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This episode takes place during the record-setting rainfall of Hurricane Harvey and the tremendous tragedy and displacement that follows the storm. Michael Meade uses the metaphors of the tough-minded and tender-hearted as ways of understanding the two sides of heroic efforts to save people and survive the disasters of life. Using James Joyce’s idea of living in the time of 'chaosmos', Meade looks into the eye of the storm of tragedy in search of the underlying nobility of the human soul and its capacity to survive by the surprising elements of altruism and cooperation.

Like our ancestors, we each bear a mixture of tough and tender ways of being, as both attitudes have proven to be necessary for human survival and for sustaining human cultures. The question is not so much which one is better, as much as which qualities are most needed at this time.

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