Dialog with Van Jones

During last night’s book tour event, Van recounted the story of his year-long struggle with severe depression, when he felt like an Easter egg that was beautiful on the outside and empty on the inside. But eventually after much inner work he concluded “I’m a good guy” and moved on.

Later, he said, “I want us to start healing each other.”

During the Q&A, when the usher gave me the mic, I commented, “I love the book. It definitely points us in the right direction. My main problem is with your echoing your father’s affirmation of upward mobility as an antipoverty program. It seems to me that no child should have to grow up poor because their parents can’t find a living-wage job. A plurality of Americans support a federal jobs guarantee.”

I then asked, “What do you think about guaranteeing living-wage job opportunities with federal revenue sharing to local governments, partly as a way to weaken the power of the drive for upward mobility which has such a corrosive effect on our society?”

He replied, “I’m for it.”

2 Responses to Dialog with Van Jones

  1. On Facebook, Van replied:
    Your question and comments were so perfectly worded that I didn’t want to take anything away from them with an extended answer. Thanks for being there!…. I do think we have to affirm the drive for fulfillment, achievement and self-actualization — without necessarily tying that to the quest for the highest possible monetary outcomes. I like that you talked about work and not welfare. People need meaningful work and challenges, not just checks.

    • To Van on Facebook:
      Wonderful Great to hear. I very much agree: we need to nurture self-development (with mutual support)…. BTW, I’m writing a new 60-page booklet. The working title is Transform the World with Holistic, Compassionate Communities: Personal, Social, Cultural, and Political. It will include three proposals for action that may be of interest to the LoveArmy. It’s basically a summation and update of my self-published book, Global Transformation: Strategy for Action. Your kind words praising that book encouraged me to proceed on that path. Soon I’ll widely circulate a draft of the new booklet for feedback. I’ll post that invitation here, but if you want me to send it to you more directly, please advise me how. I suspect my old email address for you is not be the best option. I think this new booklet is unique and important and would love to make it as good as possible. I’m sure you and your associates could help. With peace, love, and joy. And thanks again for your book. And your spirit!

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