Why Creativity Is The Key To Leadership with Cory Booker
Harewood House going. I'm Chase Jarvis. Welcome to another episode of the Chase Travis Live show here on CREATIVELIVE. You know the show. The show is where I sit down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders with the focus goal of helping you live your dreams in career in hobby and in life. My guest today is the Senator Corey Booker. Welcome to the show. Thank you very much. I love you. Pleasure to have you. You say he's Senator the Senate, 100 of your thus and I are going more junior off the senators. I mean, that's part of what makes you great is your humility. But, uh, I'm gonna take the folks who are tuning in right now and take it back to the first meeting that we had in in January. I was there in Washington, D. C, working with a couple of influences, that sharing influencer committee that was a filly with White House and working on pushing social agendas and it around education. And you join us for dinner and you stood up and gave a very passionate, ad ho...
c speech was incredibly moving to me, and it wasn't moving just about the politics that you were advocating for it was moving in the fact that you are, without a doubt the most creative and entrepreneurial minded person and government that I'd ever come around. So to me that I'd like to hear a little bit about your background. Sure. And maybe we can march a short arc to get today. But how did you get that? What was the world that you grew up in to be so, um, entrepreneurially minded and creative about your approach, your job? Well, the beautiful thing about America's we all we are this incredible mixture of lots of different cultures and that immigrant groups the Irish just the endurance surviving, finding ways toe move ahead and move Americans side with them. Incredible. You have other cultures. But I grew up in then after American family, and so so much of the stories I heard growing up was outrageous creativity against insurmountable odds. And so, if you think about you know, Birmingham in 1963 where Martin Luther King is in prison and rights probably one of the greatest, uh, pieces of American literature, the lighter side of Birmingham Jail, where he tells the truth of us, all of us. Spiritually, we may be different minor, part of her genetics that makes us different races. But, he says, Look, we're all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a common garment of destiny, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. With the poetry, that is, he's amazing. And but the interesting thing here is he comes out of prison and he's failing in Birmingham, he can't get people to organize. And it was to creatives Dorothy A. Cotton and James Bevel a gold him and say You have to try a different strategy and they literally get him to do something. Pull a rabbit out of a hat, which was their idea, which was, Hey, we can get adults to organize. You've been telling us we can't organize Children. We're gonna organize Children, I think, was Taylor Branch and his Pulitzer Prize winning book might have been. Stephen Oates calls the chapter. This chapter in the book is called The Children's Miracle, because when you suddenly have these kids, 1000 of them gather in a church to creatively protest against Bull Connor, who was when it comes to white supremacy was sort of like straight out of central casting, and they ended up creating such a spectacle. Fire hoses on these kids eventually dogs, that it woke this country and you had black folks. White folks, age books, people or people sit in Iowa, eaten their meal, watching this on their TV. It's so shook their consciousness that they that they came down on. That's what the power of the civil rights movement, whether it's John Lewis and marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. So inspiration on your work with them recently. Yeah, I know, but it's to me. It's so created. It's like, Look, we're facing implacable walls of resistance. How do you like how to Gandhi this small little bold man, you know, frail old man? Get the British Empire out of it was creativity is thinking, but it's also love. It's how can we connect to the love? Uh, and I think there is boundless reservoirs, its most powerful force in all of humanity. How can we unleash the power of love that seems to be damned at this point? And so that's where I get a lot of my inspiration for is growing up in this household where my parents were like, Look, this is not reality that you're living in, You know, my parents came from poverty, literally talked about creative protest. They were turned away from the town that I was living in, and they had to get a white couple to pose as them through this fair housing councils incredible group of black and white activists who sent out a test couple to see, indeed, that when my parents were told the house task humans test humans see. So when my parents were told the house was sold, the White Cup would come after them and find out the house is still for sale on the How's My Parents Fell in love with but they were told, was taken off the market. The white couple found out that it wasn't put a bid on the house. The bid was accepted. And on the day, the closing my father and this volunteer lawyer named Marty Friedman show up and the the lawyer was the real stage was so angry. Punches my dad's lawyer, six a dog on my dad, and I always joke that every time my dad would tell the story the dog would get bigger fish story. But that's that was, that's the total. So now imagine me. 18 years later, I'm a high school senior All American high school football player. I was joked that I got into Stanford because of my 4.0 1604.8 yards per carry, 1600 receiving yards. But I walk around my house with teenage swagger and my dad would be like, Boy, don't don't walk around this house that he had a triple. You were born on third base and you gotta understand that these blessings that you have and any of us that can pronounce those four words which only like 4.5% of humanity, can say I am an American and the blessings that come with that they come with obligations. And my parents said, Look, you've got to keep fighting in this country. And so the instruction that I always took for when I started finally working my first sort of professional jobs, that lawyer fighting against slumlords in New York with these amazing tenant leaders, the first sort of draw that I had in terms of informing me on what practices to use was this incredible civil rights movement where people of all different backgrounds came together to advance our nation towards higher principles of love. Beautiful background. My, um, I talked on this show a lot about creative with a small C, which is sort of photography, design, building businesses, entrepreneurship. But there's creativity with a capital