Krista Tippett: "The Art of Generous Listening" | Talks at Google

Krista Tippett:

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Krista. Tippett is here with us today which is just absolutely amazing, I'll. Read. A little bit about here first and then we will just dive right into it, Krista. Tippett is a Peabody award-winning, broadcaster. National. Humanities medal list, and New, York Times bestselling, author she. Founded and leads the on being project, host the globally, esteemed on being public radio show and podcast and, curates. The civil conversations, project, an emergent, approach to conversation, and relationship across. The differences, of our age her, books include my. Favorite, becoming, wise and inquiry into the mystery, and art of living and Einstein's. God, conversations. About science in the human spirit and I think literally even just with those two titles, you see this beautiful and vast spectrum, that Krista covers and that is so kind of perfect, for us here at Google literally, from mystery and spirit, to, the human spirit to Einstein, like it's it's just so perfect to have her here in conversation, here we're so lucky and I think really we were talking the other evening about, what. It means to inquire, and the idea of asking these questions these, fundamental, question questions, that get to the essence, of what does it mean to be human what, does it mean to be human together, and, kind of what are the lessons we can learn in this practice, with everyone so, we'll look at that today but first I'll just share a quick funny little moment, which was as I was preparing for this I've been listening to Christopher, years a couple, of years ago as I was actually founding, the lab I found myself listening to Christa ID I. Discovered. Her then rediscovered, her in the project, and every. Day I was it was kind of over a break I was listening, to one. A day or even two a day sometimes her. Podcast and what I found is they were so enlivening. And they, really helped birth the empathy lab so I feel like I wouldn't be if it wasn't for her so it's a treat to have you here but. What was funny was thinking about preparing, for this and I was like should I go back and listen to every podcast and find my favorite moments, and and then, it just would have been like, this incredible, mountain of beauty that I would have you know clearly. Like fallen, under because, there was just too much there so, what was beautiful was actually reflecting, on the thing that touches me most about her, conversations. And these beautiful moments that unfold between her and other people even. Across distances. Are. Just this in the moment that you're listening what comes alive in you what, echoes in you and the days weeks months years to follow and how, these kind of sparks come alive in us so, that, leads us to this form of listening that I feel like I've really learned to listen even, just in being presence with her before knowing her and I, feel like we're all so lucky to have her speaking to us about listening today and so I'll just start with one of her quotes that really I feel touches the core of what this, art is all about which. Is listening. Is about, being actively, present, it's, not just, about being quiet I meet. With others the with a life that's right I meet others with a life I've lived not, just, with my questions, so let's, welcome Christa with open minds, and hearts and of course our ears to, share more for gracious wisdom with us and of course we are trying something a little different today with this kind of intimate, gathering, so what we'll do is crystal will share a bit you'll probably go back and forth and then, we'd love to open it up as a real conversation, for all of us to live in together so if, you have any questions definitely listen, don't think about them the whole time but.

As They rise up in the room please feel brave and courageous this, is what this moment is about so thank you and welcome Christa, yeah. Well. It's exciting. To be here I. Love. This invitation and I feel like I made too many notes so, we did so Danielle and I just like doesn't really love a conversation, and I the. More I do this the longer I live the more I trust that and. I like being on both sides of it so I've just said to her I want her to interrupt me and ask questions. And I really would like to open it up and be in conversation, with you. The. Question, the kind of request was to talk a little bit about the, art of listening and, you know I'm a person. Who listens for, a living but you know one of the things what. You were saying about that, experience, of the, podcast. Of listening to the podcast Mina I. Listening. Is about presence, which, I'm gonna say again but. What's so fascinating and, you and I talked about this the other night is that I mean I am usually not in the room, in fact, I'm often halfway across the world from. The people I'm in conversation with, and. The. Technology. Of radio, of, podcast, I mean so you know these are not, physical. Experiences. But but, my conversations. Because. Of the. Topic. And then, because. The medium, allows for, this are very, very, intimate, and they're, intimate, between me and the person I was speaking with and then, it's an intimate experience you, know one of the kind of the magic of radio and of. Course that's just the old-fashioned, word for podcasting, is. Is. That it is profoundly. Individual. And also, absolutely. Communal. At the same time and there's, also kind of a time shift, that goes on right it defies time, because. Because. In the moment that you listen, you're in that room when it happened and. You. Know I think of a conversation. I, what. I hope for every conversation, I have is that it is an adventure and that. Something will happen that. Will. Surprise. Both. Of us and if you as a listener. You also are there for that moment of right. So. That's I, was, thinking a lot about that exercise, think about being here because. Because. We're talking about human presence and, and. There. Is this miracle that it's absolutely, possible, with. And through and in technology. And I. Think that what you're about is, figuring. Out how to amplify that and, to. Explore, all the possibilities in. That. So. I think of listening, as a basic, social, art. I. Think. Of social arts, and virtues, as spiritual. Technologies. And. That, is to say just a tool for, the art and craft of living. And. For. A deepened more generative. Which, is a nuanced. Unproductive. Although, it can be productive about. A more deepened, generative. Higher, quality, human, experience. And the. Interesting, thing so, it is a basic social art I think it's something we know how to do or we've known how to do but we've actually unlearned. I. Think. That growing, up in, this. Culture, we. Learn. Too. That, listening. Is or, the experience, we have which we internalize to, be about what listening is about is to be quiet. While the other person says. What they have to say until it's time for me to say what I have to say, but. Actually. Listening. Is not about, being, quiet the, being, quiet is a side effect. Listening. Is about being, present. And. As I just said interestingly. You. Can be present online as well. And, so. Because we've kind of unlearned, this thing I. Think. It's interesting to think about whatever it's really basic component, parts. For. Me, listening. Brings. Equality. Muster the quality of general generosity. You know and a spiritual, technology, is always is always. Working, in two directions its inner work as much of it it's, outer work. So. Especially. In this world we inhabit now, and. With. So many things were fighting, about and. So many things were fearful, about. This. Is not as easy as it sounds, right in fact it's not very instinctive. You, know to me a generous. Listener, a definition. Of that would be. Wanting. To understand. The, humanity. Behind the. Word the words of, the other so it's not just about the words that are gonna pass between us and wanting. To bring your own best. Words and, your best ideas. Into. The conversation. You. Have to muster. Also, in yourself, a real curiosity. To. Bring that kind of generosity to, bear and again, this is really kind of a withered muscle, the. Thing about curiosity. Is you, can't actually fake it and. Again. Whether we're online or offline. We. At an animal, level when, we encounter, another human being absolutely. Know whether, they're really curious or, whether, they're just asking us a question we, know. That in our bodies. So. Really, like even just this basic.

