Seven husbands. Oy gevalt. When Chast, pregnant, moved from Manhattan to Connecticut with her husband and 3-year-old son, her parents were 78 and still lived in the Brooklyn apartment where she grew up. They lasted a good long time in remarkable shape, though George gradually suffered memory loss. When they reached 93, their woes multiplied. Chast catalogs all the stations of the aging cross here: shoddy housekeeping, denial, Life Alert, denial, accidents.
Elizabeth climbed a ladder to search for something in her closet, fell backward and hit her head. When she returned home from the hospital, she fell again, this time while getting dressed. He left their apartment to find a neighbor and somehow got lost in the building.
I know I need God all the time and I'm glad He is with me. Average Review. I'm trying to improve on my writing skills, so if you guys have any feedback to help me improve that would mean a lot! Follow politico. Liz can't keep her mouth shut any longer : Excuse me. Aging and death are a part of life.
The reason, Chast discovers, is that Elizabeth was considered overbearing and George talked too much. George dies first. After a bone breaks in his hip, he refuses physical therapy and wastes away. Like, is it about guilt? Is it about shame?
Is it about fear of what might come next? Like, you must have asked yourself this question. Why can't America do that? I think that we do want to be proud as everyone does. We are afraid that we might lose power to acknowledge our weakness, our failure. And we actually have never developed a political tradition that values remedy, that values apology, that values humility. And I think we have to make that transition. I really do. I think this country will be a healthier place, a stronger place when we actually embrace the humility that is required when you're trying to do complex things.
You know, when we start talking about apologies and reflecting on things like, you know, slavery or terrorism or lynching or civil rights or a whole host of things, it shouldn't make us fearful and worried about whether we're going to give up power. It ought to make us excited that we finally have a chance to do something, to deal with this still-festering wound because we're not going to become strong and healthy until we do that.
And it's not something we have in our national DNA to practice humility, to practice reflection on our mistakes, our abuses. But I think we have to cultivate that if we're going to become the kind of society that we want. That when we actually don't care about these difficult things, the positive and wonderful things are nonetheless implicated.
We love innovation. We love technology. We love creativity. We love entertainment, but ultimately, those realities are shadowed by suffering, abuse, degradation, marginalization. And for me, it becomes necessary to integrate the two. Because ultimately, we are talking about a need to be more hopeful, more committed, more dedicated to the basic challenges of living in a complex world. And for me, that means spending time thinking and talking about the poor, the disadvantaged, those who will never get to TED.
But thinking about them in a way that is integrated in our own lives. Vaclav Havel, the great Czech leader, talked about this. He said that when we were in Eastern Europe and dealing with oppression, we wanted all kind of things. But mostly what we needed was hope and orientation of the spirit, a willingness to sometimes be in hopeless places and be a witness. Well, that orientation of the spirit is very much at the core of what I believe even TED communities have to be engaged in.
Now I will warn you that this kind of identity is a much more challenging identity than the ones that don't pay attention to this. It will get to you. I had the great privilege when I was a young lawyer of meeting Rosa Parks. And Ms. Parks used to come back to Montgomery every now and then. And she would get together with two of her dearest friends, these older women, Johnnie Carr, who was the organizer of the Montgomery bus boycott - an amazing African-American woman - and Virginia Durr, a white woman, whose husband, Clifford Durr, represented Doctor King.
And these women would get together and just talk. And every now and then, Ms.
Carr would call me and she'd say, Bryan, Ms. Parks is coming to town, and we're going to get together and talk. Do you want to come over and listen? And I'd say yes, ma'am I do. And she'd say, well, what are you going to do when you get here? I said I'm going to listen.
And I'd go over there, and I would. I would just listen. It would be so energizing and so empowering. And one time, I was over there listening to these women talk. And after a couple of hours, Ms. Parks turned to me, and she said now, Bryan, tell me what the Equal Justice Initiative is. Tell me what you're trying to do. I began giving her my rap. I said, well, we're trying to challenge injustice.
We're trying to help people who have been wrongly convicted. We're trying to confront a bias in discrimination in the administration of criminal justice. We're trying to end life without parole sentences for children. We're trying to do something about the death penalty. We're trying to reduce the prison population. We're trying to end mass incarceration.
I gave her my whole rap, and when I finished, she looked at me and she said. Mhm, mhm, mhm. And that's when Ms. Carr leaned forward. She put her finger on my face and she said that's why you've got to be brave, brave, brave. And I actually believe that the TED community needs to be more courageous. We need to find ways to embrace these challenges, these problems, the suffering because, ultimately, our humanity depends on everyone's humanity.
Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. I think if somebody tells a lie, they're not just a liar.
I think if somebody takes something that doesn't belong to them, they're not just a thief. I think even if you kill someone, you're not just a killer.
And because of that, there's this basic human dignity that must be respected by law. I also believe that in many parts of this country, that the opposite of poverty is not wealth. I actually think in too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.
And finally, I believe we will ultimately not be judged by our technology. We won't be judged by our design. We won't be judged by our intellect and reason. We work from home. We work from remote places. We never have to see a person anymore. We can get performance reviews electronically. We can give someone a pink slip without ever having to talk to them. We can basically work with people on year long projects and never meet them.
It's just where we are in our modern workplace culture. On Facebook I heard of at least five stories in the past week where long-term friend or family members have stopped speaking over an angry post.
Or, worse un-friending one another after destroying each other on social media. One of my neighbors was visibly shaken at the public attack that was launched against her and her parents by an angry in-law. It is simply jaw dropping what we are doing on social media now even to our own families. We have had it happen in our family. An angry aunt, who drinks a bit too much, went on Facebook and went "off. She was making snide, inappropriate comments.