The joy of being an unwilling traveler through life
Maya Shankar is a cognitive neuroscientist and host of the award-winning podcast A Slight Change of Plans. As a girl, she struggles with taking things too seriously: herself, the sufferings of others, the hypothetical misfortunes she imagines for the future. She turns to her father for perspective — and he takes her on a memorable walk, one that helps her understand her place in the universe (spoiler: it’s not not at the center of it). When her adult life brings a new and unexpected kind of sorrow, she turns to these lessons from her father again, to find a balance between the seriousness that comes with loving life and the wise perspective of knowing we’re all just passing through.