This. Basic. Component. Of the art of living of being curious. Becomes. Kind, of a spiritual, discipline, or if you don't like that language it becomes a muscle, that we need to flex and flex so that it again. Because. Starts, to feel like instinct, starts. To feel natural. Listening. Involves. Vulnerability. I mean one litmus, test. About. Whether you. Have, actually gotten, yourself to a curious place that, you can ask whether you go into a room whether, that's a virtual room or a physical, room is are. You willing to be surprised, and. Again. We. Walk, into all of our spaces these days so. Guarded. So. Clear, about what we have to say what, we have to what, we have to protect, and, also. So, clear about what we think those other people stand for. So. To, to. Be willing to be surprised, as it is is an unnatural move, right now and then, and then the final piece of this that I want to add is that we actually have, two that. Actually in, in, many of the spaces, we are currently working with and living in and meeting each other in it. Wouldn't actually be reasonable. To, ask other, people to. Surprise themselves or surprise us, so. So, so, there's a piece of this I think, that bippy that the vert that the social art of listening. Is. Intimately, connected with the virtue of hospitality. Another. Spiritual, technology, one thing I love about. Hospitality. It's kind of a gateway to. All the other great virtues, compassion. Or love. You. Actually, though, it's. Much easier it's an easier entry point you don't actually have to love. Someone to be hospitable, towards them you. Don't have to agree with them to be hospitable, towards so you don't even have to like them to. Be hospitable, towards them. But. We. Know in. Our analog, lives. And. I think maybe we're learning in our online lives. That. Have the space, you create. Absolutely. Limits, or expands, what, is possible. That will happen there there is a difference between creating, a space. With. A welcome, and an. Ethos, or. Just. Opening. The door so. That anything. Can happen. Something. That's very clear to me that I think a lot about that, it's fun to say in this room is that, you, know to me.

The. The. Digital world, is just, a new canvas. For, the old human. Condition. There's. Nothing that happens online that doesn't have an offline although things can absolutely, get, amplified. You. Know, it's. The good the bad and ugly. We're. Encountering you, know but trolls like, we have we, all walk around with troll, ish places, in our psyches. Now. They have this public, this. Public room to run around and right. That's. Like. Visual, just like. But. So so, so, there's this so, this has always been true. That. That. The quality, of the encounter, of the listening, of the relationship, of the possibility. Of what can happen between, two people whether they agree with each other or don't or similar, or don't it's, very much affected by the by. The state by creating, the space. And. So. And I think there's just a real need in, again. In the physical world as much as in the online world to. Create alternative, spaces and I'll say it again where it would be reasonable. To ask any, of us to walk in and bring, our best selves, and and. Be, looking, for the good in the other and. Be. Willing to surprise, ourselves and, be truly inviting. Other people that surprised us. So. That's those are yeah I guess I guess the other thing I would want to just mention that. I absolutely think, of in. Terms of a companion, to to. Listening, is the. The. Art of asking, better, questions. In, in. American, life, we. We, mostly trade in answers, and we, actually mostly, trade. In competing, answers. And, a. Lot of what. Calls. Itself, a question, or presents, as a question, it. Is actually, is, actually are, not questioning. Its kind of tools or weapons. To. Insight or corner, or, catch you, know or at least entertain, and this, is certainly true in my field, of journalism, the question, is often about how it makes the journalists look and not really, about. What. It's going to, elicit. What. I, want to point out and that's spectacle, which we're all very familiar with is how powerful. A, form, of words a question, is. The. Way I've come to experience. It is that.

Questions. Elicit, answers, in their likeness. Answers. Rise or, fall to. The questions, they meet and. In. The, in the negative expression. Of that which we're very familiar with from, media. You. Know it's. Very it's, almost, impossible, to meet a simplistic. Question, with, anything, but a simplistic. Answer. It's. Almost, impossible to, transcend. A combative. Question. But. The positive, the. Positive, side, of that is that it's almost impossible, to, resist. A generous. Question. And. We've all had that experience but there is something, life-giving. About. Asking. A better question. Yeah. Yes. Yeah yes you're. Man yeah. I. Know. Right you're like if it's a good one yeah. Yeah. So what, I'm hearing as you're speaking is. Is. There's the sense of an opening, that, happens when, there, is a generous, presence, there is an opening in the question, there's, an opening in the space between you or things can be put there I'm, so curious um you. Mentioned it the other night with a word if you set an intention before, you go in listening, before the listening and I'm just curious how how. Does that work for you how do you cultivate that, opening in yourself that invitation because, it is that first, step of hospitality. Is open the door and and come. Into this space that we can be in together I'm just serving a. Conversation, or an interview when you're having a conversation and, when you're figuring out the right question is the questions that have, yeah. Um. Well. And I do actually think in terms of hospitality. And the work I do so, and and, so I think of the preparation, I do for an interview, as inactive, as work of hospitality. Because. You know again we we. So. Much is determined, about how an encounter is gonna go in. The, initial moments, before, words are spoken so. Just kind of like setting that table. Which. Is an image of a, certain, kind of hospitality, but it's the same idea. When. We don't do that then. The, most obvious. Things. About us that we're all carrying out front right now, it's. Just define what's, just define, what's possible. And so, what I'm interested in is how can we, not. Solve, all the problems, or make it that we're you know I because I really want to be in rooms with people I disagree, with and who are different and who I who. I need to learn from and who I know I want to share life with even, if I really don't understand, them, not. Violent, people but most people aren't violent there's this huge swath in the middle where those. Those, fellow humans, are there. So. What I want to do is create the space of it so that the things that we already know are problematic. Are. Certainly, present, that they don't define what becomes possible between, us. In. My interviews, you know when you just asked me that intuitively. You know what comes to mind is I get. Excited, I'm just excited about. The. Conversation. And and and I want to prepare. Because. I want them to be able to relax, as, quickly as possible. So. That we can really go deep and, one. Way I, do that is by, by. Knowing, about them, by, honoring. Them by, reading. Their books if they've written books or, knowing, what they do I. Mean. I do a lot, of you know I will also read other interviews, they've given I would say so, I think of my. Interview. Preparation. Mode. As the, Vulcan. Mind-meld mode, of interview preparation. You. Know. My. Mind your mind your thoughts to, my thoughts because my my. Goal in preparing, is not that, I. Know. What, what. They think as much as how they think and. And. So that then and again, this works if they're halfway, across the world and I'm in a studio and they're in a studio that we. All know what this experience is if you, meet. Someone new and. You. Know very. Quickly if you're, gonna have to, explain. Yourself. Defend. Yourself. Be. On guard and then, that's what your whole body. Gears, up to do and, then that just right that then you're then you're off so, but, what I'm aiming for is this other experience, we have all also had you, meet somebody and, you just. Know that they get you and. Even. When I say, that to you right now that my body, relaxes. And there. Is a lot more. Possibility. And, it's. A much it's, a soft mm-hmm. Right it's a soft space, in which just weren't gonna happen, and I.

