tv After Words CSPAN February 23, 2015 12:00am-12:54am EST
international investment banker, best-selling author, political economists and economic analyst. by my guess you are 60 years old. but you don't look 60. so i don't know how that works. you are not 60. >> not yet. >> somehow you get all of this great life. the experiences. two books, articulate the experiences of other examples of your journey to this time in your life command it is really amazing you are a talented writer
and a good storyteller, and this is a good week. i thoroughly enjoyed it. first, let's talk about the book generally. inspire you to write this. >> it is an honor to be hear with you. thank you for everything you do. one of the most intelligent questions we get was what happened next. it stops very abruptly in 2,000. i wanted to try to give equal weight to both those two stories mina and the other who is now in your 14 pages the correctional institution in maryland. and so when i thought about this idea i knew that
they're was know way i could talk about my life since then because it is impossible to give equal weight to my story. i can i can write about his life since 2,000. that's his life. the decisions that he made in the life that he looks forward to every single day. when i said why do you write about your time in afghanistan by doing these things and what that has meant it actually caused me to pause for a 2nd. what that actually means. i felt like over the past decade it was not so much an easy line to define where i was aware i would be but it was this constant search to find something that matters,
matters, find a sense of impact find a sense of its greatness that you can latch onto and have it be all of your own. what i then tried to do is understand this idea is not necessarily your occupation. your your work is when the greatest gifts and your greatest joys begin to start overlapping with the world's world's greatest needs and then you actually choose to do something about it. so with this story what i want to talk about with my adventures and misadventures is to celebrate what the work is and so many workers and people who aren't so many different industries and have found a.which makes life exciting. >> well, you go back and forth, people in your lives that you talk about in chapters and then you weigh in on the experience. but the couple of things i want to talk about today one of the things i really like, you talk about that work and how you can make it meaningful for your life and others is to have passion. i am a big believer in
having passion for your work in fact so much so that i have talked people out of jobs because they did not have passion for their work. and it's not an effective contributor as an employee in the case is that i'm referring to it is the fact that they did not have the passion for the place they were in. they can move into another place and have great passion and become an outstanding contributing team member. i think about, and of course millions of americans who are volunteering with our support as a federal agency in partnership with nonprofits. but one of my board members that one time the wife of the senate president.
passion, but the passion and action. i think that is what you are referencing often times and throughout this book with if you are passionate about something your going to be successful. another thing we don't talk about his passion and it is to me if you find someone who is passionate. wow, you sure are passionate about your work. you are authentic, genuine the real deal. i don't think you can fake passion. how do you feel about some of the images you write about? to feel like that is true, that they are authentic people? >> i feel i feel like it is one of the only unifying themes that we feature. i have come to really believe that if you look at people who are really great at what
they do, i mean really really great at there work there job what they take on , there is only one thing that all of them have in common,, not where they came from, the family history. the thing that every that every person that has in common falls into that great category of what they do, they are incredibly passionate about it. i have never have never met anyone who is great at what they do and when you ask him if they enjoyed they say, it's okay. it's only people who wake up in the morning thinking about it and go to bed at night thinking about what they do because it drives them is the lifeblood. my time as a white house and i went to go see a mentor of mine former president at johns hopkins university and asked me what a you doing next. i told him of going back into the world of finance and he said, really? and thus it is not the answer i was expecting you
to give me. just tell me why. why did you choose to do this? and i told him i feel like it's an important skill set and i was good at it. rejecting and supporting my family in ways i had never been able to support them before. he said, listen i'm never going to judge you on this decision, particularly things that you think are best. but i just ask the moment you feel like that you can leave leave because every day you do something that you are not passionate about the become extraordinarily ordinary. >> well said. >> and that hit me like a ton of bricks because we all are striving to do something special. we strive to make a mark on this world so the long after we are gone our impact is still around and it is impossible to do that if you find yourself becoming extraordinarily ordinary because you don't care.
