One caller, Ronald, is a recovering heroin addict who received a copy of the book from his father. He called to thank Glenn and Dr. Ablow, and to share how the book had helped him. He said, “It's helping me to basically follow my breadcrumbs and follow my gut instinct because there are a couple of things that I follow my gut on since I've been out and they worked out real well for me. That's actually how I got my job because I didn't ‑‑ I happened to notice a place and follow my gut to go in there and I ended up getting my job.”
Another caller, Barbara, found insight into some of the delinquent teenagers she tries to help through her work. She said, “ I just started reading your book The 7 and I got to Page 15 and I was just stunned because you start out by saying here that empathy, human empathy is what lets us identify with others and do right by them? And I work with a group that helps young teenagers who have been caught shoplifting and similar things, trying to keep them from being incarcerated. And the social workers have said to me the big thing they find is that these teenagers lack any empathy.”
Glenn then welcomed Dr. Ablow to the show, and the two discussed the book.
Glenn started the conversation by saying that not everyone who would pick up the book are at the “bottom”, so what can they gain from the book.
“People have more in common than separates them. And so where you are on the spectrum matters less than that you start moving forward. So we just heard from somebody who found himself addicted to heroin, trying to avoid pain. But there's courage needed for every step forward. Even if you're trying to become more successful and you can't seem to do that. That may be because you haven't noted, as we do in the book, that courage includes elements of fear and doubt. If you've been waiting for just a clear run at the next job promotion or you're changing your career to something you love, don't wait. Understand that fear and doubt will remain with you as you take that step. That's what courage is all about.”
How does this tie into changing the country?
Dr. Ablow said, “Here's the thing. Ultimately people need that pole star we talk about in the book. You know, in Legend, the pole star being that mythical star around which all the other planets turn. They need that in their gut. It's very tough to take people down a road toward darkness or one that doesn't include liberty if in their hearts they have already taken the journey that we're suggesting. Because if you have courage and you believe that you should do the things that your gut tells you are right, that will empower you and other people, you become somebody who's tough to herd. You know, it's tough to herd cats and it's tough to herd people who believe that they're worthwhile and that they should follow their hearts. “
Glenn used the historical example of teaching a slave to read to support this point. Glenn said, “It was against the law to teach a slave how to read because once you could read, you'd realize, wait a minute, I can learn; wait a minute, I'm not an animal; wait a minute, they're not superior; wait a minute, I have a right. And it all comes undone.”
Dr. Ablow also discussed how individuals ultimately have to make the choice to change themselves. He said, “The bottom line is you can give people your counsel, you can go to the ends of the Earth to resist your addiction with them. I mean, I encourage parents go to court. Get some kind of substituted judgment. And if you can, put your son in detox if he won't go himself and he's at death's door. But ultimately, ultimately you have to find that path yourself.”