Whats More Powerful Than Fear?
Hi I'm Elise loon co host with Gwyneth of the podcast. Today's guest is Ambassador Samantha. Power she is the fourth guest in our special series called women on top which is all made possible by our friends at Banana Republic The most interesting businesses are born out of curiosity. This is the space the Gwyneth was in when she started goop. It's also the space from which Banana Republic was founded back in nineteen seventy eight I to California creatives with adventurous spirits last fall we partnered with team banana republic to celebrate curiosity by talking with women who are redefining. What it means to be powerful and brave and we're very excited to be back for a second series. I hope you love listening to these conversations as much as I love having them and I know you'll be deeply inspired by these women so please keep listening and keep shopping with our friends at Banana. Republic to see our favorites from their spring collection had two banana republic dot com slash goop. Don't hold anything too tightly. Just wish for want it. Let it come from the intention of real truth for you and then let it go. The Mayo soul is like it's unbound. It's limitless but we will use words to limit ourselves when people stop believing that. Somebody's got your back or Superman's coming. We turn to ourselves and that's where you become. Empowered courageous participation attracts positive. Things I'm going to throw. This is the group podcast bringing together thought leaders culture changes creatives founders and CEOS scientists doctors healers and seekers here to start conversations because simply asking questions and listening has the power to change the way we see the world. Today is no exception. A letter least fill you in on her extraordinary guest all right. Over to a lease Samantha. Power is a diplomat Pulitzer Prize winning author and formerly served as the twenty eighth United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama. I just read her. Memoir the education of an idealist and loved it. I felt very honored to have this conversation with her today. Power and I talk about something called shrinking the change we talk about the power of empathy and driving that change and we talk about the power. Women have to solve major policy issues and that it's necessary for women everywhere to be politically involved. Power Asks How do we get our voices heard and maybe more importantly how can we all listen? Better finally ambassador powershares how using the tools of public policy can improve lives. She wants us to know that. Even if we can't change the world we may have the power to change many individual world. And today we'll learn where to start. The one thing that that works better than anything in fostering a sense of unity and in causing party identification to fade is shared works and is service. And so you know. I'm a big believer in community service. I I wish it were something that you know. That more people in our in our communities had the chance to participate in. Let's get to my conversation. With Ambassador Samantha Power. Thank you for your book. I settled into thinking I was going to get an education on diplomacy and foreign policy and it was certainly that but then I also I was like I'm were the same person I'm sure you're hearing all over the place from ever diff- very different people turns like when you at the beginning when you talk about your anxiety and you talk about longer. I I was like are you. Hyper you chronic hyper ventilator. Now says no it's different. It's it's constriction. So it doesn't have surface manifestations no longer can be. It could go a lot of different directions. It's your lungs but for me it was. It's just the sense that you just you kind of can't get enough air and you can. You can't breathe so you yawn. You try to sigh and and air in other ways. I don't know does that. Count as hyper. Hyperventilation is associated with more kind of breathing rapidly and now it's chronic hyperventilation because I have to do the exact same thing and my dad's actually a pulmonologist and I've been to. I have subtle asthma. And yet your your body believes it's not getting enough oxygen and so you're over breath yes and then it for me. It lasts it can last for months of the yawning sighing cycle. It's exhausting. It's terrible and unfortunately it comes back when you talk about it so thanks. Oh I'm sorry. Thanks so much. They the one thing that has helped me is not overly caffeinated myself. Yeah anyway but then I was in the in the context the rest of the book so much of it as the fellow working mom clearly not not quite the same hours as you're is you polled. I loved to the conversation about Maria and how essential she was to your fourteen hour days. Yeah I mean I think too. Often we don't make visible you know. All that lies behind are sometimes seemingly effortless juggling acts and they're never effortless. They're always effort full. They're usually graceless in all kinds of ways. You know when you're living at yourself as a as a working parent but then the people you rely on to make it happen and who you know. Everyone talks about the sacrifice of the public servant and being a national security at high levels and people so generous and thanking you for your service and Maria doesn't get thank you know when she walks down the street and she's the one who she left her kids and her grandkids to to come be live my family in New York After being with us for four years in Washington so I I again to give texture to what is actually going on. I think it's enlightening for for people. Who only see what comes out of the black box if you