would tell him that story how mother would tell father don't have tell me they are so small adopt kel kids those story is father was saying they would have to hear it we had to live it, it goes to show the importance of making sure that story is are then passed on people understand the nature what have we are talking about the humanity behind what we talk about sometimes we think we don't share things because we are sparing. they don't need to hear in a they adopt need to know that but if they don't know their path they don't know their history how are we supposed to keep that
in sense of contest the story he -- >> how we should think about future and stories how kidnappedness can truly change the world. >> -- i tell you i don't understand people walk around and withdrawn, makes you feel good i am someone that talks to strangeers, in elevator you know, so i am wrong one to talk to about this will you tell it lifters me up when you think of your -- another, individual influencing one man i think met in maybe his late teens, real young and he actually worked for an interpreter, and he had an interesting some tragedy
story on his own, but it was uplifting to hear your connection, with this young man, and how he helped your unit at great risk himself, to himself, and others i am sure what is so special? >> i would argue ab do you agreea had more risk than even us. -- there was a single mission we went on that abdullah wasn't right there there wasn't a signel operation we conducted, and in some pretty dangerous operations, that abdullah wasn't right there because we couldn't do our job many ways without him we needed him spoke all the local languages whenever communicating with people he was the person with us helping us understand what people are saying when we had things to let people know it was him passing on the messages. the thing that was really was so
amazing for us abdullah when we were done with missions turned back to the -- bases, we had all of our soldiers around us that kinds of things in areas abdullah went back home there were things called night letters in afghanistan what night letters with letters left on doors of people working for coalition whatever would say we know that you are working for the coalition we are going to kill you and your entire familiar by whatever groups inside the area. and abdullah was getting these letters all the time everybody knew who he was who he was working for. and every single day, he showed up for work. >> amazing. >> every day despite knowing that risk showed up for work father killed by taliban he did it because he felt i dream of a
future in this country would you tell taliban when they are no longer a present force we can life our life in a sense of freedom that is why he did it he fought answered did it because he believed in something, bigger, and to see level of courage and bravery that he brought on was just remarkable to me because i deeply have a great admiration for soldiers paratroopers i serve with the admiration for abdullah all other people risked their lives every day is tantamount o so that. >>you didn't give yourself -- about your influence on abdullah's life if we interviewed abdullah i imagine he would say one of my mentors, you played a role maybe others in unit as well let me shift to another theme in the book it seemed like -- every individual in the book including yourself all had a guardian angel someone
in their live that kind of helped steer them not necessarily -- many had lots of problems with relations articulated so well but there was always a theme of someone like my brother's keeper the -- talking a lot about -- for all young boys and girls, that we need to really as adults we need to be a guardian angel for, young boys and girls if you think about a country that always had someone to guide them, i really think it would make difference and now statistical research that meantoring really has so many positive effects on individuals, now we know by research it is legitimate we know now legitimate. >> that is right. >> i think so you don't give yourself enough credit dot don't mention in the work my guess is abdullah would say yes my block
as well. >> really i think we expand the definition of family and i think that is something we collectively have to do that familiar is not just someone who you are born to or born around or someone dna runs through your veins familiar is someone you love and respect protect like anybody else i bring i see a perspective to it as well like if we are all god's children by definition, we are all brothers and sisters, and i think we then need to treat each other that way. >> the world would be a better place and i think wr making progress i really do i think i just came from mentor conference here in warrant it was a largest attended they have had since they started this summit so that is really encouraging, what is encouraging is the actors are pretty interesting now we have corporations involved in mentoring at a very structured
successful kickcurriculum, amazing work with colleagues having fun doing it too, and nonprofit, still -- included government leaders, so you know we're getting a lot of people in organizations of all types, because the community has been there a long time i think, you know there stepping up all of our leaders are, so i think this is going the right direction with this i think this is -- something that is again, volunteerism in america part of our dna part of how we can serve others, the service in perspective. >> how we think about it right because part of the beauty of it is it is weird we think about the world, that we want to life in the only way we are going to have the world we want to life in if we can have a broader more
