Merrill Garbus is a musician. Her band is Tune-Yards. She put together a collage-y, meditative livestream thing to benefit @EBMC_Oakland, East Bay Meditation Center. 5pm PT / 8pm ET.
MERRILL: I am Merrill Garbus. I have a band called, Tune-Yards. Advice I wish I had taken to heart sooner is to say, I don't know, more often.
ZAK: I always think I'm gonna be better at saying, I don't know. But then in the moment when someone's like, Have you heard of bla bla bla. And I'm always like, Yeah, I think so.
MERRILL: Me too! Oh yeah.
ZAK: It's so hard. It takes some real discipline.
MERRILL: It does take discipline. Are you a first-born child?
ZAK: No. I have an older sister.
MERRILL: So, I'm a first-born child and I always blame it on that but apparently it's not that but the sense that I should be the one who's in the know all the time, like I'm the boss. The boss has got to know versus, like, so much of the effective leadership I've seen over these years of being alive, always it's a more powerful leader who says, I don't know and I know some people who might and so I'm going to go consult with them. It's always so much more effective. Yeah.
ZAK: Yeah, it's such a good one. Do you think there's a practice for training yourself how to say, I don't know?
MERRILL: I think that your idea of discipline around it...You know just a daily commitment to saying, I don't know when I actually don't know. Even if I framed my day that way. And for me that also has to do with honesty which has been...rigorous honesty is what they say in the 12-step world...that I'm always in a better place when I'm grounded in honesty cause then I'm not pretending. I'm not holding this reality up. To just say, I actually don't know. There's nothing wrong with it. I think in the a lot of worlds it is symbolic of weakness. That if I let go of control of this situation and say, I don't know then who knows where things will go. Even that feels like white supremacy culture, actually. The idea that the leader should know and all should follow the leader, versus the group knows and the knowledge should be sourced from the group. Just even saying it feels so much more powerful, especially given this particular moment in history.
ZAK: Yeah, it's just such a relief to say. I. Don't. Know.
MERRILL: It is.
ZAK: Merrill is a return contributor to the show. Her last episode is called, Hastening Slowly. I linked to that one in our show notes. If you like today's advice, I'd love for you to share it with a family member or friend. Also, if you love this show, please consider leaving a rating or writing a review on Apple Podcasts. It's gonna help other people discover the show. Thank you so much. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know...