Think It's a more playful, adventurous. Space for the same reason I interrupted. You with my questions no no I love, that I I didn't, um I did, want to you know um. Well. One, of the things you said to me is that you you, also wanted, to invite me here at. Google, to just say whatever was, on my mind that that I, would want to stay and. To. You and. Actually. I mean I have a fair number of conversations about. You. Know not about technology, per se but about our lives with technology, and. And. Do, think, about this a great deal and. I I mean one thing I want to say is that I. And I, know you all you, know we're now having this kind of reckoning, culturally. With. The. Civilizational. Effect of the, work you do the. Work that happens in this industry and, and we've all created, that civilizational. Effect who we've all co-created. It and, with so new and these. Technologies are so much in their infancy and and, I. Think one of the messages that's come through so clearly is. With. Wise people in my conversations. Is that you. Know that we we forget that all of this is in its infancy because it is so powerful and it has so quickly kind of feels like taken over our lives but, but. There is the opportunity and, the challenge is is to, continue, is to shape our lives with technology, and the technologies, to human to human purpose, and, and. I'm also aware of I, do. Think this is also true in journalism, like. Culturally. We're. So much more skilled at sophisticated. Analysis, and criticism of what is flawed, and failing, and. Destructive. And, terrifying, and catastrophic right. Like we're really good at that and, we're. Not as sophisticated at. At. Seeing. And. Analyzing. And working, with and. Thereby. Nurturing. What, is generative. And, beautiful. And humane. And and, I. Think that you I know you know that's because that I, there's, so much that it's human and beautiful. Humane. And generative. In. Our, lives with technology, as well. Just. I would just say. One of the things that's so. Clear. To me in the sphere I'm in is is the. Abundance of poetry. That. It has this whole new life online. And. How, people are making, poetry and and. And, putting, it up there and sharing it. And. I. Think. This is also a civilizational. Move I mean poetry, does in fact in human societies. When, we are in these moments of cultural, and political disarray, it does. It's. It's a it's something, we, are turning, to as our official forms of the language and discourse are, so broken, and failing. Us so badly and it. It it gives us ways to. Give voice to, the. Best of ourselves and. Actually. Also it gives us ways to, throw, to, put questions, into the room and I just I mean the room and a very expansive. Sense, the public room. That. Aren't, that we, that, are there for us to live, rather, than answer or fight about. And. One. Of those at one of those, questions. By way of poetry, that I work with a lot is from Elizabeth Alexander. Who was the, poet. Of the first Obama administration. And she. Has this poem, which. Ends you know poetry, is the human. Voice and are. We not of interest, to. Each other. And. To me that is that. Is a question that reframes. Like, can. We get along or are you a Republican or a Democrat, like if that's a question that. Could help reframe, our grappling, with all the things we want to grapple with and. Then I'm sure many of you are aware that Mary Oliver died last. Week and I was so so. Privileged. To have I think the last big interview, she gave in, 2015. In. Which I will share she, smoked. The entire. The. Only interview I've ever had where my.

Producer, Texted, me before I arrived and said she. Wants to smoke are you okay with that I was like she never gives interviews of course I'm okay with that but it. Was so perfect, because. And, here's the, fun but it wasn't remote smoking, it was no. Face anyways I was privileged. And. She was wearing a New England Patriots, sweatshirt, and what and it was just it made her so much more perfect that she's so three-dimensional. Because you know very Oliver her critics, think. That she's like poetry lights because, she writes beautiful, things about the natural world and. I. Think some of the people who love her most put her up on a pedestal and, turn her into a saint and the truth is like if you think about a sophisticated. Analysis, of goodness and beauty but you know she fled. To the woods and started writing poetry. Because. She was living in an abusive. Household. And. The. Poor you know she spent, years in young adulthood. Gathering. Berries because, that's what she had to eat, and. It, was that, three-dimensionality. Of her and that that's what, gives her poems, about beauty and goodness such, a heft and actually, I took you know so here a question she put out into the world that is now, rippling, through it again and it's one of these transformative. Questions, we can live tell. Me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and. Precious life, and. Something. Another gift she gave me in that interview was, to. Just you, know bring us her clothes is the, the. Phrase I, like the phrase generous, listening, mary oliver used the phrase. Convivial. Listening. Hmm. It. Was like a bubbling, in there yeah, i mean yeah being, the poetess that she is yeah, i'm glad you brought marriott because i actually, when. I saw that I thought immediately of, you because I listened to that interview and, the. Thing that touched me the most in that interview with Mary was how she talked about her, poetry being being, a moving, thing that she would walk to have the poetry, come yeah through her and then she'd have to run home and get and what. I loved about that was just that it was the living the questions it isn't that I sit down and this thing's comes to us and and, I think something that you were talking about a few minutes ago with. Journalism. Which is the, nature, of the questions again you can go so easily to. Places, of you. Know the the darker spaces, the shadowy spaces, because it it, works there's a lot of edge there to work with I think design, and journalism is very similar in terms of there's a there's. A curiosity it's, funny you can almost say, like search. Poetry. And replace, like design, or art or all these things it's all inquiry, into that that, thing at the core of something that you're gonna bring out and make felt and move everything else away and when, I look at designer journalism, I think about this deep curiosity, that rises up into us and do, we want to just look for the problems, we want to solve the Itchy seems that drive us crazy or the things that feel like they're not right or, is there actually something even deeper than that that's, more kind of unifying. Than that that is this place of beauty and the. Way you describe, beauty is actually. I don't want to misquote you like right, here so I. Make. Sure that I guess that's right. In. My notes I literally have the hippies quote on beauty which is always my like, my touchstone which is stay, of the world is hopelessly reeling stay close to the sounds, that bring you alive and your quote is beauty. Is that in the presence of which we feel more alive, so this vitality. Or speaking, about yeah, and that was that's actually, a language, of John O'Donoghue, was another poet, and theologian, and philosopher. And. I, so, he he. Was talking, we. Were actually talking about. How. A. Lot. Of the words that we need the most and love the most also, get ruined. And. I think that's true of words like peace and justice, and love you.

