Getting to Yes, And



Corey Keyes

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Kelly has an insightful conversation with sociologist Core Keyes about languishing, flourishing and mental health. His new book is “Languishing: How to Feel Alive Again in a World That Wears Us Down.”

You last chapter is titled ‘Play as an Act of Resistance.’ Talk to us about that.

“The fabric of our life, and where I'm blessed and I suspect the way you I were smiling that you are similarly blessed, is that I smile most days because I marvel at what I have the opportunity to do. Now, most people don't get that blessing. Let's just call it a blessing. I wouldn't call it a luxury, because I think play is necessary, and I want to appeal to adults, because I think many of us might approach play and take it on if we saw this as a a way of rebelling and kind of pushing back on a world that's just asking too much of us these days.”

In addition to play, you talk about leisure – both active leisure and passive leisure.

"The problem with passive leisure - which is sitting there and simply consuming what you think is leisure - does not make us feel good or produce anything close to flourishing. But the really active kind - where you go out and you do something, and you make something happen - that kind of active leisure is much more conducive to well-being and flourishing.”

You’re one of the few academics who own up in writing to doing what we affectionately call ‘me-search.’

“Oh, my research was all about trying to find more of what I experienced for too short of a time when I was adopted by my grandparents. Before that time, before the age of 12, I lived in what is in many young people live in, given what we know about the adverse childhood experience research, many of us grow up in and it's horrifying. And then suddenly I was transplanted into this world of love and safety and trust and warmth. And I marvel to this day that I went from being on detention, and the best grades I could get were D's to being the quarterback and an honor student and involved in everything. I was like, ‘it was always there inside of me.”

Photo Credit: Nathan Baerreis

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