know what I mean. No absolutely and it. Yeah it's all of that invisible and essential labor and I think I can't remember exactly what you said in the book but essentially it was something like Maria. Your your children by having this other person who loved them like that they their some of their most redeeming qualities came from her and I feel very much the same about my life in that just means we're lucky and we we've hit the Jackpot but but he just the care. Industry may just the number of us who are able to work because we have people who are taking care of our parents or kids you know it just makes it makes all the difference. Yeah so in the making of the book it seems like it was clearly sort of statement of your legacy and probably clarifying for people who didn't necessarily know what was happening inside but like a the revelation of what was in your heart and it was a fascinating insight into all of it diplomacy journalism but and it also seemed like an act of therapy like what what was the main motivating force for writing it. I think my impression since I left government in January twenty seventeen when trump took over is that I am surrounded by people who are activated in some way in their hearts but are often held back by a feeling of being small in the world and and not having sufficient agency or power to make the change that they wish would happen the they seek and and so. I think what I what I saw to do was less. You know. Frankly about my legacy Obama's legacy or or things that were would be dated but more I tried. I don't know if I succeeded but but I hope I succeeded in in kind of telling more enduring story where unfortunately or fortunately I happened to be the character in the vehicle for it but basically about caring and trying in the world's getting a bruising every now and then getting up trying to adapt and trying to apply lessons and trying to be effective against a backdrop of problems that really can feel daunting and so it might my ideal reader. You know is is not somebody who's going to go into government or foreign policy or even necessarily a working parent although appear to have a lot of those readers luckily but more just people who who feel that kind of conundrum or that internal struggle between kind of knowing that the world should be different and and softer and that there should be more looking out for one another but being busy and juggling a lot of stuff and not having a whole lot of confidence that one can make a difference and yet still kinda wanting to put one foot forward and trying and so so in a sense. Whether I'm in a war zone you know where I hope. Most of my readers aren't going to end up or in the situation room. You know in the White House in a way. Those venues are almost just like backdrops For these larger questions which I think are a little more universal. Yeah and and highly individuals like that Richard Holbrooke quote blaming the UN crisis like blaming Madison Square Garden. When the New York Knicks play badly? You're blaming a building like I think. Sometimes we forget we get overwhelmed by the size of these systems and then and without remembering that it's often the power both positively and negatively of single individuals. I think to open up in a few opened up a newsroom or like an editorial board were many people. Are you know criticizing the New York Times for their twenty sixteen election coverage? But if you if you put yourself in the shoes of people who are grappling at the time with you know how to cover this new phenomenon in politics Donald Trump and if you put yourself in a political campaign and if you're in my shoes you're you're getting you're in your first political campaign you're getting way to attach to your candidate and way too angry At the negative ads that your opponents you know airing and you lose your temper and but by being in that room you know where those things are happening. You can identify much more and just understand kind of why things are happening the way they are. But also how you make your way and and you know. Tried to adapt and leave your mark so then. The Knicks analogy is great. Because again it happens to be used in the context of the UN but in any institution. I mean on one level. Well maybe facebook is a bad analogy because Mark Zuckerberg does have so much more power than than any one individual has at the UN but but sometimes blaming even a corporation for something is like blaming a building. You know and that you'd be much better off taking the lid off and peering inside to see who's up who's down you know. How power has has shifted. What what the sort of internal politics of place are with. The petty politics of the place are with gender dynamics in a place are which can weirdly have a outcomes as well as kind of internal processes and and group dynamics and so you know I think I think just sometimes books about how history is made you know they. They just treat almost what you call in Sports. The box score. You know kind of what what happens at the end of the at the end of the game after nine innings and and not the the. The books tend not to focus on the humanity of the discord or the friendships. Then make really great things possible or yeah or the just the general complexity. I WanNa talk about evil people and that idea of the evil individual but I to just going back to what you had said about wanting the book to be assault for people who feel powerless. If you don't there's this one section in the book that I love near the back where you talk about the doom loop and you write. I worried about individuals experiencing kind of doom loop in which because they could not single-handedly