Excerpts from an interview with Dr. Robert Firestone by Fred Branfman, political activist and author of Voices from the Plain of Jars.

Vulnerable: “A weak position, defenseless, helpless, exposed, at risk, in danger”

Fred Branfman: In our culture the idea of being vulnerable is associated with being fearful, anxious, and weak. For example, politicians and business leaders tend to project an air of invulnerability. In contrast, one of your central ideas is that vulnerability is an adaptive and desirable state to live in. I’d never thought about it that way before. What exactly do you mean by the word “vulnerable”?