Jennifer Garvey Berger: Creating Routine in Chaos [The Knowledge Project Ep. #84]

In a more conversational episode than our last discussion (ep. 43), Jennifer Garvey Berger opens up about coping in these uncertain times, and how we’re feeling about the current changing world that has become the new normal.

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Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

And so trying to figure out “How do I stay sane and healthy and how do I help this organization I lead and support the leaders I work with?” It’s taking a ton of creativity but also just a ton of perseverance for me right now.

I feel like these routines, this idea of trying to control that which you can control right now, is just so important.

I just have this idea that a lot of the time we’re listening for a purpose and mostly that purpose is hidden from us.

I think in general we try to smooth over strong emotions in ourselves and in others. And I think you’re absolutely right that one of the things that could happen right now, the seeds that could be planted for the future are the seeds of us actually being able to live with the fullness of our humanity.

Actually when we go through grief, we find love. We find commitment. We find gratitude. We find beauty.

There are seeds that are being planted right now that are very beautiful and there are seeds of isolation, depression, anxiety, terror.

I think the biggest opportunity we miss is to be kind to ourselves. People are trying to keep, I’m doing it, you’re doing it, we’re trying to keep productive. We’re trying to keep achieving. We’re trying to put meaningful ideas out into the world that make a difference.

The fundamental challenge of being human is that we love and we lose. The fundamental quest is to love and to be loved. And because we’re mortal we lose that. We lose love, we die, things change, things end. And that’s the great beauty of being human and also the deep pain of it. And this is a moment where that’s all visible to us and it’s always been true. It’s always going to be true.

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