C, which is that creativity is going toe underpin the solution to every problem. We will ever know the fact that a 1,000,000,000 people go without access to clean drinking water and I in my speech is all of the world. I used the civil rights movement as a za understanding of what Capital C looks like. Yeah, and to me, that's one of the reasons I wanted you on the show since before he met in January. Is, I think your solution your mechanisms for bringing about change, for bringing about awareness for again not just the political agenda, but in connecting with people wildly different than any I'd ever seen. If we can for a second, let's talk about before we go I e This is your show is your show. But I think what you're I mean look, I mean If I'm a person of faith and I love sock study religions, Claire just love conceptions of the divine. And who knows who's got it right? There's this idea that God was a creator and made us in their own image. Therefore, what is our most godly calling is to be creative. And so there's this ability for artists, whether it's again in American traditions, from James Baldwin to Langston Hughes that just in their artistry touch people. Why is it that I can tear up a soon as I hear bagpipes playing in new work from a different tradition? Or that you have people in Ireland listening to blues? I mean, this connects humanity and the stories you say you use a civil rights with. I literally just about a week ago was in eastern Ukraine. Um um uh, in the I'm in a basement area meeting with the people. Most Americans understand that we are in this existential fight right now. I think against the Russians they have attacked Ukraine. There's a line of contact. They invaded the dumb boss region and people are dying well, actually lost in American Jos Stone tragically trying to enforce peace accord to the Minsk accords. Their car hit a land mine. So you have this kinetic battle going on, and I'm sitting in this basement off with military leaders. Some of the wounded someone have been captured and then released in the basement of this building, who all crowd in to see a junior senator from New Jersey because most Americans understand what we are giving to the planet Earth in terms of hope. I mean, these guys literally had to go back and forth on bicycles to communicate amongst troops because the Russians were so good at jamming their communications until Americans gave him this Harris Radio made in Clifton, New Jersey, our technology enabling them to t stay alive and communicate. So I say all that to say when I'm meeting with these leaders who are literally on this forefront of this hybrid war that the Russians are doing, which attacking and propaganda as well as its kinetic a war stories that most touch them that I could draw from was telling him stories about the civil rights movement about this larger fight. And I told these young leaders when when the revolution happened in Ukraine and they throughout their leader when they when they turned their back on the west on the U. And there was this unbelievable demonstration in the My Don that the main area, a new generation of leaders sit down. These folks were practically millennials now in parliamentary positions, and I just looked at him. I said, Look, you guys are in this moment where it's gonna be your creativity to envision stuff that's not there to see things that other people can't experience. Yet your ability have that compelling vision is gonna is gonna drive your country for. And then I told them stories about people experiencing all kinds of bigotry and oppression violence. But yet they still believe in the hope of democracy, which is what they're what's driving them on. So this is not a This is thes air human cords that are so powerful and we have an obligation, as a great poet said, and we'll watch that Poets society to contribute a verse to this larger, larger movement. That's a beautiful articulation of what I think is a very large opportunity to put creativity at work. And I think a culture we've largely repressed it and it's, you know, the rise of the creator. I think it's an all time high and rising. And, you know, I'd like to touch base on education and the way we look at that, your employment of it and before we go. But I want to touch base on sports because I think you and I should have in common. I went to college on a soccer scholarship, but before we do, you told a story to me and that night at dinner about using social like in this case, it was Twitter when you were the just elected mayor of Newark, Right, to send a message to creatively communicate with people around a message of hope surrounding the potholes. Potholes not as fixing the pot, literally fixing potholes, but potholes. Also, as a metaphor of what was possible through communication, coming together, a za community. So tell me that story about how you like people were taking pictures of potholes. Yeah. I mean, look, way were dealt a really bad hand when I became there and the city was dealt a big and I was mayor of handed our country slipped into the globe, slipped into a recession. Inner cities face depression like circumstances, and I want to get people to believe that we were in a partnership, that I wasn't just a mayor. And there was a community. I want to believe that we could create a we government, you know, that we were in this together. So I decide to be the most accessible mayor I could ever possibly be. And so I used Twitter actually to create a platform to say, Hey, tweet me and I will respond, and I will. I will show you that we are in this together. So people are supposed to just driving past potholes and cursing. Somebody should do something done that not just in Newark, everywhere, everywhere they began to people going to take me up on it. And they would, uh, take a picture of the pothole, tweeted at me and say, on the corner of here and here there's a massive pothole. And I wanted to show them government responsiveness. So we would go out there and try to do it in a matter of hours. And so I would literally I had this response. It's a on it. That's why would tweet to them and then if we gotta fix. I often say, Don, or I'd wait for them to say, Oh my God, you fix that pothole And it just created this incredible connection that I began to hold my staff more accountable because I would find out about potholes before my road crews traffic lights out before my traffic department. It just became, it actually made the whole of ours city better because we were all working to fix problems that we saw. And it's certainly there is the active fixing the pothole, which is an improvement. But it sends this message of hope, of accountability, of reliability of it's a similar thing to this, I think the study they did on graffiti on the trains here in New York that when they could clean