Three weeks ago I started this podcast mini-series by introducing two categories of podcasts that inspire me to write. I then followed it up with another entry a week later about categories three and four.
Today I’m going to share another category of inspiring podcasts.
But before I do, I have to explain what motivates me to seek out such podcasts.
Making sense of the world
I’ve said before I’m not much of a current affairs or political pundit, though I did post a political commentary (if it can be called that) a while ago.
And I certainly daren’t claim to be a historian either, being a student of science and business for most of my schooling years.
Yet in recent times, both current affairs and history have caught my interest in ways I didn’t expect them to.
Maybe it’s because I used to teach media and communication subjects, back when I used to teach full-time at a local tertiary institution. Or maybe it’s because I am one of the few remaining dinosaurs in this digital-first age! Ya know, the ones that still read hard copies of dailies dumped on our doorsteps every morning!
But if I had to pin it down, I would say my awakening actually happened gradually in my initial years as a parent.
The very act of bringing another human being (in my case two) into this confusing world, seemed to have implanted in me a strong desire to nurture and protect. And to do those well, I felt a need to understand what kind of world my sons are growing up in; how it is, and how it once was.
And of course how it might be.
For me, that meant learning about history and current affairs. To better prepare myself and my sons to methodically dissect the world and all its issues. How things came to be the way they are and how best to view and understand them.
Hopefully, I may then engage my children in logical reasoning and discourse so they can in turn speak on matters when they grow up from an informed position rather than mere gossip and conjecture.
At least that’s the goal!
Podcasts for the mind
And what better way to do that than wrestle with history, general knowledge, and current world or local affairs through reading, blogging, debating, and listening to smart people on podcasts!
He’s also the author of the bestselling book “Why We’re Polarized” (2020) which talks about identity politics in the USA. When it was published, the book was even featured as a top 5 must-read on Bill Gates’s summer reading list!
Now I’m not an American. So the bipartisan politics that takes place over there feels alien to me who’s situated ‘safely’ halfway around the globe. As such, though Klein’s ideologies are clearly leaning left (he’s with NYT after all) and the views posed in his podcast and columns definitely more liberal, it doesn’t really matter to me.
At least not directly.
What matters to me is that despite these potential biases, I find how Klein dissects important issues of the day incisive and thoroughly invigorating. And he does it nearly always with an esteemed guest of high pedigree and repute.
Hearing his podcast is like a brain massage I have been badly needing!
Welcomed showers of wisdom
On days I’m parched and humdrum, the discussions I hear on his podcast are like the welcome rain. They shower me with ideas and thoughts. They challenge me with conviction and the promise of wisdom.
And most importantly, they fuel my writing fire, pushing me to voraciously devour yesterday’s events, today’s trending topics, and tomorrow’s what-ifs.
Many of his guests are also fine authors and authorities in their specific areas of expertise. That heightens my expectations of learning, galvanising my own writing as I dissect the topic of the day.
So if like me you’re a writer who desires to be (or at least sound) credible, then you can’t go too far wrong with podcasts like The Ezra Klein Show!
And while it’s near impossible to adequately suggest which episodes are the most unforgettable, newbies might want to start by checking out those where Klein and his stellar guests tackle contemporary topics, including:
– Covid (Dr. Lekshmi Santhosh / Zeynep Tufekci)
– Ukraine (Timothy Synder / Volodymyr Yermolenko)
– Abortion (Erika Bachiochi / Kate Greasley)
So go on, get your brain massage and I’ll see you back here next time for more about podcasts that inspire my writing!