inclusive conversation everyone feels a invested interest in suck everything feels they are part of the conversation a couple things interesting about idea of service one is you know the best way to think about service is even if you are not going to do it will to be selfless do it to be selfish, because it creates a better world that you will life in your familiar will life in people i was talking about a friend of mine an engineer wander to speak to kids we work with in baltimore involved in justice system tell literally a what you do every day i want our kids to understand that kind of thing he was telling me listen i really admire the work but to be honest my service is i work with my daughters even amazing father for his daughters, and my point back to him was i completely respect that, but to be very honest, how are you helping your daughters when they go to a school has a 54% graduation rate how are you helping daughters at a sirn time at night they need to be home because streets are
no longer safe to walk down how are you helping daughters at some point he this will look for a partner to send life with if you look at young people young men inside the area that 61% are in some form of supervision by the state, if you want to help your daughters, create a society that they can be safe and prosperous happy in if not to be selfless do it to be selfish i think about i talk in book harry belafonte i get a chance to intu him msnbc withstand day he was like a huge ledge end growing up part is because he is amazing talent my grandmother was attracted to him akonik he made a celebrity mean something there are a lot of people once they continue to rise they stay away from controversial issues they are afraid people won't see he movie by books, and harry belafonte never did that he was
head first into controversial issues of the day evenk things that would potentially sacrifice his career i remember i asked him that question i said why was it so important for you to get involved in issues that other people stayed away from and he said interesting, he said because it just there was a he said it helped me to life o more interesting life, and he said he said -- he said you know some people wake up in the morning, and they call their accountants, i wake up in the mornings i call nelson mandela whose life do you think is more fun. >> oh, that is a good one. >> a way of thinking about it because we serve both because it is right thing to do but we serve because it just makes life more interesting. >> and you know we actually have, research linked help the benefits to volunteers fantastic we know it makes you happier if sponsoring, health benefits
like -- you live longer reduced isolations irendorphins kicking in instead of levels reduced as if necessitate to go study how human bode responds to voluntaryism, who would know? you know we do have something interesting recently because you talk about being selfless or selfish or selfless we have some new respectful that shows, that if you -- unemployed, and you volunteer, your increased likelihood getting a job by 27%. >> absolutely. >> if you life in a rural community that likelihood shoots up to 55%. so now i am talking to young and old, but a lot of the high school graduates, those in college who are worried about getting a job -- saying you know, consider volunteering you are going to expand, gain network is going to be increased you are going to gain skills so
we are you know i kind of touching it like not only is it good for nonprofit people on receiving end, it is good for your contemporaneousareer kind of makes sense. >> so powerful when you think about it i think some of the most important professional ratepayers that relationships because of service side or things that you voluntary organizations that you voluntaryed with whatever the case maybe or just the way it helps you think differently, about something. all that stuff matters. >> yeah. >> i want to go back i am going to continue to switch between characters in your book and things i want to go back to somebody i know and admire that is mayor michael hancock, i did not know that he was one of 10 children with three sets of twins. i mean i don't know anybody -- that is wild.
and to listen to him i was with him recently we were working through he was very helpful cared deeply about working with this situation we are working with in denver but he was working with me on -- he brought me -- and never one of 10 struggled, growing up father divorced his mother he actually had help from an older sibling that helped raise he and along with his mother i mean really it is amazing, that he is a mayor of a major united states city. >> that is right. >> so about incredible talking about your impressions of mayor hancock. >> you talk about someone we have had so many lined against him one thing i love about his story was he really had you know, almost a singular dissatisfaction of success
definition of success you associate everything negative with hometown denver like an inherent flaw in the city you know even when i think about it. >> in community. >> blaming the community for what happened. and then so i think he told us to think now he is mayor of that city amazing what he did he took his greatest hurt and his greatet pains, and instead of spending time running away from them, he actually turned and did a 180, ran right into it. >> right. >> when goes to show not only personal internal vision that he thought the only way i'm going to conquer this is actually by facing it on instead of turning away from it but the other thing i think he realized was there is michael hancock coming up behind me there are right now there are -- there are thousands of michael hancocks growing up in my city who would i be to turn my back on them? >> who would i be to know that i could make an impact and i then chose not to, and i remember
something my sister told me talking about definition of health, and she said my definition of health will be one day god showing me everything i could have accomplished had i only tried. >> wow. >> everything i could have accomplished had i only tried. and so -- so michael hancock mayor hancock basically said i know i can make a difference. in the lives of these young people behind me he can relate i know what their struggling is you are me and i am you. and by not doing that, by not taking on that responsibility not internalizing it making it permanent for who you then would he be how can you be grateful for the opportunity that you had to overcome above it i love that story because i think it receivers as svbz as reminder what we do with pain pain disappointment are
