Let's not lie. Despite his controversial views on parenting, I love Michael Lewis. I LOVE his book about parenting, even though much of it goes against what I preach; I love his sense of humor; I love that he predicted the current financial meltdown 20 years before it happened in a book that Thomas Wolfe says is the funniest non-fiction book ever written about Wall Street. I love that Michael Lewis has been writing about corruption in the financial and mortgage industries ever since. The excerpt from Homegame that was printed in the July issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, made me PEE MY PANTS it is so funny. (I'm not kidding: I was alone in bed reading, and I laughed so hard I peed.)
I also cried—albeit a totally different type of tears—when I saw the trailer to the movie The Blind Side, which is based on Michael Lewis's book of the same title. What I thought was a book about football is a biography of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American kid from the Memphis inner-city who has since risen to football greatness. This story also goes against much of what I preach as a sociologist and firm believer in the growth-mindset, but just watch the trailer and you'll see what made me cry: that fierce love of Oher's white, wealthy, Southern spitfire adoptive mother, played by Sandra Bullock.
What made me cry was how much I related to the Sandra Bullock character. I could feel, deep in my bones, the incredible power of her love, the sheer force of it overcoming all notions of class, race—even biological parenthood. I imagine that adoptive parents must feel this all the time.
When I became a parent, my capacity for love grew exponentially. When my first-born, Fiona, arrived, I thought I was going to burst I loved her so much. I was sure that I could never love another human-being as much as I loved her. But then Molly was born, and I realized that I loved her that much, too, and that it didn't detract from the big love I felt for Fiona. And then the epiphany: I could love others—both adults and children—with the same openness and ferocity. I had become fully aware of how much love I really have to share, and of the incredible power of that love.
Kids may be a pain in the neck sometimes, as Lewis is quick to point out. But they also teach us to love bigger, better, more. And that, I think, is the real key to happiness.
Greed, Games, and Goodness
More evidence that Michael Lewis is not as self-absorbed as he implies: he's doing a Greater Good Science Center event for us this week. 100% of the money raised by ticket sales will benefit the GGSC and support this blog. In Greed, Games, and Goodness: A Conversation Between Michael Lewis and Dacher Keltner, Lewis and GGSC Faculty Director Keltner will be discussing the state of fatherhood and whether or not it is making women unhappy, among other things.
And depending on which tickets you buy, some of the cost may be tax-deductable! Lewis is donating his time, and all our costs are being underwritten by The Quality of Life Foundation. So please: if you like Half Full and you think the work that we do at the GGSC is important, bring all your friends to our event (if you live in the area), and spread the word to your Bay Area friends (even if you aren't nearby)!
|See Lewis Live
Buy Your Tickets Now
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
7:30 pm at the Zellerbach Playhouse
UC Berkeley campus
Join us for an evening of lively conversation between Michael Lewis and Dacher Keltner. Known for his puckish humor and inimitable commentary, Lewis—author of Liar's Poker, The Blind Side, and Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood—will talk with Keltner about the economic meltdown, sports, and parenthood. Director of the Greater Good Science Center and author of Born to Be Good, Keltner's contrasting viewpoint is inspired by his research on happiness, compassion, and altruism. What a pair!
$150: 6 pm gourmet reception and wine bar, premium seating & copy of signed book
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