Know And kindness. They get on bumper stickers or they get partisan, affiliations. And and so we so, I think sometimes we have to we. Have to put them to one side and, use them less and say. What we're saying and use a universe, of words, and. Not, expect those words to do the work for us but, sometimes we just really have to claim a word and say no we're not gonna let this die we have to resurrect it and I'm, trying to do that with the word civility but, he used the word beauty. And I said to him, well. You. Know. Beauty, is another one of those words I said like if you just through the word beauty into many, conversations I I said you know maybe we're where. My mind would go is to the flawless face on the cover of a magazine right. And he. Said no no that's, glamour, and. They said beauty, is that. In. The presence of which we. Feel more alive and. What, you just said. About. You. Know the inquiry. If. We're if we're focused, on solving the problems, do we then end up being orienting. Towards the problem. And. I and I and I you know I think I don't think we have to do one or the other right, I think we can I think we I do we do to some extent need to focus on the problems. And. It's. Also just, as serious, and robust a question to ask. What. Do we want to amplify because. It is good for us. Mm-hmm. Because, it because, it speaks to and elicits, the best of which, our species is, capable I. Think. That's so much of a conversation. To. Speak for Google no, to speak for myself and as part of the community of Google I think, that's part of what's so fascinating about, this braces, phase awkward, adolescent, moment we are in technology. Right now you're right the power is, what has, brought us along so far so fast but. There's so much more to be done there's so much expansion, there's so much support there's, so much positivity, it's, easy to focus on the fear part of it because that's real and that's happening, and yeah things my shift but there's so much potential, if you focus, on what, are the things that we want to expand, in people what are the ways we can support how can we look not just at the functional, and productive needs, but, at the generative, spacious. Needs of people how is the whole person, welcomed and, I think what's so curious, and part of why this listening, conversation, it's, so wonderful to have everyone in the room here is we. Are really trying to go. Back to these course, that are so easy to forget with the speed with which we, all live and, remember. What, does it mean to in our process, open. Up moments, where we have spaces for better listening, where we are, practicing. Some of these skills in a different way working. With the design process so that it's not it's. Not kind of the normal way that we make things but that we ourselves, more, of us as welcome in that room and at the whiteboard that there is kind of you know for the humans on this side and the way that it touches people on the outside and the way that all kind of circles. What, does it mean to work, with new models and open. Spaces in these places that we all create in that's, also kind of where you know you think about that as an intersection, of design and the hospitality. Bert. Absolutely. Yeah. I'm. Very. Clear. That. As. Much. As we are again. Seeing the. The. Dart well we're seeing the dark side of ourselves on, this great big canvas. And. We're, seeing. This. Very young, industry. Which. One, of the things I've learned here, is it's not really an industry, right. It's a bunch of companies, competing, with each other but the world actually, needs you all to be an industry. This. Industry, that it, you know I I spent my twenties and divided. Berlin and. I. Keep. Thinking about that this out here in Silicon Valley because. As. Much as we are riveted, by what's, happening in Washington, DC or in London. Your. Company, these companies, are the superpowers, of this century. And. That's. Huge now and we're, all now aware of the perils of that and all that all the pieces that need to be in place for that to be true and, to be good for Humanity but, but I also. See. That. You. Know every. Every. Generation every. Century. Has had its life-altering. Technologies. Right the railroad, changed, everything the, telephone, changed everything electricity. Changed everything fire change everything but. But. What is new about our. Technologies. Of, course the pace is different, but I don't think that's really it because I think in other generations the, pace of those things was was. Equally, completely. Disorienting. It. Is the intimacy. Our. Technologies. Are. Woven. Into, the fabric of, our days. Into. The fabric of our lives they, are. Shifting. The way we, make, and read, and, learn and love. They. Are woven into, the human. Enterprise. And. And, what, I also see, is that. These. Technologies. And, the, interconnected. World and, economies, have given us have, actually given us the tools, for.

