he said that car A meeting with the grave any say a grave. If I catch him, can you hold them and he said He said the grave said the well.
I think I can hold them. I've been holding. You know, man like samson and women, like Sarah men like moses and I'm sure I can hold alone as a rain board down some any says. Death goes in Cause I made him with Jesus, oh Jesus: when can we may really? This is it? This is a brilliant. how so much I think of what I too, in this book in ass far too, with language in general, is to bring new were its new language, new possibilities, new visions to the same all material. That's oh god, I can never be a preacher. Flickr. Some two simple aside from that surreal heart challenge
He used to say I never preach sermon without taken Jesus to across and alone leave em there I gotta put him in the grave, but it only men a grave. I gotta get him up. I mean to do that for forty years, every sunday, sometimes too time to sunday you gotta be very goddamn, created to bring new language a new possibility to two thousand euros. Do you see what I'm saying so think more than their religious aspect of it what he did with language. Is something it I'm not even close to but is very inspire, is, as the you aspire to get closer to Yeah for sure I may- and I think this is, and a librarian criticism, but I guess it is technically liver criticism, but I'm not illiterate critics. I dont think I listen. We have Then the leadership of this country right now.
an individual who is more willing there. Perhaps anybody in the history of this society, to let language loose for them. The base and toxic and destructive a nasty purposes. I dont think the response to their is too. I don't think the right response to that. the button language up just make it like, were nobler people, other politically correct or whatever? I think the response, the right response is to let language loose. For the right reasons. This is one of the reasons that, if you take black culture, for example, I think Wrappers have a lot more to say then many of the riders, because the rap was talking about real life and the right as a sort of looking up their asses.
And if we can bring to the literature some willingness to aspire to, Higher heights with the language which is actually aspire into deeper depths of humanity. I think we'd be membership there, but that Through all of this you're grown up, surrounded by Our two dad mom in this culture with grandpa you mentioned. He could never be a pastor but you must send the things that it starts a bubble up. Is you starting to inquire into your own sexuality, grow up in the setting. That you're growing up in at that time. taught me through certainly how that exploration is unfolding in your head. Will.
Their couple pieces to it that are very important to me. I was tat a few years ago and I was having dinner with a friend of mine who some years older than I am and He recently been needed, so we go, good night it go to buckingham palace and a special, obviously, and so it was gonna be the first time his parents were gonna meet. His boyfriend is passed very conservative, especially as far who still Has had a very hard time with me now happen? You know, I mean it's kind of strange and this has been kind of the threat of their conversations. You know so much of this. Lord of question, that we often get from straight people will, when did you know you again is
is very peculiar, because every time I ass a stray personally, when you know you were straight, they ve never thought of the question, so But I found the sort of inability of my friends father too. Really see what can you just explain to me why this happen and how up furnace illicit. Let me ask you something a bit somebody called you a faggot. Before you ever like the boy and he thought about and he said you know what you re. And I'm ass many other queer friends on the same question is true, so I say that to say that the context Before you get to any young person, any individual exploring their sexuality. You find yourself in a context in the society that hates faggots.
And teaches us to hate ourselves, For we ever have any feeling whatsoever. Romantic nature toward any sex. I think there's something we ought to think about as a society. That's one piece second pieces for sure or religious peace? My uncle, died of aids and nineteen. Eighty four. Over thirty two thousand people that we know of died of aids and ninety nine for in america,. they won't let him in the kitchen. People need after people in hungary and romania was yours. We all should know of or no someone personally who died in this place, and yet the Belief in his own father heart was that you ve gone here.
