Braving the Wilderness: Introduction

  • January 31 2018

Our politics and culture seem hopelessly divided and toxic. Researcher Brene Brown’s new book offers a much needed solution.

This is the Introduction to the series on Brene Brown’s book Braving the Wilderness

I have been a fan of qualitative researcher/storyteller Brene Brown since I watched her first TEDx talk in Houston: the Power of Vulnerability. Brene’s research focuses on shame, vulnerability, empathy and courage. If you haven’t seen her TED talk, which has over 32 million views, do so now…I’ll wait.

Brene’s theories emerge from hard data, which appeals to the scientist in me. And her guidance on whole-hearted living crystallize my personal philosophy; she explains the core beliefs I’ve always felt, but until now lacked the language to describe. Her talks and books giftwrap these lessons in shiny paper with a big bow.

Brene takes the concepts of vulnerability, shame, courage, and empathy, and offers research-backed guidance on how to make healthy choices regarding our relationships with these emotional states. I have watched her TED talks, read several of her books, and have listened to her interviews. She is a frequent guest on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

Of all Brene’s material, her most recent book Braving the Wilderness is essential for today’s activist. If we truly want to solve the problems confronting our society, and make a better world for ourselves and our children, we must begin with the teachings in this book. She cuts through the noise and arrives at the core of our problems, and how to begin the difficult and uncertain repair work.

Her book is so important that I have created a multi-post review of the main lessons for community leaders. I highly encourage you to read Braving the Wilderness. In the meantime, I’ve distilled what resonated most with me as an activist and citizen of democracy:

Part I: The Quest for True Belonging

Part II: People are Hard to Hate Close Up: Move In

Part III: Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil

Part IV: Hold Hands. With Strangers coming soon

Part V: Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart coming soon

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