The First time as a species. To think, and act as, a. Species, we. Are not anywhere. Living up to that right now right like that's not the picture but. This is the reality, this. Is the potential, I. Love. That articulation, of it I've never heard it quite like that but indeed, it is the if, yet the ability to be interconnected it, is actually, when you say woven, its interconnected. Not, just in kind of our humanity, but, actually, in the way that we are connected. And I think the inside, and outside yes, that, that, inner and outer is so, critical, and actually it's it's perfect, that you said that because there was um there. Was a moment, that you had that you reflected on in your book with dr. Rachel Naomi when tremon are you talking about tikkun olam and and, what's, interesting is I actually had a moment where I was like ah shall, I talk about spirituality, at Google and. And, I was like absolutely yes, this is the human heart we're talking about the languages almost you can you. Can use, language you want the thing that we were speaking about the, thing that breeds all of our hearts the thing that connects all of us is always the same so, that is what this is but sometime. Early in the life of the world something happened to shatter he knows origin, myth the, light of the universe and the countless pieces they, lodged a sparks in every part of creation our, highest human calling is to help repair, the part, of the world that, we can see in touch and I. Just immediately thought, what. If everything we design had, that beauty, and service, and your, version of beauty you, and John's. To. It this idea that we can repair the parts of the world that we see in touch that. Is a pretty, incredible fabric. When we think about what filament, is at our fingers, here at Google what, a great mission you, know to organize, and organize. The world's information to. Light it up and repair it as well I think it's. Also at one in the same time is audacious, and it's doable, right because.

That You know that's this that's. The Jewish the story behind the it's. Called the birthday of the world and, it's, behind the. Moral, commandment, to, repair, the world and I really love like that's another piece of language that I think is so useful it's so much better than saved the world which was what the 20th century was about and, basashi damage, was done in the name of saving, the world and it also made, people it actually alienated. People from their sense of agency, um. But. Repair, the world and. You, know ever, since, 2016. It's just like all the like all the images, that come to mind about what we have to do in, our countries. Like weaving stitching. It's all these mending. Repairing. You, know one and and the thing is it's a big picture but it's one relationship, at the time and at a time and that's what she said to repair. The world. It's. The highest human calling, but you start, with what you can see in touch that's. That's, what your call to you I just, I love that pragmatism, and it also I'm, what. I feel like is rising up in the conversation, to is this. Save. The world but made it I think there. Is this, really, beautiful and tenshun we have in the valley and and technology, how. Can we solve these audacious human, problems, these large-scale massive, things how can we the intention, of that is so beautiful, the. Results of that are not always. When. You speak about intentionality. And hospitality, in this whole space that we've started to kind of enroll. In our conversation, what's. Your advice for us with that. Yeah. Well that's just. I'm. Gonna know solve, it for you. But. What, I will say I think the, intentionality, your, question it's so good you know that's my highest compliment, that. It. Is my birthday and I was officially, the best and I think. We. All know. We. Know, in. Our, lives we know in the lives of companies, and, organizations. That. Intentionality. At, the beginning, of something the intentionality, that's, embedded in it has. This mysterious. Power, to, be in the DNA forever, right. But. Culturally. And. I think especially in the realm of like productivity. Of every kind, we. Really privilege, the. What. And the when. Questions. And not. The, hell and, the why hmm. And. I actually think if I. Actually. Believe, that if we are gonna wrap our arms around, these. Big civilizational. These. Intimate, and civilizational. Challenges, we have. You. Know and the problem is as we also know if you, if. You rush to do something. If. You rush to a solution. You. Often waste time. You. Often, end up setting. Something loose. That. Didn't have the intentionality, that it needed that. You then spend. Time rolling back and dismay, and, solving. For. Which. Is which is all by way of saying. It. Would behoove us now and, I and I mean in every aspect of our lives and, and everything we do whatever, our work is. Because. Because, this is a critical, moment. To. Really, invest, our. Time our. Creativity. Our. Attention. A. Sophisticate. The sophistication. We would give to to. Solving, a problem to. To to this to the to the why and the.

How Of it. Yeah. And what. That means and, it but if that has some trade-offs, that are culturally. Difficult. Right that. Means you would spend a lot more time on something, that doesn't look like you're being busy. So. Like there's a culture shift that has to happen around this though Elayne language, I love that. Actually comes from from. Spiritual, traditions, is the language of discernment. You. Know I, mean. I know like your these industries, are in are all about innovation and, we. Actually have to hoist in that a lot of the problems, the magnet. The massive, prompts we're dealing with now are, the result of innovations. You know and and also just like what we did with food. 50, years ago. Where. We created convenience. And. We. Have actually like we could you know what an innovation, it was to have food coming out of boxes, and cans like. You, know life-changing. Amazing, it's so bad, for us very. Lucrative. So. Bad for us and so, now we are like and. And, then the you know our our. Our government. Policy, has followed it agriculture. Followed it you know so all of these things fall ative that now we're now, are implicated, in this. Massive. Complex of, things around climate and, and health, and and economies. That we have to like take apart and solve for right so, innovation. Is. Not, in itself, a good like innovation is not necessarily, progress, and so that's something to ponder mm-hmm. And I think if you say if if, if these if our, technologies, and our legs with them are in their adolescents if are if these, superpower companies, are also you, know very young I think, that discernment, muscle, like you know of course innovation, has been a core value but, in the next stage, asking. Will it be good for the. World will, it be good for Humanity and that's gonna look like wasting, time being. Discerning mm-hm, you. Use the word imagination a, lot to describe that generative. Spacious, process, in the eye I think imagination. And discernment go really beautifully, together towards, that yeah I must pick up so you mentioned.

That Civility is a word that means a lot to you now and just talking, about these civil I love saying that these are civilization. Level problems because it includes the, humanity, and the culture and you just all things at once, please. Share, your definition. No I miss ability yes. Well. I know it's a problematic word and I always add other adjectives, like I say adventurous, ability, or muscular, stability. It's. Not about I think we have to get past the idea that. You. Know it's not to me it's not again, like what is it not it's not being nice kind, polite, and tame. Those. Aren't, big. Enough qualities. To meet. This moment I'm not saying there's, not a place for them but that's not what civility, of the bed I I want, to say I, want. To say that civility, that the intention, the intentionality, behind it is this repair, of, our life together, I. See. I think, there are these. Kind. Of there's. The, questions, that have. That. Have been with humanity and animated. Humanity, and and I, think animated, at us at us, at our best that, are ancient and enduring, are you know what does it mean to be human and how do we want to live. And. The. Third question is, who. Will we be to each other and. That. Question. Across history has been optional, in many, settings. And I think actually the, technologies, you created, make that question. Inextricable. Now. For. Humans. It. Inextricable. From the question of what it means to be human and and. How we want to live absolutely. And and civility, civility. In my, mind we're. Also like, there's, so many different things happening at once which is part of what makes this moment dizzying, and we're very focused on what's going wrong but. There's. So, many ways that we're understanding the fullness of what. It means to be human and. Understanding. Our bodies and our brains in, the, interaction, between them, and also. In. In. Our in culture. Fitfully. Imperfectly. Too. Slowly but, but.

