The Virtual Book Club is here!!
Welcome to our first meeting.
I have been reading about Brene Brown for years. And then this spring, wherever I turned I read about her latest book, Daring Greatly. When I saw the book at my friend Maren‘s house I had an idea. I have been wanting to host a book club here for ages and Maren is getting serious about blogging. And I need accountability to tackle a new project. I put all these pieces together and realized that Maren and I should host this book club together.
We are going to alternate weeks as the primary writer but please check the comments section as we will each chime in on each other’s post.
Our format is going to remain consistent with each posting. We will present 1. a brief summary of the chapter, 2. favorite quotes and 3. questions.
This post is a bit long because I am rolling together the Introduction and Chapter 1. I promise more short and sweet posts moving forward…
What It Means to Dare Greatly
Brene managed to sneak in an ‘introduction to the introduction’ at the very start of the book. In this short, three page ‘chapter’ she introduces us to the crux of the book. She begins with Theodore Roosevelt’s quote.
“…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who at best knows in the end triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”
I was reading Brene’s interview with Oprah in O Magazine the other day and discovered how Brene found this quote and in turn what motivated her to write this book. After reading a bunch of negative comments about herself on-line, Brene indulged in a Downtown Abbey marathon. After hours sitting on the couch, she decided to get on-line and see what was happening in the US at the time portrayed in the series. And this was when she stumbled upon Roosevelt’s powerful words. You never know when you will find inspiration…
In this part of the book, Brene talks about how she came to focus on shame and vulnerability as a researcher, social worker and writer.
She states that “Connection is why we’re here. We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” And without vulnerability, there can be no true connection.
Through her studies and research of people who seemed to nail vulnerability, Brene noted 10 ‘guideposts’ for Wholehearted Living. They can be found of page 9 of the hardcover book so I won’t list them all but I will highlight my favorite and one I would like to consider more.
“Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth.”
More on that another day or this is going to be the longest post ever.
The other piece that I took from the Introduction was Brene’s thoughts on parenting.
She writes, “When it comes to parenting, the practice of framing mothers and fathers as good or bad is both rampant and corrosive- it turns parenting into a shame minefield. The real question for parents should be: “Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?”
Chapter 1: Scarcity: Looking Inside Our Culture of “Never Enough”
If we are going to learn to ‘dare greatly’ we must first understand where we are now. Brene asserts that our culture of ‘never enough’ is working to hold us all back. She feels strongly that in the past decade, things have shifted in our country, that we are all suffering from a kind of collective post-traumatic stress. We have lived through 9/11, two wars, powerful natural disasters, a recession and multiple mass shootings. This collective fear is expressed in scarcity, a belief that we never have enough. Not enough safety, love, money or resources. And then we begin to compare ourselves to the media’s view of perfection in the form of the super rich or the super famous or to our fictional perception of another’s great life. In doing this we never feel that we are ‘enough.’
“I use the word overcome because to grow a relationship or raise a family or create an organizational culture or run a school or nurture a faith community, all in a way that is fundamentally opposite to the cultural norms driven buy scarcity, it takes awareness, commitment, and work.. every single day. The larger culture is always applying pressure, and unless we’re willing to push back and fight for what we believe in, the default becomes a state of scarcity. We’re called to “dare greatly” every time we make choices that challenge the social climate of scarcity.”
Feel free to answer in the comment section or just to think about the following:
Are you working to ‘dare greatly’ by fighting against our culture of ‘never enough?’ How?