coninstant companions that is human nature going to happen if it hasn't happened wait it is coming the question then becomes what do we do with it we'll counterpartlize it or we can look at eye-to-eye and see who flinchs first he had passion for leadership role i know now more i didn't know this about him now you helped me understand it is really amazing. >> let's talk about the expanded military thing -- our veterans. the corporation national community service amere core senior, embrace -- other ways to support veterans but we embrace supporting not only veteranstive military personnel but also
their families the families to a especially they see children who are seeing their parents -- father or mother -- period of time i think there is probable larger issue there than we are acknowledging throughout america we need to address more but one of the ways to help a major city is two ways. actually provide grants organizations, to support you know, military families veterans, entire extended military service personnel wherever they are in life, lots of ways whether it is connecting in services resources helping them with housing, security education, opportunities, whatever it is we actually -- part of our delivery but i think almost more important we are providing opportunities
especially for these young veterans returning from iraq afghanistan to join our forces as members the reason i know it is working i am talking to them they are telling me that when they came back to state sided that it was not as easy as they not not everybody but not as easy as they thought to just jump right into a sense of normalcy and ride into againful employment or education pathway, but service in particular speaking about amere corp where we could tap their leadership organization skills to apply that to provide service and they could be still providing service for our country. while trying to figure out the next step. >> that is right. >> i will take that any day, i
will take a returning soldier any day who wants to give give back to our country as worker because benefits as well even programs taking a step further, where we have members who are veterans serving in a program that is delivering services to veterans and familiar members we have 26,000 amere corp or senior corp members veterans several thousand more serving as part of he portfolio so big part of work, do you think this is a worthwhile investment or in our case government or with local nonprofit corporate organizations matching our -- is this a worthwhile endeavor for us. >> i think the corporations really helps crack this larger in the that country is really dealing with how in fact we are
preparing the country, for the return of these 2.6 million people, back from iraqing afghanistan that doesn't even include -- also how do we prepare the vets warriors for return back home and it is interesting, because i think one thing we have to you know we have to be able to accept is and you said a word so important normalcy, that there is going to be a new normal. and that is okay. right? things are going to feel different are going to be different and it is not as simple answer simply saying now that i am home everything now is going to be all right. and i this i that becomes one of the biggest challenges of a familiar and community where they look at it like whoo i am glad you are back home i am glad that is over with would you tell experience sight sounds the urgency that we felt over there, it is not like -- that can ezly
be replicated once you come home there is a normalcy we have to fall into the other thing we have to fall into every day deployed there is that sense of now about it, you wake up in the morning thinking okay what is the mission today how do i accomplish it, and it is kind of a big deal as we accomplish this the end of the night you decompress think about it know the next morning jumping into that type of framework to then go back to a job, hopeful if you have a job coming back to but to come back to a job you can feel that sense of urgency come back to a familiar fill a need of an cases spouses girlfriends have been dealing with everything while you have been gone you are trying to figure out what is my role now that i'm back we have to be able to help a lot of these warriors coming back home understanding a, there will be a transition that is going to be fine, b, we still need you, and when i say to fight not
necessarily military fight but fight for communities in our society and c, that we understand respect your skill set skill set oftentimes people think one of the largest misconception is that we are somehow robots no, ma'am yes, ssr how high shl jump because of military structure one thing learned about paratroopers soldiers these are some of the most entrepreneurial people you will ever meet the only guarantee we know tuesday probable will look nothing like monday wednesday will look nothing bike tuesday a constant adaptation has to happen in the work that we are doing overseas there is on a extraordinary sill set that these men and women are bringing back home we are doing a great service to large society when things happen to it when we can understand how teamwork and units really do sport, movements, and we are giving a person a continued sense of mission that you really are helping them to reintegrate into a society much smoother fashion
than simply saying i am glad that is over when somehow thinking that old normal or somehow -- >> well i think, we are going down the right path i am glad we are going down the path i feel very -- passionate about it. and i am seeing results hearing so many amazing stories being told and i do want to even though if -- have same kind of connection impact as well because they know what it is lying to life the life of a military familiar and so i think that they understand challenges relations. >> some ways actually i think something i realized i almost think they -- because, you know for us we are deployed overseas we had good days very bad days but wie always had each other, releaned on each other sported each they are warplane there for each other. the spouses don't in many ways i actually feel like through experience that in some ways the