And so in a lot of ways this Just question is very important to work through. And for me I had to let go of the god that I was given to find the god I need it greatest gift in that spend on sexual because there was no way to reconcile it and He had so much work as a young person. To try to eradicate this gift. I throw it away to try to act like it wasn't there and it took such a toll that I didn't want to be alive. There are so many queer people quote children who reached that point where they just don't see their way out and when I reached their point I decided it was then I was not going to die in this life too. hale in the next life. I was not going to mutilate myself regards love. I couldn't get to the point which some people get too. I don't think it is totally sincere
of sam. Well, god would not seem made a hill for being gay. I don't know what our dunno- and I don't know what he was ill at anybody here for all I know is I mean live, my life and my terms in the best way I can, and if at the end of it he says well, hey kid! I respect your decisions, but here the consequences I am going live with that over time I was butter reckon act with what I call god. in a way that did not require me to kill part of myself and ass much longer drain much on compensation, but a very important one there I think so many. Gay young people feel that they Have to choose between sales and god, and hardest. Their journey is- and I think as few as the solutions are they were given. I have
for myself there On the other side of wrestling with the air is. away, not choose or to choose book actually, but it takes some creativity, the third piece, this from a literary standpoint I think is most important for me- is that I didn't I want interested in writing about. There was sort of a sociological study of the oppression of gay people Here I mean gosh, you know you re. Some. These corner quote ass. If you re some like the city on the pillow, you know go of it Jesus Gore, you know you hear me, why don't you just you know, go and do the conversion therapy with this with a book like there's something gosh, you know, what I want to do is bring worthy language to the beauty and challenge a loving another boy, and And really get down in the intimate human experience of that
beyond the religious questions beyond the world society hates faggots, you know yeah we're gonna for that is true, but even in that. seemingly impassable context. There is a question of love and somebody and all the quoted in pedestrian, petty stuff. That's him and that now by, I captured that as much as the other two aspects my answers are so long on and on now I saw gate cause it just it. It shares deeper insight into desert, where this is all coming from. because I feel like your planting seeds, they now there's a lot of provocation and which I think it's really good for us to have. So you get to a point where, the cannot move on and you you and through high school you're, found him between different homes different or to the family, but you you're, making away you do what you can
You find yourself going to college at yale. What's it like when you were a servant deciding okay, this is, I I I Choose somewhere wait? What were you looking for. Out of that next leg of the journey for yourself like what we like and then and then when you actually get there, is remotely what you thought. It was I want to be and and what you were hoping it might be. I'd. Love to read a low section of the gatt believes birthday. every journey is really to journeys I too, am I going away. It's not until the journey is over, that you can see. What's what can't get away from nothing. If you look at it all the time and you can, Towards something you see too clearly, because if you saw exactly what it was You'd have enough sense not to chase it. So
you stand me, the shoreline of decision, maybe you are more desperate to get away they than to go anywhere were eager to find some place new than to leave the place. You know what you need. Impossible, or else you in trouble if all you ve got, is going away, you might end up lost system the thing on your mind is running and if you ve got, is going to. U might end up sad because what you find is rarely as good as you thought it would be on. This is different from which you imagined so it to remember how awful thing was that she left its assent the equation really And the stranger the journey, the better, the math works, just plugin what you are trying to get to and multiply it by what you are trying to get away from and yola stand a hell of a lot more precisely why you did what you did at least this works for me.
I read that because in the moment of decision, at least for me of gone yale, I will call it a choice. I mean I've got a call in some ways. The kind of blind leap A blind leap away right from Say I'd pay my dues on the outskirts of the world. You know me, oh childhood, especially was my parents or left, was basically I approve the people that I was worth their time. trying to be worthy of a place to layer trying to be worthy of some dinner. I mean you know. There are sometimes I live some place like I tell you where I was you know and all of it was conditional. I still to this day, don't believe, and I dont understand the concept of unconditional love. I don't know that I have experienced it. and then my mother returned and I hated her.
I wanted to get away from my troubles. Take on my troubles, no trouble. You know occurring disease and being present announces two thousand from that my I to work a kind of representative going too we assign and day in texas, and there was an old grounds keeper at the Stay and that we had this man and he can up to me: He was crying and he said go all the way son go all the way. So here with these, who was this community poor black people,. and they were sending this care. on this journey, not just for himself but for them, and If he made it all the way. It may in some small way, would make it all the way and that a lot to me at the time, but that changed.
Well,. I wouldn't say it changed. I'd say it was the dead end, yeah fair enough yeah. You know that kind of gets to why I wrote this book. You know I had lived myself into a dead end. I saw try to write my way out and I had achieved everything. A kid is both achieve in this society. I had gone corn quote. All the way. I had run away from all my troubles ahead. I tried to represent for my people. I make good now. The cracked up I wouldn't say necessarily. I was having a nervous breakdown. Just guess I was never diagnosed, but I wasn't too far off and I was awful sad either way.
a lot of my friends were cracked up and, and obviously the world was cracked up too. So I set out with this book just to trace the cracks my own so before I finish, one of my friends who I helped recruit yale, who had gone on a spur similar representative journey from saint louis, on these horatio azure things. Committed suicide, came to me in a dream, a few months later sir. You know casey, We did a lot of things we wouldn't have ass anybody. We love to do so my job with this book, but came to make plain most Thanks to make clear that the ways in which hot in this society, not just.
