Radical Friendship: Seven Ways to Love Yourself and Find Your People in an Unjust World

Kate Johnson. Shambhala, $17.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-61180-811-7
Meditation instructor Johnson draws on her experiences as a multiracial person living in the Midwest as well as meditations on Buddhist concepts to offer insight into how friendships can help overcome differences. Johnson argues that intimate relationships are neither normal nor easy, and require a commitment to compassion and practices that promote pluralism. She suggests ways to strengthen friendships, such as contemplations on what counts as “wise speech” and ideas for confronting obstacles to one’s ability to truly listen. Johnson also provides practical advice on how to cultivate bonds that bridge divides over religion, race, sexuality, class, gender, or physical ability—such as revealing one’s views, disabilities, identities, and “ways we’ve been harmed” to others. She calls out implicit white privileges within what she identifies as a “culture of ownership and individualism that perpetuates economic injustice” and suggests practical solutions (such as “popular reparations” like community land grants) and using an empathic tone to simultaneously confront bias and cultivate kindness. Johnson’s simple principles for forming friendships will aid anyone wishing to disrupt their normal routine. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/04/2020
Release date: 08/24/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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