families have it toufr than soldiers families try not to watch news hope someone doesn't knock on door in a uniform they pray for that did i for them for that transition as well. >> you, as started a new nonprofit and it is called bridge -- this is an area that i really feel great about. it is you are focused on college freshmen who are struggling and a recent statistic amazing how electrify are well prepared for a lot of reasons if brooke study just that -- social development means being able to be out on their own, the new freedom, you know that you have your college freshmen i do remember, that first year and it was -- you know, pattern but also a time when you start
making some mistakes as well tell me about bridge adu what are you doing in this nonprofit how are you affecting. >> we are so excited, because you know really i became you know increasingly what is happening as they matriculate on higher education, we are doing nationally much better job in k-12 we are nationally last year we had 80% for the first time really exciting that 80% of kids starting high school finishing high school, the challenge though that we have seen that is for students starting higher ed the numbers remained low when you think about students nationally a hundred percent of students start college every single year 4% will not make it past freshman year or reenroll foresophomore year we know for many the choke point is freshman year do well freshman year a higher potential finishing, finishing on time basically what we did, let's, create a social a
platform where it is like if choke point is freshman year why don't we reinvebt freshman year change structure so students get a softer more personalized on ramp into higher education what we do we partner, with -- higher education around the country community colleges and four year schools saying if taking classes with institutions only taking one to two classes at a time nine week chunks a, we want to focus on mastery of subject and about away from heavy remedial coursework challenge as you correctly indicated with remedial coursework you have a student taking remedial classes majority of freshman year -- but the end of the year have three kretdz or no credits because no classes counted forecreating that student chances are will never finish college.
>> they are bunk through financial aid with that containinging classes in tailored stushgd component, but any things to that we haven't taken personalized assessments we want to know where killsets match interests, doing internships service learning opportunities in areas of foech coaching mechanisms coaches working on individual basis to help them with transition a cocurriculum cocurriculum everybody from a how do you select, to what is proper business attire to you know when how do you address a as you borrowed alternate versus. >> they don't have that we expect them to have that as their matriculating, so what we are hoping to do is college completion crisis and the job placement crisis all at the same time while the students are actually still getting academic credit and academic momentum we are currently in baltimore, and the success, of the students that we've had for our grouping
own board has been remarkable level of persistence, of introoeg knowing the kind of work now that they woobt to do going to continue with higher education where they much clear sense of direction, and focus, and purpose. and that is exactly what we want for our students as entering into that higher ed equation we continue to grow the same type of assets we want to bring to each community each institution, that we work with. >> that is fantastic. and i will tell you something we are doing that i think this will be a very good to share we're in middle of selecting in grant process here is the goal we will be announcing the winners very soon the goal is to find at least one community in america that is willing to guarantee that every graduate on june 1 when they graduate is going to be offered one of five opportunities join military --
great place to start career to have access to college hopefully college scholarship as well if a need there, to get a job -- one for them in that town to be provide with a apprenticeship or paid nonprofit experience and the fist one join miracle, so the community is going to rally around all the graduates in this community that we select going to place numbers in the school, working and carving out a pathway plan for every high school senior and then we are going to have a miracle this is in the community working on the resource side working with the colleges to, recruit scholarships working with the business community, and asking can you provide a job for high school graduate here in town you can't provide a job could you provide maybe a stipend a(us tisship if you can't do that contribute to a college scholarship or contribute to
nonprofit so their living stipend certainly work as military recruiters as well ramp that up but the for the ideas that every high school graduate is to go to have an opportunity waiting on them in their hometown isn't that great, we are going to have some people that some of the students that are going to you know join maybe first generation college student, or start a job they are not as prepared as they need to be, your program, that helps start and help them with that journey case we're not going to say okay i am doing more here is opportunity good luck we are going to stay with them at least -- to be the mentoror guide them make sure they know what it is like to start a job what is expected of you, what you are going to need to -- be successful your kind of program looking for this around the country going to be able to embrace these young high school