fix these large problems they would end up opting to do nothing whenever my own thoughts about the state of the world headed toward a similarly bleak impasse. I would brainstorm with my team about how we might shrink the change. We hope to see which I know is the heath brothers so like in the context when you're when when you think about all of the things that are happening in the world right now and I'm curious as to whether you feel like things are far more riotous than they ever have been or it's just a virtue of mediaworks. What do you like? How do you want us all to engage well? I think that it's a highly personal decision. For starters in the sense that I think once empathy. Interestingly grow up in exactly the same community with very similar backgrounds and what triggers your empathy might be so different than what moves me and and so. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all idea but since the the feeling of smallness does seem quite universal these days I think this shrink the change idea which is not mine but which comes from this great book called Switch By the heath brothers Dan and chip eath. But I think it's a brilliant way to think about slicing outside problems into bite size. Bits and one of these apples. I offer in the book again because I was the presence human rights adviser and then a kind of quasi human rights cabinet member that was kind of my portfolio. I was very conscious of the fact that freedom and human rights were receding in the world after the kind of high watermark of the post Cold War explosion and civil society and democratisation we reached a peak and then there's been gradual backsliding still. Have you know our adder near the all time high in terms of number of democracies but within democracies even like our own you see you know slippage in a lot of different areas and Not to mention inequality and and other social economic dynamics like that and there. I was the President President Obama's dedicated human rights adviser. You know in different roles for eight years and this was happening on our watch like this didn't start with the current administration by any means and so I said to my team you know. What are we gonNA do about the human rights recession and we did all kinds of things like creating special rapporteurs on freedom of association so that you know these human rights groups around the world would feel helped you know we ensure that when we're engaging the Egyptian government that the fate of Political prisoners or really draconian media laws was raised and described kind of scrambling around and trying to come up with things that might work and certain point it just started feel so large the problem and our solutions to seem so abstract almost like they were often about inputs. Like what did you ask another government to do rather than outcomes for anybody specific and so might wonderful team you know of Career Foreign Service officers Civil Service officers the deep state there now call but they're not the deep state but they've been working and republican democratic other administrations there but many of them are really knowledgeable different. You know different regions. They speak languages. They've lived in these countries. I should we. Let's make this more concrete. We've got a human rights recession. Why don't we try to get a bunch of people out of jail? Let's just make a list? And so this was shrinking. The chain I had passed out this chapter of this book switch to my team members and so they just took it and they run with ran with it and we ended up designating twenty female political prisoners from China Venezuela Egypt. You know all around the world countries that the United States had positive and large and substantial relationships with where our ambassadors might have been very skeptical about rocking the boat and allowing you know who country was jailing. Getting in the way of you know warm ties and countries that we are often criticizing for their human rights record like Venezuela and we made jumbo portraits of these women and this is more activist stuff than you normally see in government but I would go every day and I would hang a portrait of one of these women in the lobby of the US mission to the UN which was across is across the street from the United Nations. And we did so at a time when all the heads of state were coming as they do every September for the UN General Assembly and so the heads of state would walk or driven by these portraits of these women into one after the other popping up and there were at that time this was twenty fifteen twenty female senators in the US Senate Republican Democrat. They threw their weight behind this campaign And became known as Hash Tag. Free the twenty and it is so small and idea and honestly so small a contribution to a much much larger problem but in the end we were able to help. Secure the release of sixteen of the twenty women and these women went back in to writing about corruption in their communities in the case of was women who've been arrested for protesting sexual harassment. Which was something. The Chinese government claimed that it supported but then locked up women who were rocking the boat in that way. And you know it was tempting to just feel almost the inadequacy of this effort. Right in the first instance but then you think about their voices again being raised in their communities and the ripple effects that those voices will have you think about the campaign and the the light. It Sean on you know the corrupt judges who had been in the tank. When the key the cases against these women were brought forward in the first place or the draconian laws