Those who don't quarrel quote, make it, but even, and especially those who are saying they have made many of those ways are actually killing us. And I want to try to imagine what it would look like lay off a real, you know to behold to be Free and to be a better person be, but a brother better loved, no Gough real this. This really is an intervention in the way we live today, part of which is an intervention about the sort of delusional american dream which is lasting, so many lives not those who don't achieve because the structures are not designed for many people to achieve it. But even, and especially those who do quota quote achievements, are we account for the cost of this american dream that is prescribed to so many people at the cost of themselves. I should say also that sounded very depressing. That is a view.
The funny books and I have so much to enjoy, and I really do no seriously, no seriously gosh, and you know there is so so so much joy in this book and in my life And but there is you know, Sanderson and and and hopefully the full range of human emotions something I can embrace, I mean, but let's talk about that right because so few, How do you go from that place where you were too to a place where you you're either you trade So much joy and so much happiness in so much connection or is it that you are actually going from that place to no crime. or are you from? place, you were to a process of dripping land. Seeing that part that's already there yeah friend of mine described this when I like it, it's a bit like being in the grocery store and got your basket
and the question is where you gonna put in your basket, and what are you going to take out of your basket? was run in a very successful court Non profit at the time that I started this book. And I put it out of business new york, and I went and ran in the house and asked and were new. Hardly nobody said by myself- and I said, chicken email before I meditated. start a ring. The gospels and start started praying and I stopped how to all my friends who didn't feed who didn't nourish muscle, and I stopped trying to Don't turn down opportunity to speak places because I didn't feel like they actually for me. So every day the muslim trying to bill is the full of discipline of taken. The wrong stuff at my basket, The rice, the emma basket
Anne S. Very very, very, very, very practical is very practical. You know when we where you a plug in these microphones in our house, trying to decide whether I was going to re sections of this book or whether I was going to pray to prepare, I decided to pray who knows whether the be worth a damn boy but care? How right yeah man, so yes, people Try to criticise this work what I'm saying by saying? Oh well, you don't. You don't have any solutions, you know having alternatives. Actually, that's not true at all I have a line at the end of the book. The says I have a radio it only place. who stations, life and death a turn that off now that I know the sound the daily bob did, I say:
silence if I have to it's not. complicated, but it is hard and every day I am trying to make the very material and hard decisions to turn the death off. the debt turn the anxiety about the book awards turn the anxiety about the reviews. Turn the anxiety about the book. Sales turned the anxiety about. Oh my god, I'm not at this event that event to turn all of it all and turn the lifeline.
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Success is supposed to look like the great american dream and turning on that voice, that ashley asks of yourself. Why am I here Who am I? What matters genuinely to me and How can I live that, inter every day to a certain extent year,. an and in touch with how you actually feel you know the the the way out. Right through a sexual awakening in this book, is so civic, our right of and well thirteen low came out with a video for him. Second single from his second album video was hide out. How does it feel and he's Stand a man, the video alone, any seems like he's but naked and our are right the first sort of explicit grey When was sexually in this book is not oh, hey, I woke up
you know the morning of november seventh cnn, two thousand and blah blah blah and realized. I was a homosexual, I mean who the hell lives like that you don't. It was holy shit. This video came on and something happen and just so happens very fittingly, though refrain song is how does it feel If you know what use miserable you know when their relationship is killing you you know, when their job will you Up every morning I was working mackenzie a few some ago, many sums ago, going out of business school and I was so miserable
I mean I will wake up and we stand in the ST regis hotel and a you know. A job is bad when you're miserable stand and say enrages and I'd get up, and I said, oh god I can't get through this- may not get these little wine or bottles of vodka. You know and go in the bathroom and where we were working and that drink that I drink that vodka man and I go in those meetings- half drunk just to get through it, and I said holy shit man, this ain't livin, you see what I'm saying you know. You know you know more than you do about how you feel so. Some of it is making it a lot, less sort of intellectual philosophical. You know what I mean my mother call me. This is gone to what you were saying about. External expectations is also disconnecting ff. external measures of self worth Mother called a few weeks ago, and she had seen an interview idea, no c span. There's a line in the book says I've been on this earth for thirty years,
I'm never met a single faggot, starting with myself who survive without finding another place, real or imagined to call home, which is very true associates. Excuse me. So my mother, cod and she says I saw you c span a review and you know I keep up with you and I have to tell you You are a man you're, not a faggot, you not punk And let me tell you what the difference is. You are prominent. You speak whale. You dress. Well, your educated people like you're, not a vagabond on the street walk around doing your hands like that you're in ups and in person who just happened to be gay, don't put just over there. when you're over here How so after I got over,