Gaining. A sense of the fullness of like you. Know I want. Like what if I want, I think, these words like diversity and, tolerance, are, way too small. Inclusion. Like, still is there's, an incircle, but I think we're really moving beyond, us we want the full, array, of humanity. In the room to have its place maybe, we we have such a. Newly. Robust, understanding. Just. Of the matter of identity. We. Are the generation that is redefining, gender. So. I. Think. You, know one, of the things that happened with the notion, of civility, that was that it was about like these phrases. Like we, would all get on the same. Right. Or the thing we do like the Democratic, instinct, well you've got some people who think that similar take a vote move on. But. These. Intimate, civilizational. Questions of how we're gonna live, we. All have a stake in them so to me civility, in this generation, is about knowing. That we walk into the room or. Into the discussion, with, deep profound, differences. That are meaningful, and important to us and the point is not. Agreeing. The. Point is getting into a relationship the. Point is coming to know each other and that. Thing of opening, up what is not. Letting, those things we disagree on define. What is possible, between us opening up a new space where, perhaps what, we have in common, are our. Questions absolutely. Yeah. And that opening, of the space that's bigger than the differences, that allows, for all of the questions all of the voices. Something. That you were. Speaking with Pico I hear about in that recent interview, was um how, he talked about how was. That in the institutions. Of skepticism. He's gone to all these incredibly, decorated. Universities, yeah which, he refers to as the institutions, of skepticism, yeah and he says that we learned how to talk but. Not how to listen yeah how to put ourselves forward but. Not how to actually erase ourselves. And so, much of that is this the living of the listening the living of the questions, if, we do that in an artful way there really is space for, all of that whereas. The the way kind of currently it works like maybe there isn't always space for it because it feels like there's not enough space for us because all.

Of Us isn't there, but. This this idea of seeking I. Think. He also said that everything, important, he lived are everything important, in his life that he's learned has come through his heart and not through his mind yeah, and I think that's something that we, you. Know as good, Souls here, at Google doing you know what we want to be good work for the world there's. This tension between the things that we feel and the things that we know the things we can prove and the thing we into, it and, I'm just curious as well in this in this listening, and in the allowing. Of all things for this greater sense of stability, how. Does one navigate that. Navigate. The this, this space, yeah and I think I do it so beautifully, with your work because you sit with you. Sit in conversation, with everyone yeah. Well. We, we're gonna have to innovate some, new forms. For that right because we don't reward. The. Time or the energy. Or. The we. Don't we you know we don't yeah we we, reward what comes from the mind and not from the heart unless you can crack you can pitch it as something big right, and that's what we do actually because most of it is mm-hmm, you. Know all this language we've always used about, your gut, you. Know and now, we basically, learned that what are they're calling the biome the second, brain right. Like we've actually known that we, knew somewhere. I'm. Suggesting science. Is our companion in. Being, able to make a rational serious, argument, about, this. But. Yeah that's and so I think right now all, the structures we have. They're. They're inadequate I mean I and I mean that in all of our workplaces and, all of our institutions. They. Haven't they're, behind, on what, we're learning and actually. They're, behind on how actually the world really, works and. How. Change really happens. And. On. The difference between. What. Is you, know, innovative. And, transformative. Generatively. Transformative. Mmm-hmm. So. That's part of the task right and, there's no there's, no one-size-fits-all solution. And I think that that is one of these things where the repair is gonna have to be everybody starting, like very close to home what. You know what you touch. The. Immediate, people and structures around you how do you make space, for that to be rewarded. That's. Interesting the. Idea of of. How, to reward the, how and the why yeah. If, anybody has a question for, Krista. My. Question, is what, is your thought behind always, asking, someone, at, the beginning of your podcast yeah, what. Is something from. Their childhood that, is. Spiritually, important to them yeah so so, I almost always have some version of the, question of what is their religious, was there a religious, or spiritual background to your childhood so. The. Truth is that just about everybody has a really interesting story, there whether, it's a story of absence or presence or, something that was good or bad but. But. And. The. Reason I, strategically. Zijn, I ask it is because of where it slants the question, so again it's like the, beginning is everything, right if you get the beginning right.