the trains within the same day of repeating appearing on it and the graffiti amount of graffiti. Now I happen to be an advocate for graffiti in other circles. But this particular element, when they reduce that, and they could show that the people in the city cared that there was a disproportionate, manic care that people themselves put back into the system, right? You feel like that's what happened. Yeah, I mean, look, when we there's something about when you take ownership of something that is that is very empowering and and I think it created changes the energy in the city. But you and I both, and I've listened to you enough to know that we know that about our lives. And I always tell people we have a choice to make every moment of our life is to accept things as they are or take responsibility for changing them. And when you begin to get that kind of empowerment, because this life we were talking before we are in camera, it's lots of things going on around the world and feel very disempowering, making feel small. And I was tell people never allow your inability to do everything that undermine your determination to do something, even if it's just one small act. And never underestimate how that one small act can resonate. And the great example of this already on the what we talked about is what these folks who are marching in the 19 sixties and all this have anything to do with you and I in a different generation. Well, the lawyers have helped my family move into the house and Harrington Park, New Jersey. I had to track them down for my book because I back check every story I was telling on these moments. So I wanted to find out what was the size of the dog. Really? Thanks. Dad s so I talked to the head lawyer who was organizing people to help people in their parents. I said, Why would you young guy just starting out? Why would you get involved this creative protest? And he goes, Well, I remember the day it was a Monday and it was a Monday. He goes, Yeah, it was a Monday because that's Sunday. I was at my house in New Jersey. Watching these marchers on a bridge in called the Edmund Pettus Bridge was bloody Sunday when John Lewis got hitting everything and just so stunned me to think that those creative protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, instantaneously their love and sacrifice change the heart of a guy in New Jersey who then got involved. He said one of case files in his hand. It was carrying Caroline Booker, my parents, that literally then changed generations yet unborn. I would not be here right now if It wasn't for that chain of love that moved space and time to effect my life. And so we underestimate what small acts like. I can't pick your headline from today. You feel disempowered by it. But maybe it's just one small thing I could do. Make my city better. I can tell the mayor about this one pothole and I've had friends of mine since then. Tell me stories about a lot on a street that everybody passed by with dirt and debris and decided just to clean up a lot and how kids would come out and every change the temperature. We found that on murals getting a local artists, they were gonna paint this out of this building and how it changes the temperature. One small act of creative engagement could send ripples out that we don't even understand to make a difference. Stuff the power we have to change our world that we so often don't use because what Alice Walker's is the most common way we give up our power is not realizing. We have it in the first books that I love. That quote I've heard you say that before. Yes, on Is there something in particular with your DNA. Is it? Is it your upbringing? Was it? You know, I'm gonna go here to sports and sports played a huge role in for me in team building knowing that you could do something if you got a bunch of like minded people together and we're card, there's a lot of discipline around that. It's not for everybody is not the answer, But I know you played football. You said that earlier. You went to college, Thomas Scholarship. And what role did sports or is there some other part of your familial DNA that gave you the insight to think well, so I listen to you and I have a lot of respect for you, and, um, you know it. You and I both know we're not. You said this yourself like I was asking about your morning routine and you're like, I don't always do it, you know? I know it's I need to meditate every morning. I'm better when I do. I know I need to get sleep. Sometimes I sit up there eating, you know, Doritos, watching TV, too late. So it takes work, but I think that it's having that aspiration in your heart to live your life some way and to know it's a struggle. I know you're not gonna be perfect. You know, there's a there's I just on the way here. I passed by a McDonald's in my neighborhood, and I love this McDonald's because it reminds me of a lesson that my driver guy driving around detective retired detective, grew up in the projects. You know, we drove through the drop drive, too embarrassed to tell you I'm a vegan, actually. So I'm embarrassed to, like, say that I was going to McDonald's drive, you know, very embarrassing, but I'll never forget. You know, they hand us two large fries of the drive through window, and I'm these air succulent like ambrosia. It's like being sprinkled him with some of legal substance. And I'm so happy about these two fries with this guy in the dumpster right by us. And I say, Hey, man, he needs help. And that's how I think I'm wire. I think I'm Hey, I'm doing the right thing and he goes, I don't need help me Score waves me off and this is something I could do for you. I'm just hungry, and so I painfully give him one of my two large fries thinking I've done my good deed. But then he looks at me with anguish in his face, and he goes, Hey, man, I need some socks. Do you have any socks? And I'm thinking, I don't carry extra socks in my car. And just as I'm sort of like telling, you know, you know, Kevin, the guys driving me Rosa car in Park reaches between his legs, takes off the socks he's wandering hands with through the window. Now I'm three blocks from my house if you're like me tons of socks in my drawers and aware that my mother gave me for some birthday six years ago. But I just wasn't thinking creatively enough about how to help people. And so I don't know where how I am, who I am. I just know that I'm in perfect model for anybody, but I know the most important thing about what I do is that struggle, and the more you fight. This is sports to talk to you and I that that the struggles what's important, you know, you know, football was one the best sports periods one of best gifts of my life because I just learned that the harder you work, the better you get. And I also learned this credible lesson about like, If you really want to be