There is no recipe for good conversations, but it sure helps if ingredients such as open-mindedness, curiosity, good will, and hermeneutic charity are in the mix. Conversations lacking these may be wildly entertaining, but—as all of us who listen to talk shows know—entertaining is not the same as good.
Since my book Willing Dogs & Reluctant Masters: On Friendship and Dogs was published, I’ve been a guest on several radio shows and podcasts. While I always welcome the chance to discuss the ideas of my book, and though I still feel a warm glow when I think of the host whose hair I set on fire, the really good conversations have been with interviewers who have the ingredients I mentioned. Needless to say, listeners will decide for themselves how far I succeed in these virtues.
Anyway, I offer here my two favorite conversations so far. Those of you who are interested in how friendship works, who have known the pleasures and frustrations of dealing with spirited types (human or canine), who have wondered about the role of judgment and authority in love and friendship, or who are just plain curious by nature; all of you will, I hope, enjoy the two conversations I’ve linked to below.
Here’s a link to my half-hour conversation with Dr. Bernadine Cruz, host of The Pet Doctor.
For a longer and more in-depth discussion, check out my conversation with KMO, the extraordinary interviewer and host of the wide-ranging C-Realm podcast (the “C” stands for consciousness). Perhaps it’s because KMO and I were sitting across a table from each other rather than talking over the phone, but this remains my favorite conversation so far on the themes related to my book. (KMO entitled it “Embracing Your Own Authority”, which aptly reflects the heart of our conversation.)