Over the last four episodes, Rashida and I have explored questions that are fundamentally about change: Will things be different after Covid-19? Can society become more equal? Can (and should) people stop lying? Will we make the changes needed to stop a climate disaster?
In the season finale of our podcast, we decided to explore the question that underlies our whole series and ask ourselves, “Can people really change?”
This is a particularly interesting year to think about in terms of change. On the one hand, I think it’s safe to assume we’re all ending the year at least a little different than we started it. The pandemic will leave a lasting imprint on all of us, just as older generations were forever changed by World War II—and life will never be the same for people who lost a loved one. On the other hand, 2020 has made it clear how polarized society has become and how set so many people seem to be in their beliefs. Both Rashida and I are worried about how this polarization could make the progress we’ve talked about in previous episodes more difficult to achieve.
Our guests this week are two people who are using their positions as artists to change the world for the better: Bono and Kerry Washington. I’ve known Bono for a long time, and he’s been an invaluable partner in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I hadn’t met Kerry before (although I’m a fan of Scandal), but I knew she was an outspoken advocate for racial justice, voter suppression, and other issues.
It was fascinating to hear both of them talk about how they use their creative endeavors to push for change. I’m glad that they’re bringing so much public attention to important issues. Our conversation was a good reminder that there are a lot of different ways you can help make the world a better place.
It’s been a lot of fun working on this project, and I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to it.