The magic of accepting "unlovable people" with author Andrew Solomon

This episode couldn’t be more timely as we work to recover from national the fear-mongering, finger-pointing and divisions that have whipped our country into a nasty lather. 

It’s amazing when you stop and think about how much we’re told about what shouldn’t be lovable. So much is vilified. It could be our own feelings, other groups of people, different faiths, or distant countries. There’s so much that falls into this unlovable category— so many stories where, “those people are the bad ones.” 

Now imagine you’re someone who decides to unravel those narrative containers. To build bridges to them and shine lights on the kinds of families, emotions, places in the world that keep us apart and keep us from understanding them. That’s exactly what this week’s guest, author Andrew Solomon, has done with his life. He’s a writer and lecturer on politics, culture, and psychology as well as a very important activist and philanthropist and behalf of LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He’s won The National Book Award, he’s a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, and he was included in The New York Times list of 100 best books of the decade. 

In our chat we cover lots of his different work from Far and Away, his latest book dedicated to helping us understand the world better. To Far from the Tree, which is a compassionate book about raising difficult children and ends up as an affirmation about what it is to be human. In fact that might be the most important thread through all of Andrew’s efforts and work. Just how much love there is in the things we might initially think are unlovable. 

Music credit: "Say Something" (A Great Big World) Cello and Piano Cover by Caitlin & Max