“Hope is a Muscle”: Why Krista Tippett Wants You to Keep the Faith

When Krista Tippett launched her first public radio show, Talking about Faith, in 2001, the show focused on several animated queries: What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other? The questions were so fervent that it was hard to imagine them being asked afterwards, let alone amid the cynical online presentations of the intervening years. And it worked. Soon, she presented the big questions of that existence to larger guests, among them Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Maya Angelou. And it exploded in popularity. Changed name With Krista TippettThe show has been broadcast on more than 400 stations nationwide and, as a podcast, is regularly downloaded millions of times per month.

That success shows a cultural appetite for a kind of exchange not seen today — one of healthy ideas like hope and forgiveness. It also highlights Tippett’s unique ability to weave these conversations together in a way that makes them feel relevant in today’s fraught world, even as she and her guests often try to imagine another, more generous conversation. In that way, the show goes against our instincts to focus on the loudest and most divisive aspects of our culture. “This was one of the motivations that pushed me to start the program,” says Tippett. “How can we make good the same as evil and destruction?”

Earlier this month, Tippett, 61, aired the final episode of Are as a weekly radio program. She plans to continue the show as a seasonal podcast and collect the show’s archives for new projects, including “Silent Conversations,” a series that focuses on exchanges. in which participants change their minds on particularly divisive issues. “Because of the reach and reach of Are, we have the freedom to do the really quiet little things,” says Tippett. Recently, she talked to GQ about that transition and what she learned about finding hope in times of feeling deprived.

GQ: Are sometimes seems like an exception in today’s culture, in terms of its themes: patience, politeness, mystery, asking questions rather than providing answers. Why do you think it resonated so deeply?

Tippett: It’s not because of zeitgeist, it’s that we’re all deceiving ourselves. It is very necessary. It’s not that we do this all the time, we need the time and the place [to do it], and even create the capacity within ourselves to quietly, be grounded, take hold of the complexity of what lies ahead – our culture has pulled us away from that. We are impatient with complexity. We try very hard in finding answers, solutions, solutions, fixes, strategies.

And the simple ones.

Or something we can do right now.

A hack.

A hack. Exactly. And I understand that. But either way, part of the way it happens, for me, internally, is by taking time and thinking deeply. That’s not what’s being modeled or led at our highest political level, but where so many of us are trained to see, what’s the way forward? So that responsibility goes back to all of us. It’s not just politics that don’t work. That’s all of our areas, including journalism. Forms must be redone: health, prison, school. That is what we are all called to.

https://www.gq.com/story/krista-tippett-on-being-interview “Hope is a Muscle”: Why Krista Tippett Wants You to Keep the Faith

Russell Falcon

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