A well-written book can broaden thinking, teach new insight, and challenge current perspective. Arlie Russell Hochschild’s most recent labor of love not only feeds the soul with her book “Strangers in Their Own Land,” she will break your heart with her ability to describe the divide in America. Leaders in this country are facing a new moral imperative that cannot be managed without a discerning ability and willingness to listen to perspectives that are different from their own. Behind every political argument, demonstration, or statistic, is a human being trying to make sense of this life. Sense making is very personal.
Hochschild moves out of the comfort zone of like-minded thinkers in Berkeley, California to the Southern tip of Louisiana. She explores the divide between the environment and development, the right and the left, capitalism and democracy, all in an attempt to truly listen, engage in sense-making, and build empathy for those who live and breathe beyond the divide.
It is by far one of the most intriguing books that have hit my post-doc night stand. I have gained three valuable insights from this must-read that I encourage every leader to explore.
As leaders and professionals, we need to find time to peruse material that does not sharpen what we already know, but material that unsettles and challenges us to go deeper into what we believe and why. “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a Journey to the Heart of our Political Divide,” is the perfect dose of heart-breaking and soul-feeding insight deserving of every leader’s night stand. For those who have read it – I would welcome your viewpoints!
Who thinks different than you and what would it take to sit in gentle curiosity of them?
Carrie Arnold, PhD, MCC, BCC
In no particular order: Author | Dog mom to Moose | Speaker | Reader Mom to human offspring Wife | Lover of Learning Leadership coach & consultant, The Willow Group | Fellow, Institute for Social Innovation | Program Director for Evidence-Based Coaching at Fielding Graduate University