This week, we return to "Between These Eyes of Ink," a series which dissects and considers quotations and the insights they contain. For our sixth episode, we welcome Sam Whipple to help explore the idea that “Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past”. How does this quotation distort typical perceptions of forgiveness and time? In what was does forgiveness repair, heal or change our memory? Are we able to pursue different “futures” because of “pasts” we’ve come to forgive?
This week, we return to the tradition of reacting to a book of insights entitled "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff". In particular, we look at chapters encouraging us to become less aggressive drivers, to tell others that we love them, to develop our compassion and to surrender to the fact that life isn’t fair. How do these chapters and their particular insights help us to focus on what truly matters? Are some of these insights more compelling or useful than others? Are some more challenging to implement?
Can we ever quantify the innate curiosity so many of us share? Perhaps unintentionally, the company Thinko did just this in October 2018 when they launched WhoPaid99Cents.com. The function of the site, in beautiful clarity, is simply to record and display who chose to pay 99 cents for access to a list of others who had done the same. Several articles take shots at the site for being useless, wasteful and unnecessary. But what about a different perspective? How might a space like this illuminate the strange tug many of us feel to peek at the activities of others? With its entry point of 99 cents, how might it help us measure (a certain type of) human curiosity?
Five years ago, Hector and I set out to have sincere conversations about the human experience and the countless avenues of curiosity. Week after week, various folks and myself have done our best to make you reflect, challenge conventional thinking and invite discussion. Across various co-hosts and guests, I hope we’ve done something to illuminate even a fraction of the human mosaic. Today, that journey continues with a new co-host, Kathleen Duffy. I’m excited to welcome one of the kindest, most thoughtful and well-informed people I know to be a partner in this endeavor. I’ve long enjoyed learning from her in our friendship and I know that her influence will help craft the show as a space of compassion and earnest, at times challenging, introspection. We’re eager to release the conversations we’ve already prepared and look forward to engaging with you all.
***The following episode deals with issues of sexual violence.***
Over twenty years ago, Thordis Elva of Iceland shared a teenage romance with Tom Stranger, an exchange student visiting from Australia. After a school dance in 1996, when she was 16 and he was 18, he raped her. After parting ways and independently examining their own feelings and responses to the traumatic event, Thordis got in touch with Tom. The two would go on to correspond for years and later meet in South Africa to navigate the pain surrounding Tom’s actions together. In October 2016, they recorded a controversial joint TED Talk exploring this journey. This week, we’re joined by Nari Malkhasyan to discuss the talk and its implications regarding shame, trauma and humanity. As we felt the original talk pursued, we hope we also touch on the uncomfortable nuance and difficult questions in our conversation. Lastly, like any episode, this conversation is about reflection and inquiry, not conclusion and declaration. What we discuss may clash with your perspectives and similarly, what Thordis and Tom explored (and acknowledged) is not a prescription for all survivors and perpetrators.