also incredibly overwhelmed. often times meeting with the guidance counselor happens once maybe twice. you're basically asking what are your test scores, and this is where. it's not enough. we have to be able to get to know our students and figure out what is going to be the best path for them and by providing obvious options for them, it can become a more robust conversation and much more personalized conversation. the student i think also the weakest part of the challenge that students have wednesday and her higher education they are just picking the school for them and so they are take away from that experience that one semester in the one year they are there is i am not call it a material. that might not necessarily be the right to take away. maybe it wasn't the right school for you. did not -- not the right sport or major but you didn't know that going into that process. we have to be able to make sure that each and every student understands what options are
available and which ones are the best options for them as they think about their career path. >> host: we are all trying to really encourage high school graduates towards some kind of higher education, and i think the timing is important. some high school seniors need be taken care of younger siblings in a family situation. they may have a job for a year and take courses on the side. some might need to join the military and then use their g.i. bill and resources for college. so i want this to be a bigger picture. i do share with the president and other leaders saying that college education needs to be available to all of our high school graduates that it depends. each situation is unique. so we are trying to offer opportunities and different vehicles on how you get there and what it's going to take to get there. so this is the bill i will work with you on it and we are going
to name at least one community and the mayor and the superintendent and the community, it will be their job to make sure we are taking care of our own. we have just a few minutes left. in your book my search for a life that matters and i love that title you do reference your grandfather who is a mentor to you and you learned many lessons from him. can be closed by we close by talking about your grandfather and his influence on you and what kind of a gentleman was he? >> guest: he was one of the most important people in my life and i don't have many -- there's things that i regret doing but there's not many that i would take back per se because all of our experiences because we are. i wish i would have better appreciated him more and the sacrifice he was making for all of us when i was younger.
he was the first black minister in the history of the church. for those that know the dutch reform church was the official religion of apartheid south africa. so, when he became a minister in his religion, it wasn't welcomed by all to think that here is this black man who is now taking over this congregation. but he was a person who firmly believed in this idea of what you see coming and he firmly believed in the idea of everyone doing their part. and there was a serbian -- and i talk about it a little bit in the work -- there was a sermon he used to give i always loved having and he talked about the relationship between joshua and noses and how neither one of them could do everything on their own, but basically once job was to part the sea and the other was to lead the people through the parted sea. and how in many ways life is like that where none of us are asked to run the whole race
ourselves. we are asked to go as long and hard as we can come and then when we can then go no further to reach or hand out and pass the baton to the next person waiting and their job is to run as long and hard as they can until they can go no further. that is how we achieved this race. he was the person that helped me understand that it doesn't come from titles. it doesn't come from business cards, it doesn't come from whether there were airports named after us. it comes from us digging into our basic humanity and making our time at her. making it matter for the fact when people look back at what we did while we were here, did it matter to anyone else but you were here? didn't matter to anybody else that you spend time on this planet? and if the answer is yes, then you've done your part. and if the answer is yes then you've done everything you've
ever been asked to do. and he was not just an extraordinary example for me in that but he serves as a constant reminder to me every single day of what it means to serve and what it means to love. >> host: it's just very powerful in that you speak often about him in the buck and i think that it's a message that we really need to tell the world that we need to grow gentle, kind grandfathers and grandmothers and start at a young age to develop a natural ability to care for others and to be a leader in your own family. it's so important that we think about our influences as we come into adult hood and how we can change lives and he evidently had a tremendous impact on yours. wes, it's been great.
you're amazing. i can't wait to see the rest of the chapters of your life and i hope you will continue to share it with us and your great. my best to you and your wife and children. thanks so much. this has been the best part of my week. thanks so much. >> that was "after words," booktv signature signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists public policy makers and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" online. go to booktv.org and click on "after words" in the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. how is this country going to
be able to understand and as a culture in another country that thinks and hundred year terms we are lucky in this country people can have an eight-year plan when a president gets elected for the first time and assume that he will get reelected. so how does america deal with this? >> what i tried to do is put the issue of china in the narrative of our relations on the presidential election debate agenda for 2016. china wasn't much of an issue in 2012. that romney has a chapter on china in his book, no apology and he brings up we need to be more competitive with china. but there isn't much of a debate. and what i would like to see in 2016 is our media to dominate the issues. if everybody