Author, lecturer and coach William Kenower inspired me with his interview on Episode 19 of Dante’s Old South radio show hosted by Clifford Brooks. I wanted to know more.
Kenower’s website is packed with his articles and other resources for writers (and all human beings). Two of my favorite examples are an article he wrote for The New York Times blog and one of his posts for The Good Men Project.
Using a practice called “joining,” Kenower and his wife connected in a new way with their son, diagnosed at age 7 on the autism spectrum. “…Instead of telling him to stop pretending and join us, we started pretending and joined him.” In the process and over time, Kenower stops seeing his son, himself or anyone else as broken. The article can give a reader new lenses as well as a new technique for resolving conflict.
Looking outside of ourselves for approval can feel as natural as breathing, but this reflexive drive for recognition can be toxic. In his post for The Good Men Project, Kenower catches himself seeking the wrong thing, and getting it, over and over. What he was truly chasing was happiness, where it could not be found, and what he truly wanted was love, given and received.
“Love is not a thing but a direction. If I can remember that what I actually want is love, is to express love and share love, all that other stuff, including cars and houses and lucrative contracts, eventually comes along.”
Dante’s Old South is a monthly radio show hosted by poet, writer and author Clifford Brooks via Chattanooga NPR affiliate WUTC. The show features “poets, prose writers, musicians and more.” You can find Dante’s Old South as a podcast on Spotify.