You, Can go places and if you don't you're working you're always working really hard to, get. It get it on the rails. What. I so. What. I've learned about that place it's true of other questions, about childhood, or origin, so sometimes, I'm if I'm in a like a if. I'm in a particular, setting, with a theme, I might ask. Let's, say it's a conversation about compassion. Or I don't, know and I might say can you what. Can you remember the very first time that you, that. That word, meant something to you or what is your memory of the early their earliest understanding, of what. You think of as compassion. Now, the. Thing about asking. Somebody a question that takes them. What. I don't want to do is start with where, we always have we present. Generally. We walk in with our credentials, and what we know and what we've done and it's, very chin up and it's. And it's performative. And that's. What we're asked to do. That. Question. Takes. It. Plants. People. It's. Not a question, that anybody feels defensive, about because I'm not asking, you also and I would never ask somebody tell me about your spiritual, life, like are you religious, I mean, that, question would be designed to just. Make. Everybody it uptight, including, me if, you have somebody that question, it. Takes, them to a very, soft. Searching. Place in their memory, and therefore. In their body. It's, also interestingly. As, much as we think of religion, culturally. As a matter of convictions. And beliefs and answers it's. A place where beautiful. Questions, reside, and it's. It's interesting to me how many people when. They start reflecting, on that part, of their, life it. Turns out that there's some question, they asked, when they were four or seven or nine that. They and that it ended up influencing the rest of their life like some of their life has been some trajectory on. The. Course of that question. So. That's it's, it's, where to start so that and and, then everything follows, from there I can get if. I can invite people to be soft and searching right up and then. Then. We, probably. Are going to stay soft and searching. I. Used to work for the World Bank as an economist, and you talked about saving the world and. Then. I moved to Silicon Valley and here. People have the same intentions yeah and it seems that the intentionality, is, right and speaking. For the World Bank you wouldn't believe that but it's the same the same is true people, truly believe in what they're doing is is, doing good in the world so. If it's not intentionality. Why. Don't we go wrong is it that we think it's intentionality, is right, but, it's really not in it's our ego or what. Is it where do we go wrong and how can we fix this that we start, off with, good intentions, and end up with bad results yeah, right. Well that's a good question I mean intentionality, is not everything, I think then I want to want to come back to this discernment piece, and, I and I do think, that. Yeah. The question of ego. Which. Is often it's very often is, you know I and. Of course we are our egos are part of us it's not you get rid of that but. It. Resides so intimately. With. Intentionality. And. So, I think part of, spiritual. Life of, interior. Of a cultivated, interior, life. Is. To, grow in, knowing. The difference because. If they often do feel like the same thing and actually, to grow. These. Other muscles, around discernment. And asking, the how and the why question, and and and. I. Mean you. Know the scale of what the world bank is working. With or the scale of what Silicon, Valley is working with is. Tremendous. But I. Do. Think that there's. Something we're waking up to a little late. About. How. About. How disconnected. Our view of the problems. And therefore the solutions, is right like and this is something about the post enlightenment world I mean I we, we, we, turned we were fascinated, with the parts right and then we created this world of parts. So. In every discipline, there's this challenge, in medicine there's this challenge we you know we you have specialists. For every part of your body and we didn't learn how to see the hole and, all the interactions, and there's a corollary, to that in. Everything. We do and in the economy in. Politics. In. Social. Policies, and. So. In some ways like this is kind of a this. Is kind of a civilizational. Muscle. Of discernment right like we actually, have to start, to think outside the frames, that. We inherited. And. See. In a new way that. I. Think you, know another, piece. Of language that's really important to me now is thinking, about having not, just imagination, but moral, imagination. Yeah. And then again, like discernment. Is. There's. There's no prescription, it's. Gonna be different in every in, every. Setting but. They think I think there are muscles we can build up and also ways we can help hold each other accountable.

So. In my role, here my I serve the manager. And leader community, and my. Intention. And goal is to support them through actually. Through asking them questions, rather what is it what community the. Community, of leaders that Google okay and. So. I'm always on the lookout for really. Solid questions and of course you're full, of them both of you are and. It's. Obviously a very difficult time to be a leader here or, anywhere but, I'm, seeing. Leaders. Struggle with, how. To listen. To questions. That are sometimes. Just they're so loaded, right and these leaders don't have the answers necessarily, and they're not necessarily responsible. For the causes and they, have their own questions, about what's, going on in this struggle so, my. Question for you is what, advice potentially. In the form of some questions do, you have for our leaders, to hop. For how to listen respond. Be, with with. What's being. Asked of them right now. Yeah. You're right I mean I think when you talk about loaded, questions then are not really questions right they're arguments, for. Them. I. Mean. That just feels it feels like a huge responsibility to answer that question I I. Do in. I. Do. Think. That. What. The world. Needs. Leaders. In this sphere to be asking, is. How. Will. We shape. These. Technologies. To human. Purpose. To. Be to, be good for us and, and if if, I say audacious, leave it that these these are the tool you have created, the tools to. Whereby. We could start to think and act as a species and. And. We must if we're gonna tackle something like climate change mm-hmm. Just, to name one of our big challenges but, perhaps the one that is the ultimate one. How. Can that. I mean, how do I like, I don't want to say it as a problem like how, to rise to that challenge. We. Take that on as a design, question. Disrupt. Our. All, the compartmentalization. Disrupt. All these barriers. And walls between, all the different disciplines we, need to be talking, to each other to. Wrap our arms around some of these big challenges. The. Thing I'd add to that as well because I just. Wholeheartedly. Agree is. We. Tend, to think very fast and, we, tend to be very reactive because.

There's So much at stake and it's all happening right now and there's a lot on them you know to kind of say the stake banging there's so much on the line and, really. This, the. The listening, aspect, of silence aspect, the patience, aspect, of this I think is how do we know there. Are things about humanity, that will never change there. Are the things that are wired inside of us there'll always be true how, do we think as as slow as we can to, the things that never change, because. That's where the real responses. Will come the, fast answers, are so challenging and, loaded as loaded as the questions, and is dangerous for individuals, - there's, just so much going on in that moment when. Really when we stop and think about the way that we are as people and the way that we are as people together and what it means to live, in a particular way, that we can all be proud of and it feels like it is about human. Flourishing and, civility, and the, space that includes all of us, those. Are harder questions, those are feeling, questions, we're not all necessarily in the practice, of that even personally, just, encouraging. And having those conversations here. Making space for that that's, the beginning of all of it so. I thank, you for, doing your work and for asking the questions you. Know somebody else I might say is. Given. That like I don't think anybody, who started, any, of these companies want it to be. Changing. Human name like you know interwoven into, people's bodies brains, and psyches. Right I mean that's not what anybody set out to do but that's what's happened. A, lot. Of the the. Terrible. Reckonings. Were happening now even, around things that we thought we'd make great progress, on socially, like racial. Dynamics. And and and gender. Dynamics. You. Know fifty years ago there. Were beautiful movements. And a. Lot of laws changed. And we, kind of came into the 21st century thinking, we you know we cracked this we can keep getting better at it but we basically did, this and we hadn't, and. One. Way I analyzed. That is that we, you. Know there's that we have this idea that like if you you, know if you know history it won't repeat itself but the truth is actually that history always repeats itself, until you know yourself, and. And. We, changed, laws. But. We didn't change ourselves and, now. Again with science, as our companion, we learn about implicit, bias right, like we learn how, our, brains, were hardware's, and we didn't know how to effect that, the. Beautiful thing like so it's terrible, to wake up to the fact that we were so much farther less farther, along than we, thought but, the beautiful thing is we actually now know we, have not knowledge that can be a form of power and you, are working, in a sphere that is actively, engaging our. Brain that's right actively. Involved. In our inner lives as well as our outer lines. So. Again I would say take that as a creative, challenge, a generative. Challenge. And. It's uncomfortable, right, I know it's, not what anybody wanted, but there it is.

