Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing three wonderfully inspiring men for my Psychology Today blog, Ethical Wisdom. Speaking Truth to Power was the subject of my conversation with Peter Buffett, son of the famous billionaire. We spoke about the antidote to greed and the enigma of Trump. Read the interview here. Roger Housden and I discussed his new book, Dropping the Struggle:Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have, which offers an antidote to compulsion toward self-improvement. Read the interview here. And finally, I spoke with the wonderful poet and philosopher Mark Nepo about his new book, The One Life We’re Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart. It explores how our hard work and authenticity ready us for meaning and grace in our lives, and how our sincerity and effort help us survive and thrive. Read the interview here. I hope you enjoy the pearls of wisdom each of these men shared.
My new book, Ethical Wisdom For Friends, came out on June 4. I’ve been fascinated by friendship ever since I was young boy. When you don’t have a family that – uh – embraces you, a person can tend to look for those familial bonds outside the nuclear cave, especially in your friendships. This is what happened to me, anyway, and many of my best friends have been people who felt like orphans (or invisible, at least) in their home of origin. So I know that I am not alone!
I decided to do this book after Ethical Wisdom came out and readers wondered why I hadn’t been more prescriptive – more how-to or boots-on-the-ground practical about the information in Ethical Wisdom. They asked what they were supposed to DO with all of this research about ethics and morality; how to apply it? That’s when the light bulb went off about doing a series of EW books that apply to specific populations and situations. I could think of no richer or more complex place to start than in the realm of friendship. Next will be Ethical Wisdom for Lovers … which is more complicated still.
Ethical Wisdom for Friends asks a lot provocative questions. When is it OK to lie to a friend? What to do when friends are sexually attracted to each other? When do we interfere with our friends’ lives and when do we simply keep our mouths shut? What about gossip in friendship, or frenemies, or bromance? I explore these questions using real life stories (my own and those of people I interviewed), and the result is – I hope – juicy and fun to read.
I’d love to know what you think!