that were on the books that should never be on the books in the first place or the NGOs or social movements. These women were part of and sort of the broader amplification. And then you just think about their families and their kids right law. These are working. Moms who've been jailed for for exercising their voices and so you know. Some of this is just about turning abstractions of injustice into efforts to secure concrete results for individuals. But some of it is about taking large issues whether it's climate change or economic inequality in this case the human rights recession and shrinking. Your slice of it into something that you could reasonably expect you know hope to impact not expect because I I confess that I did not expect we would that sixteen of those women would end up freed but I did think it was worth for that set of other reasons of what it drew an exposure to and also what it showed the United States as as carrying about and so. I think there's a lot in this idea of shrink the change for people. Now you know whether it's homelessness or anything related to the environment which can really overload the system because of the sense of the clock moving too quickly compared to our politics whether it's racial injustice the state of our schools. I mean there's just so many issues domestically internationally that one can focus on but you can just get overwhelmed when you think about the scale the scale challenge and to your question that you posed. I think which is. Is it worse now than ever before you know? I think polarization is the extent of our polarization. Is A is a compounding factor? Now that makes things feel a lot harder to surmount and you know a new dynamic that is contributing to pull relation is echo chambers and is the fact that we are entitled to her own opinions but we really shouldn't be entitled to our own facts and yet we're kind of lacking that foundational factual consensus over which we can have disagreements about what to do like now. You know it's feeling like we don't have a kind of terra firma on which to have those even those disagreements and so I think that's what makes it feel much harder today and there is you know. We are experiencing more conflict around the world than we have in in. Three decades and there is backsliding in democracy. I mean so. There's you know if it feels if it feels like things are going a little bit out of whack. You know where there's smoke there's fire for sure but then they're also a lot of contingencies. In all of this I mean if if our tech companies some of them would make different choices about you know how to safeguard our democracy alongside you know what those companies are seeking due to for their bottom lines. You know we we could end up with a different media backdrop if if the courts would in a different direction on issues like gerrymandering or even money in politics. That would change a lot. There'd be much more of a chance I think of building a a more egalitarian democracy than the one we seem to be sort of drifting toward so i. I think we shouldn't exaggerate the the obstacles but but definitely take note of them in order to figure out how to chip away. We'll get back to ambassador Samantha. Power in just a second You've probably heard me mentioned that. Curiosity is my favorite state of being. I try to carry that attitude with me every day. And it's certainly easier to do with a place like goop. The places such a premium value on being curious and feeling empowered to explore. And ask questions. Banana Republic is another company that values curiosity their founding story starts with a California couple who were looking for an adventure. Fun Fact Banana Republic began as a safari inspired clothing company and today the inspiration for their clothing is designed for life in motion or as they put it living a life of possibilities with no boundaries. This can be seen Banana Republic latest spring collection. A modern versatile take on work where to see our favorites from the collection had two banana republic dot com slash goop. Recently on the podcast. I got to sit down with Dr Robin Bersin. An incredibly wise functional medicine physician. We talked about why she believes. The scope of our healthcare system is dated and how we can bridge the gap between wellness and medicine. When Robin realized our current healthcare system was due for a major upgrade she created parsley health. Parsley health combines the best a modern medicine with the functional holistic approach their mission is to get to the root cause of illness instead of just treating the symptoms and ultimately help people optimize their wellbeing. When you sign up with Parsley health. You can expect long. Doctors Appointments Advanced Diagnostic testing. That looks at everything from your hormones to your gut. Microbiome their doctors work with you to create a personalized health. Plan that factors in nutrition fitness sleep and supplementation. You'll also be paired with a health coach to help support you and keep you accountable when you need it. A Parsley health membership includes five. Doctor visits as well as five health coach visits per year. And now they're online care program which is called complete care anywhere allows you to access your doctor and personal health coach from anywhere. You might be. I recently signed up with Parsley health. And I really appreciate how easy the site is to navigate and how all of your tests information is in one space. Parsley health is offering our listeners. An exclusive offer of one hundred and fifty dollars off a year long membership. Just go to Parsley. Health Dot Com and enter code goop. That's