good at something, you've got to be willing to give something up. And most offense time, like the best people that I saw were saying I'm going to give up spending that five hours that the average American does watching a TV show, TV shows on gonna invest that in something I'm gonna I'm gonna dare to be different or weird Or And so for me, especially at Stanford, where I came in was a failure. In my first year, Aziz everybody was going to freshman All American. They thought they had their top. I was. I was most overrated high school football player ever in America. I was like a to position high school all American and on the same teams, like Emmitt Smith in the USA Today. That was that class coming in high school. And then I just sat the bench my first year and I had to re engineer my body, and I just, you know, get that experience taught me that there's nothing I can do. I'm willing to put in the time. And I went from having horrible bench horrible squads to making the California all football strength team just because I learned that if you want the things other people don't have, you got to be willing to do the things that other people don't do. It was one of best lessons sports could have ever given me just that idea of sacrifice in order to something in order to get what you really want. Ah, a powerful story. My next question is we're gonna go from sports to the what is often considered something very different, which is creativity. And that was a thing for me. I was a jock trapped in an artist body here on artist trap in hospitality. Yeah, and it was It was reconcile eyeing those two things. It was when you were the creative kid where I grew up in very suburban, very white, middle lower middle class suburb of Seattle. The creative kids were weird and I didn't want to be weird, so I did the opposite was like, Okay, well, what's easy and socially acceptable and fits in and you know a girl will look at you, Mike. Okay. Great football or soccer. Great. I'll do that now. Was there any sort of pressure in your world? Did you feel, um, did you feel culture telling you what to do, what to be as a young man? Because for me and then the folks who are listening, I found it. I come from relative privilege. I mean, all those things I mean, did have Adidas with four stripes upside down Nikes told me those air Nikes. I was like, I don't mind looking on the other ones, but relative privilege. And I felt that in order to find out who I was, I had to wait basic until I was a young adult. Did you feel pressured to be an athlete, or do you feel pressure to be something that you maybe were not? That's a great question. I think all of us were teens. We feel ridiculous pressures. And now, in retrospect, don't seem uh, like, why were we stressing over things like that? But I think there's a desire not to be different, right? And you want to fit in and the challenge I had and now I see is a gift is that I was very visibly different than everybody in my school cause I was the only black kid I was with my brother and maybe a small group of minorities were very homogeneous town in terms of just basic race, even though we had Jewish community in the town Irish, Italian. But I was a black kid and and I think that that, you know, it had some painful childhood, really painful childhood moments. And but it also taught me the bravery of being different. And I think often when you experience difficulties like that, especially young age, it could eat there, make you mean, You know, people who were bullied often end up believing, or it can make you more compassionate. And I always feel like my childhood of being that different kid made me. You know, when that new kid moved in, I was the first person to defend them, have lunch with them, lunch with them, whatever. If somebody was different and being made fun off, I felt like I was gonna jump in there and benefit, in fact, that I grew really big really quick. So you know, I was kind of guy that could stop fights before they start or get in somebody's face if I felt they were being mean. But, um, I now look back and I think even though I had some humiliating, painful moments of my childhood, I think that those were blessings because it taught me the power of compassion. And, you know, it is a great author on thinker Skip Gates, who wrote this wonderful book where he talks about luxuriating in his ethnic identity in this case is blackness. But he said it was a portal for him to have a deeper understanding connection to humanity. And all of us have some experience that defined us, whether it's our cultural bringing a religious upbringing. But even more importantly in that something that made us feel alone or isolated or hurt or different, and I just think that that's got to be fuel for us to be more compassionate. On a more open I still remember when I was got to college, I started working in a crisis hotline center and it was while to me to sit on ah phone that people are calling about it issues from eating disorders to suicide. It was almost like the veil was lifted for me because the quantity of calls was so shocking to me. And it really shook me to realize that how much rape was a common on the campus or sexual assault was or it shook me to see how much people were stressed and depressed or worried it. But it almost made me feel that we're all struggling with something. We're all going through hell and I did. It also opened up to my eyes, my biases, I still remember and I remember his name. I don't know where he is today, But Daniel Bow like one of more beautiful men, the people I've ever met. But he was the gay counselor, and I had so much ignorance from a 19 seventies and eighties upbringing in a massively herro sexist world. But the patients and the love with which he allowed me to ask dumb questions, um, it sort of opened up my heart and my compassion and help me understand. One of the biggest volumes of calls we got were kids struggling with their identity and coming out and Annie and also suicides. Most Americans have no one to understand. It of a 40% of homeless youth, or GAN lesbian youth who were coming from hostile environments. The biggest hate crimes in America are gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender kids or people. And so, you know, all of us in America we should be a lot kinder to each other and a lot more compassionate. And even if we have ignorance, I wish everybody in the place of love. Yeah, I wish everybody would have a Daniel bow in their life, too. Like to, even though looking at me with my ignorance is in my biases and loved me through them and was willing toe to be there for each other. And we've all gotta I wish we can. All I always say that the It wouldn't be great in America. All of us had to work wait tables at some point in our lives that we just so have brought me