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In this episode: Death, Bob Marley, parenthood, gratitude, and what to do in the face of incalculable suffering. These are just a few of the topics raised in this episode's vulnerable, searching discussion with Tony, Emmy, Obie, and two-time Golden Globe award-winning actress and author Mary-Louise Parker.

She’s won many awards -- Tony, Obie, Golden Globe, Emmy -- for her roles in the Showtime series Weeds, the TV miniseries of Angels in America, and the play Proof, among other things. Unbeknownst to many people until now, she’s also a seriously talented writer. Her first book, Dear Mr. You, is a series of letters to men, real and hypothetical, living and dead, who have had a meaningful impact on her life. 

Surprise interview clips from Henry Rollins and Ralph Rivera set Mary-Louise and host Jason Gots
off on a conversation about the limits of empathy, the power of music, and the fact that likability is way overrated. 

Quote from Mary-Louise Parker: “In communication, I think too much emphasis is put on being liked.  On being likable. I think you can be polite and I think you can be kind  without necessarily needing to win votes all the time.  I am extremely direct and clear about what I’m trying to do or say at work.  Not so much in the rest of my life. I can be a massive wimp sometimes. I can be very conflicted and second-guess myself a million times,  but at work I really don’t care if you like me or not.  When I’m trying to argue a point about what I’m trying to communicate  or achieve in the work, I really don’t care what anyone thinks.”

About Think Again - A Big Think Podcast: You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. Each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you may have heard of with short clips from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. These conversations could, and do, go anywhere.