I'm. Gonna sneak a question in between you and Peter who will be our last question. One. Of the things that's come up a few times here is like the, poetry. Art the, space of the heart the wisdom traditions. These. Are things that I think live very much in the, spirits of many people that are in all of these places. What, do you think that we all have to learn from those traditions, explicitly. Not necessarily. In our own home, in, the doors of our heart that's where it all begins but what do the wisdom traditions, what do all of these ancient. Human, languages. Of our souls. Had. What, place do they have in this space how, can we invite them in well they're there, they're, just they're there, this, is the part of the human enterprise, where, we, where. We tried, to think about what our soul. Is and what our heart is and and. Actually, what the fullness of our human because they're also the parts of the human, enterprise where we were actually honest, about how complicated, and messy we are right. Like our the. Technocratic, 20th, century wanted to think that we could just bracket, those things out and you could check your personal, life at the door and you. Know we wouldn't bring messy. Things, into, the public sphere and. It. Didn't, work that way. And, now all, of that you, know now we're in this moment I think, this has something to do also with technology, and the just. How rapidly things have shifted, that. Everything. That we have been thinking was such a rational, discipline, our. Politics. Our economics. That data. That. These are just the thinnest, of veneers, over, the human drama hmm, and, again. It's really messy and uncomfortable to. Say oh my god, that's what we have to do but I actually think that we have to address in, order. To do all the other work and these. Are the parts of the human Enterprise where. That has been, investigated. And where. Again, spiritual, technologies, have been developed and. That's. There for us whatever, you know there's, there are these great institutions which. Came out of that there's a history of religion. That's. Not all it is I. Love. How and in, your book you said that it. Was comforting, to you as you spoke to all of these kind of great scientists, in mind to know that everyone. Is equally, as person like or basically that black holes are easy and humans. And the human connection is so perplexing. Yeah an astrophysicist. But, nothing. They're working with, no. Black hole is as complex, as any living organism not, just human beings, I'd, love that yeah. Peter. Why take. Us home hi thank. You so much for. Sharing and being generous with your wisdom experience. There's. So much what you said I'm a I'm a disciple, yes. I, focus, on actually. Strategy, to look at how we can use. A lens of empathy and emotional intelligence and behavioral science to help guide perhaps, a better future, but. On that know like there's the things you're saying like repair, versus. Save which I thought was wonderful because that's it's. A admission. That we were responsible and, you have to admit that to. Participate. In the healing so, I think the. Stuff that, you're, keeping us and parting us is really. Gonna help us I. Asked, I want, to ask because. You. Have. In your, own sense the mastery, of listening. Interviewing. And you. Say you prepare. And you do the ritual of being hospitable then and. Vulnerability. All of these things are very. To. Your point dynamics.

That Engender. Reciprocal. Vulnerability. And generosity. But. When. You prepare like you, you kind of stop the person, and. And. So you can, you come and and, then, you say you're creating an atmosphere of, a, safe, place and. It's. Interesting because I'm curious about the correlation with things, like trust and how. What, you believe in genders trust and what you believe. Actually. Builds rapport, what are the human things that you've found that build rapport because Google. Know stuff about you teasing, our nation, yeah so why aren't you creepy. Essentially. And, what makes your. Art form of rapport, building, oh. That's. So what you're saying well yeah and I am I have actually thought about. How. The. Internet, has changed the, work I do because actually when I first started, 15 years ago I, was spending, a lot of time in library, just. Like public libraries and. Honestly. I don't know how also is finding things so, it was possible, but of course now it's just there's an abundance of information on, anybody, as you say and I. Can also find things which is sometimes fun like I can find things people said 20 years ago that they totally, forgot that they said and, that is a really great moment in an interview, where you kind of take them to a place in themselves they haven't been for a while hmm, yeah. Why does it not feel like stalking because, it's appreciative. Its. Appreciative. And. Such. An interesting question, I mean. People. Often, say. Or. Sometimes. Say after. Our interviews. That they. That. Death, that it was kind of like I gave them a gift of themselves, like I gave them an opportunity to, say. Things. They never even said to themselves before and, I and I that I do that, by. By. Being by knowing, so well kind, of how they think and, in honoring, that. Then. We can start in a really deep place and go from there, I. Think. The maybe the honoring, word is important, and. That deep. That, deep place that you hold for them to return to and, share and open up themselves. I think that that. Human quality of, creating. That space that, genuine. Curiosity that. That, authentic. Moment. That's being created out of hospitality. Like she said it. Would, be curious to see what changes when. Those values, come alive in the space with, technology, yeah. So, we will see that is all of our work to share here today, thank. You so much thank, you everyone for coming. You. You.

2019-02-27 20:04

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What happened to Krista's luxurious red hair

From my experience I know and can tell now when someone gives you time to talk (and while doing so is busy preparing to answer) or is listening, really listening.

Generous listening - seemed to be lacking among some Google employees and the upper staff when James Damore got fired from Google for a very pensive and sensitive drafted piece. A lot of the freethinkery in the company seems to have become lost. I doubt people like Hitchens were invited today for giving talks. Following the Zeitgeist, the border of thinking in a lot of these talks is more and more defined by what is socially serviceable and utile.

She is very chill

Enjoy your show early every Sunday AM on KALW SAn Francisco

I love how she dances with her hands - watch how she plays with her fingertips, extends her fingers, claps at the air, gestures with generosity - rotating hands outward and inward - pressing through the space with the different surfaces of her hands. It is her way of staying present, but also her way of expressing the intangible with the tangible. Great revelations and insight on/into the human condition ~ Bless you Krista Tippett. Thank you for the share, Talks at (with) Google

such a magical human being. so much wisdom.

such a beautiful way of conveying a beautiful observation


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