some humble pie is awareness. So I did a hiding Senator Heidi Heitkamp and three other ball black man in the Senate, Republican Tim Scott. Three of us teamed up because they're the pages that work in the Senate, and, you know, some people treat them like furniture or like servants. And Heidi is one of the people that sets example like Set Step treats him kindly. So we decided, have a pizza party for them and at the end, we just were giving him advice. I said, I said, You know how many you I know how it felt when that Senator was rude to you or treated you like you were help on. Do you think about that for a second? They said he and I said, How many? You remember when the Senate, it was nice to you in a major day? And I said, realize that you have that power as you go on in your life that you're gonna encounter people. And the questions Are you going to see them, see their beauty, see their divinity and treat them with that kind of love and respect? Or you're gonna be that person. That's rude. I said that at that attitude of kindness and attitude, of gratitude, remembering what it feels like that's going to take you so far in life. Just something the basics like that. So I happen to marry that person. Really? Yeah. Seven. She opened my eyes in ways and You know, it always historically been hard charging type paper. So when you come up against someone who's so soft like water Yeah, and you're sort of anger, frustration just rolls off them and they can show you love when you're not at your best. Yeah, I was like, Wow. And that had been It was a different. He was a very different kind of woman that I've ever dated. And so my Daniel about happens to be my wife Kate. So shadow to you, Kate. Um, so I think the ark that we're on right now, I wanna interrupt for just a second and and tie back to something that you said, Um, we're going to go back to creativity. But you said fight. You were big enough to break up fights. I think it was interesting that the documentary that was made about you, it's it's quite interesting. And it was called street fight. Yeah, And so for the filmmakers out there, I think this was in 2000 to 3 years. Doesn't five lost in the economy awards to March of the Penguins? For crying out loud, Very humbling to me that the documentary I was in lost to be easy like this rodents. But again, you are an amazing order. Your great storyteller, Andi. I find it intriguing that someone made a film of you back in early political life starting yet and then get lost in the Academy Award was nominated and lost A What was it like to be the subject of that be? Do you think it shared a piece of you with the world that hadn't been seen before? Was it catapult? Was it a hindrance? How do you look at that experience? Well, I mean, at that point in my life that it came out. I wasn't mayor. I was in this long Eddie between losing a merits race painfully a za movie leading into a 2006 mirrors way. So we eventually one. But, um, you know, it was a struggle in New York was going through a tough time at that period. And so the many ways that film was it, I always say, If you have a spectacular loss and failure in your life, have a documentary team there to capture, because there's something redemptive in many ways about other people getting an insight into what was going on in that race, and it was, It's outrageous. I mean, most people watch it. I can't believe that kind stuff goes on in America. Um, but look, one of give. So just this just day before last, it was a shooting in my neighborhood. And and, um, it bothers me that we've become a nation has normalized stuff that if it went on 50 60 years ago, it would be literally leaving nightly news. What we have now. It's think it's just part of American society that dozens of people will be murdered every day in gunfire, and they're often the people that live on the margins I live in, I think the only center that lives in a community below the poverty line that the median income, my areas like $14,000 per household. But it's an amazing community. This is where I first moved in when I was came to Newark. I mean, heroes, champions. I mean, this is one of the places that is so special to me. But the problem is, is that folk art even woke to the fact that we have Americans struggling with kind of issues that were struggling with And so when when you have a documentary or an artist that's able to pull some of that out and show America that that were we're not who we say we are, that there are still levels of injustice, uh, an unconscionable evil that goes on, and we have the power to stop it. It's not their problem over there, Remember, it's our problem. We're in this together. There's no they. There is no day, it's us. And so for me, a lot of what I'm trying to do, and this is a reason why stay living in this neighborhood because, you know, I love representing my state, but I have a bias in, in in in all of my public life has been towards those people who are left behind or ignored or overlooked, and those of us and I include myself, cause I said, I'm struggling. I'm not always perfect when we indulge in the worst type of privilege, which is that there is a serious problem out there. We know there's a serious problem out there, but it doesn't affect us or our family. So it's not that urgent of a problem and and for us to get over that find ways to get over that is so critical in this is where creativity in love space is so important is to be how do we prick each other's compassion and a sense of urgency? And I love this your your folks you know this because you carry that spirit that I love. And I think this is one of the reasons why conversations like this is so important. But I'm walking in here, you know, tomorrow I'm gonna be in a prison because again, my faith talks a lot about people in prisons. And this is the greatest shame in America. And I'm telling you, most Americans have no conception that we have 4% or so the Globes population but one out of every four imprison people on the planet Earth or in America, highest level of incarceration in history of humanity. And we and we incarcerate are the most vulnerable. Our citizens, we basis. Let's let's design a system where the sick, mentally ill addicted and poor, where we can drive them further into, uh, into pain and misery. Let's design assistant that praise upon minorities in such a way, there's no you and I both college scholarships and like and my school hates when I say this, but there's lots of drug use at Stanford. You know you could get your adder roll. You can get your ex, you get your pot, you can get your cocaine. I went to San Diego State. They were the number one party school country, but there's no sting operation set up for nonviolent drug crimes. But but but and so the difference of privilege, all of us, just by race alone. And