P. A. R. S. L. E. Y. Health Dot com and use code goop to get one hundred and fifty dollars off a year. Long membership back to my chat with ambassador. Power feels like it's not only an echo chamber is just an echo gas lighting chamber and one of the things that seems to be happening particularly in this country is sort of this orchestration of like a fear campaign and it seems like. We're all for all of the reasons that you cited whether it's economic or environmental or it is because there's just seems to be no basis for truth it's I think we're all operating from a place of fear and that's it's hard to get out of it or to pull each other out of it and I think for Moms just thinking about your empathy which I've of course related to as well because my a I always had a fair amount but when I had kids you know just ratchets it up so aggressively and I know throughout the book like your focus on the suffering of children around the globe in particular. But it's I feel like women are the ones who gonNA solve these MOMS like how high empathy is going to solve a lot of this stuff. But it's hard to because I feel like we're the ones who are in some ways most the victim. We have the most to lose lear or the are. Maybe I'm speaking just only for myself where it's easy to put me into a fear state. Well I think fear is extremely powerful and it has caused people to tighten up and to tense up. And to when you when you feel fear the appeal of people who promise order Goes way up in history and there are a lot of people promising order who aren't delivering order but nonetheless the use of fear as a political strategy. I mean it's not new right. The Lyndon Johnson ran the daisy ad of a little girl picking pedals off a off daisy and then a nuclear bomb goes off in the background and basically says if you vote for Barry Goldwater you know your children will be nuked And that was what like a half century ago? I mean the the people's appropriation of fear and and instigation of fear as a way of presenting themselves as a kind of simple solution has been with us. But what's interesting is I think in with the Echo Chamber dimension of it. It's hard for voices to get in and be heard. And and they're not even seen as credible right unless they come from the same for like better were tribe could be political tribe or or something else and so. I think it's it's been absent Walter cronkite or some kind of centrist voices who have credibility on both sides. You know we're we're sort of in a game without Umpires at the present. It feels like but you know at the end of the day. I think people also you mentioned like where does the solution lie? I mean two thousand nineteen. The year that just passed was a year in which we saw more than more political protests than we've seen more countries in generations and interestingly it's hard to get the statistics across you know particularly protests in some developing countries. But it looks like the vast majority of people coming out to protest in most countries were women including in a country like Sudan which I have worked in and on for much of my career and if you had told me two years ago that Sudan was going to erupt in protest that would bring down a leader who'd been indicted for genocide over what he had done in Dr Four and that it would be principally women who would constitute the protests and That indeed you know people who have been victimized in an individual whose family had been victimized in the genocide are become the justice minister within two years. I mean I would`ve. I would've thought that that was very very farfetched. And and so you do sense. More and more people trying to take the political destiny of their communities into their own hands and women who are parents certainly see the stakes of issues like climate change. See the urgency of it for the younger generations. Think all working parents are all parents who C- who have to answer the questions that our kids are posing to us about how we could have let this happen? Feel an enhanced urgency on on an issue like that and you know. I guess what has to happen. Though as we go forward is that has to be turned into even low grade political participation. I mean fewer women voted in the twenty sixteen election. Then voted in two thousand twelve. Even though the stakes in the twenty sixteen election were were really really high for issues that concern women here end and around the world. Young people voted in abysmal. Numbers in two thousand sixteen but the two thousand eighteen young people voting numbers were way up from the previous midterm election. And so hopefully there's some learning about what merely nation You know Buys you because it just if if all you do is is you know? See the darkness and and you can't find your own pathway to contribute you know it's a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy. Alas yeah now I mean I I. It seems unlikely that there will be much complacency before November. I mean it feels. Like it's as heightened as it's ever been if not more so when when you're someone who's been in the. Who's WHO's assess these genocides and massive global issues and incredibly evil regimes thinking about Assad. What's happening is it. The power is it one person's ability to somehow create again. Maybe it's built on fear I don't how is it? Is it groups of people conspiring like how. How does this happen? Like how does something like Assad and Syria? How does how does that happen? I mean I know that's a complicated question and I know it's not as simple as removing one person because then the aftermath can be equally abysmal. Yes No it's a great question and complex. I suppose but