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Braving the Wilderness

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

It’s perhaps one of the deepest and most carefully hidden human needs. Belonging.

In the societal climate we inhabit today, fulfilling this need can sometimes feel impossible, especially when coupling that with the Herculean task of standing up for what we believe in. How is it possible to do both? It’s one paradox among many that the author explores in this timely and honest peek into the history and continuing evolution of human nature.

I am not an avid consumer of nonfiction, but the back-cover blurb and premise spoke to me in a way that could not be ignored any longer. If I’m being honest, this was, at times, a difficult book for me to read. I am an emotional reader. I enjoy being pulled into prose or narrative so that it envelops me. There were countless moments of that emotional immersion, but there were also facts and numerical data to support the theories. This is a good thing as it supports the author’s research and position, but it did disrupt that emotional connection at times.

However, I have never earmarked and written down as many passages in a book than I did with this one. While it feels as though this book was written and published with the political divisiveness in the United States as a backdrop, everything shared between the covers is timeless, in my opinion.

The most empowering chapter, bar none, that resonated with me on a deep level was “Hold Hands. With Strangers.” The idea of collective effervescence is not only eloquently worded, but also even more beautifully and passionately shown through the examples Ms. Brown provides from her own life.

Braving the wilderness, both the title of the book and the philosophies it suggests between its covers, contains ideas that every single one of us can learn at least a little from, and I suspect a whole lot more.

It’s not so much about acting brave or wild. It’s about “being” those same things in a world that sometimes seems to discourage it. Be brave. Be wild. Have heart. We are all inextricably connected through the human spirit. What we need most, right now and at every point in our human existence, is to continue searching for and finding ways to reconnect with each other.

Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️


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