How to foster fellowship through fearlessness and visibility.
In her latest book, following three bestsellers, Brown (Univ. of Houston Graduate College of Social Work; Rising Strong, 2015, etc.) turns her attention to cultivating community and the power of belonging in the midst of an era of disconnection. Openly sharing her own history of insecurity, self-destructiveness, vulnerability, and maturation while her quarrelsome parents repeatedly relocated, the author admits to finding inspiration from those she believes have “shaped the world with their courage and creativity,” a list that includes J.K. Rowling and Maya Angelou. Through the result of an extensive research study, Brown discovered, despite the increasing distractions of contemporary daily life, an innate and persistent need for people to experience a real connection to others and how that need can be compromised by a fear of conflict or intolerance from loved ones or respected peers. The author examines the pain of loneliness and how anxiety and uncertainty can undermine focused efforts to engage socially. Also emerging from her fieldwork data are a few elements of true belonging, which encourage readers to get closer to those who are different, set boundaries, propagate trust and truth in yourself and others, learn the art of listening, and be “more curious than defensive, all while seeking moments of togetherness.” She writes that time and patience are required to cultivate the unique kind of courage necessary to achieve each of these goals, but the tools are accessible and the rewards are great. Grounded by moving interviews, case studies, her experience spearheading four educational companies, and a winning combination of perceptiveness and humor, Brown’s enthusiastic narrative urges readers to discover their own “wilderness” by culling the strength and determination (and risk) necessary to truly live “from our wild heart rather than our weary hurt.”
Nothing truly groundbreaking, but an enthusiastic, practical guide to achieving a healthy sense of interconnectedness within one’s culture and community—and likely another bestseller for Brown.