but I would I would start with is what happens before the moment in which evil takes full form right namely you know the the kind of background conditions the enabling environment you might say and so almost inevitably an absence of a free media an absence of checks and balances on the centralization of power whether checks and balances of the kind we have in America across the different branches of government or kind of bottom up checks civil society or local government state government. And so so that's the enabling environment. I think without when you when you have those checks in place. It's much harder for an individual just to concentrate power in a manner that him to to perpetrate. Great crimes of the kind that you've that you're asking about and then you know. I think the sort of a ruthlessness and indifference to shame. So no personal sense of morality or shame but also you know international condemnation just kind of washes off the back at. What's what's interesting about some of the big cases of genocide that that I studied Before long before I went into government But was how often in order to get foot-soldiers to perpetrate for example. Something like the Rwandan genocide or the law which occurred in Nineteen ninety-four where eight hundred thousand people were killed in one hundred days by their neighbors by their neighbors. Yeah so so there a couple to get those foot soldiers. A couple things are required. I mean first of all back to fear to really convince your would be footsoldiers that if you do not killed if you if you do not perpetrate what you would have you know a month ago or six months ago. Viewed as evil. If you don't do that it'll be done to you and so always a self defense rationale. I mean Hitler. Why did he invade Poland right because of the threat the encroachment on the German people and so forth Miss Nonsense? You know almost all of the time the other thing that you see in so many of these cases were neighbor. Turns against neighbor is drugs and alcohol. I I don't mean like the habit of drug and alcohol but people numbing themselves to perpetrate crimes deep down again. They know that they will come to regret. And so while the leader may be inoculated and removed in some way from from victimizing his people. Those who actually have to to kill their neighbor with a machete or feel instructed to kill their neighbor with a machete or to mow down eight thousand men and boys as happened in in eastern Bosnia in one thousand nine hundred five which was a foundational event in my life because I covered. That has a journalist in my twenty four years old and in this thing happened but To understand you how many of those people are just downing bottles of vodka rum? Before they start firing at the people they had gone to school with so they. They've told themselves if I don't do this. These people are coming after me but they still need something to to dull. The human sensibilities that that that live on. Yeah to yes exactly. Yeah so when you think about twenty twenty and you think about like do you and I know we're in unprecedented as you said. Sort of the extent of our polarization as extreme like do you see a path toward some sort of reconciliation within the U. S. or? Do you feel like we're headed for civil war. You know I think. Reconciliation is is imperative. I think we've missed our institutions of miss some opportunities to speed that up you know everything from facebook's willingness to you know to run lies paid for by political campaigns. That's not going to do. Reconciliation any favors to the supreme court in a five four decision turning its back on its role to protect one person. One vote and and really true enfranchisement in its gerrymandering decision To look the other way for these maps that cut a look ridiculous. You know these loop the loops. E which allow effectively state legislators or members of Congress to choose their voters rather than voters to choose their elected representatives. So you know these opportunities. It's a shame to have missed them but the I think the reconciliation will come when platforms of fear and fear. Mongering are rejected by a majority of people. I mean the the last election which proved which has ushered in and even more divisive phase in our history would that election was settled by seventy thousand votes. Yeah spread across three states. And it's it's easy to forget that because you know it's been such a a one eighty reversal on so many fronts. But just these are the razor thin margins and I'm not saying you know again necessarily that a Democrat winning would bring around by by any means that it would bring you know motherhood and Apple Pie back to the center but you know the the one thing that that works better than anything in. Fostering a sense of unity and in causing party identification to fade is shared works and is service. And so you know. I'm a big believer in community service. I wish it were something that you know that more people in our in our communities had the chance to participate in but if you could imagine a majority or you know that that would hug the center. Let's say on the right and the left feeling exhausted and disillusioned. Let's say by the way in which we seem to be talking past one another. You could imagine service being a place of entry and you know there's a reason that mayors for example are tend to be much less polarized for example at their national mayors conference every year. Republicans are learning from Democrats and vice versa. And you know there's there's just not anywhere near the same heat or noise. It's it's focused on. Hey what what worked in terms of transportation and you're