In a sort of the shock and rage, I was very grateful for my mother's call because his very rare that you get that kind of material and milan work. Is very weak and it was so important because that is essence of the intervention I'm trying to make here, you see what she was saying in so many words was that hey I, Abu, on condition. As long as you're, an upstanding person as one thing, sleep we wanted, but soon, as you vagabond the street you walked around like person and stuff. I may more. She turned to effect and have less not he this is apparent. We can't do that. You say And it was interesting because I haven't he's been prominent about prominent now, haven't always been educated. I haven't always denied speak well dressed well, and
was a feminine look here. You know and as funny I never got this talk, then you say, and so many young people don't get that talk and, more importantly, her. Way of seeing me and sang the world assumed the star economy is in and of itself. An act of violence is an act of violence. to some degree on me and that it says hey catch all the pieces of yourself that I dont like out- and I, like I started a lot, but it also is more imports. They perhaps an act of violence against this kids, who don't fit her stand up, was What an upstanding person is. It is an act of violence, at least till the right, so murder against tranche and women. That is so alarming so upon in this country. So These are very serious. Very practical very urgent alternatives that I'm suggesting in this book for the way we live in this
and hopefully that comes through there, Two brings us to certain and full circle to your revolution workload revolution the need for change which is and will be hard and ask to start on the inside there. To tell me more about that. As I say, I put his organization? Had a business mbs across america started, was kind of like a peace corps for the mbs three classmates and our my first year at harvard moscow decided drive across the country. And see what was happening to go to places like detroit norms, roma him trial. we use our skills to make a difference. It worked, the change, we decide turn into a larger thing. He was very successful. We got a lotta down listen! That's where much here talking from so sized put out of business. People were really enraged and may especially live or donors, and I met with one of them for dinner. I was right in this book and he said: hey man, this
so cute and stuff, but like. I invested voting you because you're supposed to be a leader solve in the big problems the country faces a mean. What is This whole books a thing you folks and on yourself and others are the crap, a man like you, gotta get back out there and I said best strange. I think I am out there actually What does it matter if I can build a successful nonprofit? can't help. My mother, I can't love my I can't be there for my friend or I have to do half a bottle of wine go to sleep at night, or I feel that I don't deserve god deserve. Conception of god that has been fair to me. or I feel that I have to accept all of these conditions Thirty years, just a match, somebody's vision of success. What does it matter?
that I can solve these political problems if experience express a personal debt. I mean Is this kind of strange to me so what I'm saying what I say All of this stuff has to happen on the inside. does not say that has to happen at the expense of our political commitments. We are always Everything we do, especially at a time like this is political but you can go off in pay universal health care in two or three or four months.
being a whole free person takes a hell of a lot more work and him alone and a longer time so yeah. I think this book you know I was at lehman brothers in two thousand and eight I was in dc in the early years of the obama administration. I spent three years driving across the country trying to solve these big problems. You know I've had dinner with george bush are open for barack Obama south by southwest. You know, I you know, was in a stasi, prison in berlin. You know a few years ago I've seen america from the very bottom to the very top, and there is a great part of this book that is report back on how this country actually works and a political history and all the other stuff, thus in there, but the book, goes beyond that and hopefully to the core of the reality that aside from above, of an enmeshed in this political experience the experience of living a lie. Hope. I have problems we say about bad, then in a host
be president in twenty twenty. We may not have a country and twenty twenty, but this is another thing this was so interesting, attend to believe. There were sort in the twilight of the american empire for better force, I was thinking about, When's, the clan and foul- and I was thinking about sorra- you know a person like say cicero would have you know certain toward the end of the republic Worried about this great experiment that they ve. Given that love to this about to end, and I got real as like day there really sucks man. You know to be sitting at the end of a very important empire, and then I thought I saw him away amount the day after the roman empire fail. There was, people live. There was the roman people trying to figure out how to live. I'm not
best that america's go survive a hell of a lot longer in its current form. I have mixed emotions about that. I am come the people are still not be living asked. You to figure out a way to do that successfully regards what happens at the political level. So this sort of the weight I give to lessen their now here we are in a moment, on many levels. Many levels a good place for us to come full circle to says. We hang out here a good life project for offer, at the phrase, to live a good life. What comes up for you, joy, peace, yeah, To be well think that life is a life, tat is well it is, grounded in something deep inside. Indeed,
and that is bearing fruit dense breasts that willingness to other people. It could be that fruit could be a book. Africa be parkhurst. Africa, be a clean hallway that she sweepest school janitor if you are well, you're fruits will be well and I think there s a bit ly. Thank you. Thank you
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-27.