by the way, there's after Americans were privileged who don't have this same experience. But if you are black in America, you were. There's no different blacks and whites for using drugs, no different blacks and whites for dealing drugs. Young white men have a little higher rates, according to some studies. But even after American almost four times more likely be arrested for that problem and for that for the so called crime. And so you have guys that become president states admitting to felony drug use, Obama and Bush didn't just try a little marijuana serious felony crimes that you have teenagers in urban poor communities that get ground into a system most people understand that you get arrested, kid, go out to Rikers Island. You could spend months or years before you even get a trial in this country. That's scary. And you're then experiencing things inside that prison in other countries called torture, juvenile solitary confinement and then your You have the pressure. Most Americans think we still have trials, and Juries know 98% of our criminal convictions now are done by plea bargain because we ratchet up these mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses that now this is. I've talked to so many kids where similar things happen. I'll try you in adult court. You'll face 40 years where you can plea right now. Guilty. I could get another guilty notch. Did you come out now? And most people don't realize when you plead guilty in this whole book greater record. You cannot get Pell Grant business licences, a loan from your bank, public housing, food stamps, you're put into this black mark that stays with you for your life. I've had people come to my office 20 years ago in online drug crime, doing things that half of Congress and two of our last three presidents admitted to doing from in the last week. It's been one of those weeks in Washington. Have been a lot of smoking going on after this last last week, but for doing things that people joke about doing in their younger days, their kids right now who've had their lives devastated, and I was tell the story of my high school. Get a good, solid community for my friends when senior cut day try to use their bodies by a whole place was closed, kicked open, the back door, stole Sabeer, got caught. That's a felony breaking and entering. Fathers got involved, you know, things were taken care of and the right thing happened. Those kids were on. Those young people are doing great things, good people. The problem is, when that happens in a different community, Bryan Stevenson says, We have just a criminal just system that treats you better. If you're rich and guilty than poor and innocent, and people are being ground down mentally, health are mentally ill, are being made more made more unhealthy. The drug, addicted or not getting the services were trying to incarcerate ourselves out of an opioid addiction on the poor folks. We've criminalized poverty. So I go on that rant to say, I'm going, I'm going to prison tomorrow Women's prison because shackling pregnant women, two beds. Because if they're going to run away this their flight risk, the kind of stuff that's going on for a female population increases. And so where is the moral urgency in our country? Why is thes things normalizing? And to me, that is a about poverty, not not poverty in terms of money or resource is it's a poverty of compassion, poverty, of understanding and a positive, positive poverty of love at a time that we have reservoirs that we don't use of this. And so that's why documentaries going back to how it got on this long tangent and art in any form that could enlighten us that could open up the floodgates of love that could make us understand that we are in this together, and our country is based on this ideal. I always quote the end of the Declaration of Independence, where they say, if this if this country's gonna make it because we're that we're the in fact, I was told this in Poland on my last trip when they bragged to me about Poland was form the 900 they say, but they wrote a constitution that they told me, I don't know this Drew have in fact checked the Polish. But they were telling me that they're the second oldest constitutional democracy. We're number one. We're going to form a country not based on we look all like because we all Polish ancestry, not because we speak the same language. We're going for a country on these amazing ideals. And our founders knew that that's a tenuous way to former country. And so we're going to form this country, and we're gonna have to make this an unusual commitment to each other. We have to pledge mutually pledge to the end of the Declaration of Independence, mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. And that's where I wonder when we pledge allegiance to the flag when we sing songs about our country. Are we internalizing that, making that riel every single day pledging tau other people. I mean, we're at the point now where we can't even be nice to each other. If we find out you're a different little party, I tell this story about Chris Christie. I was sitting there again, probably on my couch, eating your friends. But you disagree. Is that how this is my friend? I could write a dissertation on my disagreement with, but I'm the mayor of the largest city. He's the governor of the state. Our state needs us to work together. And so I'm watching his Republican primary, and I like I was ready to scream at my I think I had an Afro. Then I pulled on my hair out, and I look at this. I look at this as a gets lambasted by others for hugging Barack Obama. Now when he hugged Barack Obama, it was after Hurricane Sandy had devastated estate. People died billions of dollars property and people lost their homes. All the possessions Chris show real emotion. Like crying in these place. Obama flies in our 1st 1 to survey the damage. He comes down, the two of them hug. Now I'm a hugger. That wasn't even a good hug. Those uncomfortable guy hugs, But we're lamp. We've created an environment right now. They're just because you have a different political beliefs were so vilifying you that human contact now is being, but we can't survive as a country if we can't love one another. We don't have to agree, doesn't fight against your policies. But there's got to be a core of love where I look at you and I see your divinity or or are see your worth. I see your importance to the larger cause of our country. Powerful medicine again, that's the power of art to unlock those stories. I think that's one of the things that I'm hoping to inspire people to take that as their media. Where is their medium for unlocking a love be opportunity in this country? I think it's I look at creativity as the new literacy, and there was a time prior to literacy where we we, you know, was reserved for aristocracy