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Daring Greatly


Daring Greatly

by Brené Brown

Brené Brown is a psychologist and a professor who has spent years researching shame.  In this book, she details her findings and offers counsel for those trying to overcome this debilitating emotion.  I guess this is a self-help book, but it doesn’t feel like one.  It feels more like a discussion with a friend who has concerns about your well-being.

Brown is well spoken, uses easy language (no jargon), and offers lots of concrete examples of how shame has affected real people who have participated in her research. She tells us that shame loves to hide away in the dark, out of sight.  In shining a light on this private unhappiness by sharing our stories, it loses its power. In the course of this narrative, she offers personal anecdotes to illustrate her beliefs.  In this way, she practices what she preaches and also makes us feel connected to her.

I also recently read Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance, in which he describes the culture of the Appalachian hill people.  This is a culture steeped in shame from beginning to end and it struck me that every single thing that Brown advises in her book would be of benefit to Vance’s family members.  It would also be of benefit to anyone who was raised by families or educators who used shame as a weapon. 

Both Brown and Vance are compassionate and courageous in that they recount painful moments in their lives without flinching.  They generously offer their wisdom and experiences to readers in the hope of making the world a better place, especially for children.


Daring Greatlypar sonja_library