downtown and and you know how exactly is that clean energy project working and did the solar panel you know. Have you managed with solar to replace the jobs that are lost because the coal plant was shut down and and so just you know when you have individuals who are whether at the citizen level or at the elected official level or an NGOs or civil society who are thinking about just concrete problems? I think that lends itself to getting out of the you know the the pitched battle mode and mindset that many of us find ourselves in these days. I wish we could almost stripper way. The I wish we could strip away party designations and just make everyone run on platforms and issues because then I think it would force people rose you listen and I think so. Many of us like I think about moms demand action and the progress that they've made on a state level for safe commonsense gun laws. And that's you know it's probably primarily Democrats but there are a lot of Republicans who are working on those issues and so I feel like two people like we kind of all want I mean many of us want the same things and yet we can't even listen because it's it is so polarizing. Yeah and as you say it may be that the two-party system for this reason. You know that there ends up being a gravitation to something else or or better yet again. Something that has caused driven. I mean things can shift in a hurry. we saw you know on nine eleven Very traumatic and and catastrophic event for our country creating kind of unity that that hadn't that was slipping away. I think even before recent years you know slipping away before nine eleven so events like that you know the rise of China I think is a very complicating factor in the world around us and is going to have big implications even on what goes on inside our democracy and I. I hope it's not you know that people don't take this in the direction of and new Cold War but it but it can also focus the mind on on on the necessity of more cooperation across the aisle on our in D. and on infrastructure and on technology. And if you know what I mean because because that's a in China of course it's forced unity Because there's only the the diktat of of one man an authoritarian and an leader for life. But they're you know the the sort of Nimble -ness of a system that can plan ahead You know we're big. Expenditures can be undertaken with longer term cycles. Those are going to become comparative advantages to a country. Like China. If we can't if we can't get our act together as well and so so there you know these kinds of dynamics even outside our own family dysfunction they can. They can focus the mind if nothing else what what are you. Do you imagine a day when you'll go back to government. I would love to serve again in some fashion. You know I do. Being a citizen again is wonderful. I teach hundreds of Harvard students about social change. Legal Change Political Change Revolutionary Cascades. You know why does history surprise us so often we've all these studies about trend lines and the intelligence community around the world spending billions of dollars political consultants thought they knew what was what going into two thousand sixteen and so to understand a little bit better that contingencies of history and to try to learn from them but it definitely to be in a position to apply some of those lessons again in public service. I would love that but I also feel responsibility to to share with young people. What I've learned so they can avoid some of my mistakes and and feel you know that I what I notice again when I left government was I suddenly had this fancy. Cv I'd been UN ambassador and had all these bodyguards and represented my country. And I I noticed that my students started to see me in a different ways. If somehow my advice was no longer as valid because I had operated at this rarefied level but one of the reasons I wrote. The education of an idealist. The way I did in a very personal invulnerable way. Was You know to remind people that you don't have to have all the answers to give it a go of trying to make a difference and you can fall massively publicly flat on your face and become a global villain as I managed to do on occasion and still somehow bounced back from that and and so you know I wanna serve again but I also feel if I can find a way to draw on on what I've learned through my service by by telling stories? Not In some wonky way or you know dreary way but to to to show the exhilaration that you can feel in in using the tools of public policy to to improve lives. I mean that role of lighting that fire. It's a role others performed for me when I was younger. And and so for now you know when. I'm not serving. That's that's my way of trying to expand the community of people who feel like there's there's plenty to do and there is say in my my book and my Mantra Enliven. There's always something one can do. And so two to just remind people that just because you can't solve the whole problem. There may still be a slice of it that you can chop off and and make make headway on and even if you can't change the world which we all you know grow up hoping to do one day you can change many individual worlds and sometimes we forget that. Thanks for listening to my conversation. With Ambassador Samantha. Power for more on her. Make sure to pick up a copy of her book. The education of an idealist. That's at today's episode. If you have a chance please. Rate and review hit subscribe to keep up with new episodes and pass it along to a friend. Thanks again for joining. I hope you'll come back Thursday for more. And in the meantime you can check out group dot com slash podcast.