and the wealthy and the clergy. And and then the Gutenberg press came along, and we realized that if we could educate our population to make them more literate, that you had the inter mortality rate declining, you had the longevity life. So how do you How do you exercise your creativity Me day to day? Yeah, like oh, I think that it's you and I probably know everything. You gotta practice and everything's a practice. Life is a practice, sure. So how do you what are like tips for me? First of all, creativity is not a scale. It's a habit, right? And it is available for everyone. And I know you. I've seen you take pictures. I think you and I took a selfie last time we're together. So, um, small act of creating every day unlocks creativity with the capital C. So brain surgeons that are take pictures every day or play music or cook are better brain surgeons based on your own plasticity. And this is something that's available to everybody. We talked about the documentary film maker, but my goal with my own life's mission with creative lives, to unlock that creative potential in everyone and the fact that it is available. It's the only thing is that my Angelou, it's the only natural resource that the more you use, the more you get right. That's also so I expect the next time we talk, you'll tell me your creative practice. Do you have any creative? But I want to confess to use. I mean, it's like, really like and I do, and I know my staff cringes, but they're over there right now. I don't know that. I do think it's I think you're right, the better. So I love writing poetry. I do, and it's bad poetry. But I love writing it, and I think that's something I've learned is if you something sources you like. If I'm really emotionally stuck, write a poem and occasionally post them online and you know, like maybe 10% comments is Thank you for posting other people. Just show, lack me for like you're a politician. Why are you doing this? And you know, it's like I just think that the one often the fear about being creative, you're taking a risk. You're exposing yourself, especially. I don't care what your form of creativity is, but you're risking, uh, criticism, and I think that's often the thing that makes me people will constipated in their desire to continue to practice. Sure, there's a great for those folks at home who are identifying with the court is saying about risk now. There's a great bit called the versus the Man in the arena. It was about quote by and bring a brown help me understand. I don't know if you know, burnishes an incredible thinker, and it's you should be critically. You should listen to criticism from only from other people who have put themselves in the arena. Not from that is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strongman stumbled or how the doer of deeds could have done better is the man actually in the arena, space marred with sweat, dirt and blood. And it's a powerful, powerful talk about hijacking your stuff. I'm sorry. I'm coming off. Turn about. Sorry. No, no, no. It's like I snuck beautiful. Thank you for grabbing because I don't know well enough. I know it just enough to be dangerous and miss like every other word. But you just That was beautiful. Uh, that's good. So, uh, that's great, but seriously, but that's like even me. And I have to say, like, you know, I have this one poll my wrote like, may your critics make you humble me. Your haters make you wise. You learn from every stumble and when you fall, you rise, rise, rise. And so I write poems that I want to remind me that I can the job I'm in and myself to deal with a situation now, like we get outrageous criticism from people who should be our friends from the left, from the right, and you have to remind yourself every day. Why are you doing this? Are you doing this for the applause? And for people to stand up and say how great you are or you on a mission that's bigger than you are? And if your mission bigger you are, you can't let people snuff out your your energy or desire to fight your desire to keeping it. And that's hard for me because I'm I'm a big social media user, and I see it all. And my staff is like, Please put down its You know, the Twitter before they preemptively say you're going to get a lot of criticism for acts, but it's just hard. That's a hard thing to get over this something I don't often talk about. But, you know, I I was terrified as a child, and I say it's child. It lasted well into my maybe early thirties is when I finally really turned a corner in speaking in front of people and I. My most embarrassing childhood moment was the first political office I ever ran for president of Herring Park Elementary, seventh grade class. And I literally had this moment where I froze in front of my class, including, like, the girl had a crush on and, you know, and just couldn't get a word out. And I went home that night and I literally cried and was so devastated by this embarrassing moment. And I was just a terror of petrified, terrified. And but I'd still swore at that moment, literally lying in a bowl of my bed that I would one day be a great speaker and the thing that enabled me to do it. And my some people been with me and politics since my twenties, still remember how, like I would just sweat and fear. Sweat is like a stinky sweat on, and I had to give a speech I would get. I would just get nervous and and and it just took me a while to get a long while to get over. But it met me getting up and throwing myself over the cliff. I was afraid of again and again and again until I got to the point where I sort of thrive off of the jump off of the leap. And so, you know, I just think that I could have been stifled in terms of my life. Or I could now be the gift that I've gotten from all that struggle is it's now one of my favorite ways to communicate, to stand in front of a crowd and try to take my heart plug, plug it into the people who are there. Air. Incredible writer. I didn't know that about you and your poetry. Thank you for sharing that. I always I contend, you bad poet poems. Anytime you want, I'm gonna gonna take you up on it like like their staff taking taps. Taken note. Um, and that's one of the things about this show. I want someone to reveal something that they have not really revealed elsewhere. So thank you for that gift. I'm trying to be mindful of our time, but I do have a couple areas. I want export really quick. And they're a little bit more about you than policy and and the nebulous like the out there, the big concepts and that's personal things that you do on a daily basis to not just survive but thrive. How you take care of yourself. I'm advocating, you know, that we have a creative myth about creators that they, you know, it's it's yes, the throw all in. And if you don't have ah, scary Harry background, then you can't. You know there's not stories that airworthy, and I believe in self love and self care, and that's you put your own oxygen mask on before helping other people. So what are some just some simple things that you do to take care of yourself? Or do you have anything? I'm have lots and against the practice of their times, I'm in it and feel incredibly effective, and I feel like I'm channeling something that's not me. But that's like proper sleep. It's like sleep. My uncle, Uncle Butch Butch tells me, lecture me. Sleep is a weapons leaders. The weapons that was a weapon. But finding a way to get proper sleep is like it's a difference between being effective and being able some in good spirit and energy easily, or have to struggle to be positive. We did talk about that before that we started according to that. And I'm going to try sleep Pack. I'm going to try your sleep pack. Okay. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of honey mixed with water and a cup. Drink that before you go to sleep like I should record. It should just let me a note. I want to know tomorrow morning. Wake up and see. They're going to be like it's on or I want to give it like I do. I'm a vegan that because I did you know, I love Gandhi's autobiography, my experiments with truth. I decided three months. I was try being a vegetarian and I was in a competitive athlete. The time transformed me, work out something like that. So I'm gonna give this a little time. Sweet, but sleep, exercise, meditation. If I could get those three things in and then I have to say it. Learn from the podcasts. We were talking about Tim the other day, So I like to one of you two together lecturing me about that and meditation. I was going to get him to meditate first. Did you really add me and Rick Rubin, the music producer him from both sides like you gotta do this is gonna unlock you. And for hard charging type A people, you think that your edge comes from your aggro nature and then you realize after meditation that that thing that you thought was your catapult have you ever share publicly But my ah ha moment from that I got from meditating and I started when I was coming out of England going into law school, and I sought out this Buddhist teacher to teach me to meditate, and I didn't realize that my emotional states were the product of my thoughts. It was like a really interesting ah ha moment and that I control could control my thoughts. And that was the thing that my thoughts weren't me and that I had records that I would play over and over again and if I could pull myself out, noted, Just be a witness. It gave me so much more power over my emotional states, and it was an awakening I had in law school. It's not not in any of my legal classes, but literally sitting with this Buddhist teacher that it was the shift of consciousness that I had about so much more control. And that's why I love quotes like Victor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning Powerful Buck. Unbelievable. And this one I used local directly. But paraphrasing him, he said No, we were in the concentration camps. Remember those people who shared their only piece of bread, even though they themselves were starving, comfort others, even though they themselves were suffering the same circumstances? It's a testimony. The greatest of all human freedom is the ability to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. And that's why when you on, I've listened to you talk a lot. It's beautiful. It's like it's poetry to me when you talk about gratitude, and I think you have, for those who have not listened to you, speak about gratitude about it's a choice. And so that that it was the power of meditation for me is that realizing that and also reminding me, I remember this at times that just breathe, and somehow then I'm really witnessed my emotional statement and realize that that's not who I am. I'm not that emotional state. I'm something larger, bigger that's reflected by all the people around me. It's also help me when somebody is like making me want to punch them on. I'm a very peaceful guy. But, you know, the body slamming of reporters seems to be in. But all of a sudden, uh, you know, just breathe. And then and then it helps me to see the divinity and who and who. Whoever I'm around, it's such a simple thing. And it's so profound. Yes, that you talked about State 20 Robbins has a great job of, I think, organizing this. You can't get to the strategy if you're not in a good state. There's a very simple linear connection between. You have to be in a great state to be able to tell yourself the right story, right, And that's the only way a bill to access the right strategy if you try and go right to the strategy. But you get a bad headspace, strategies not be effective. And things I've heard you say this and I struggled with this decision in the morning because you're like, don't check your I think you might believe yourself. Oh, you're good, Good. But, you know, checking your email. So that's really I live. We have these this feeling when I get up in the morning. So if I'm in D C, I'll get up. I have a bike literally in my basement now, so I like going to the Senate gym. Socialize with centers across the aisle. But my ideal mornings Get up. I learned this from Tim Ferriss. Make my bed. I just never realized the power of that. My mom wish I learned this lesson decades ago because he would like. That's why my mom has is saying behind every successful child is an astonished parent because I can't believe this is the guy couldn't get to make his bed to mow the lawn, Senator. But, you know, make my bed workout. Meditate. But then there's comes that choice. Tune into my electron ICS flip on the news because I'm I'm You know, I much rather listen to a podcast from you on being something that sources my soul or my spirit, or instructs me or to tap into the news of the day. Go right, and that's always been. My state often gets drawn right in your not deciding what your state is. If you're not prepared before you go in. Senator Booker, thank you Sign joint. I keep getting hammered. So there. That's dangerous. That's good. That's good. I want to say thank you for all that done. Thank you. And you should know you're living that life. That off how love leaks, Time and space. I mean, you're making influences on people's lives because I don't care who you and I know. And I love the fact that your audience is left right all over, But we're all Americans, and I know you have people outside this country, but when you help people live life at a higher frequency, be who they want to be at this party, it has a ripple effect. So thank you for being an agent of change and agent of love on. I feel grateful for you. I feel great for you. Thanks so much for your time. Thank you. Appreciate it, folks. See again, But, you know