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The topic of the day was “courage,” with two singular, admired women (who happen to be married to each other): soccer icon Abby Wambach and writer/philanthropist Glennon Doyle. Abby is an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion. Glennon entered the American imagination with the label “Christian mommy blogger.” Now she ignites millions of follo…
 
The topic of the day was “courage,” with two singular, admired women (who happen to be married to each other): soccer icon Abby Wambach and writer/philanthropist Glennon Doyle. Abby is an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion. Glennon entered the American imagination with the label “Christian mommy blogger.” Now she ignites millions of follo…
 
Therapist Esther Perel has changed our discourse about sexuality and coupledom with her TED talks, books, and singular podcast, “Where Should We Begin?”, in which listeners are invited into emotionally raw therapy sessions she conducts with couples she’s never met before. For Perel, eroticism is a key ingredient to life — and it’s more than just a …
 
Therapist Esther Perel has changed our discourse about sexuality and coupledom with her TED talks, books, and singular podcast, “Where Should We Begin?”, in which listeners are invited into emotionally raw therapy sessions she conducts with couples she’s never met before. For Perel, eroticism is a key ingredient to life — and it’s more than just a …
 
With his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for helping to create the field of behavioral economics — and is a self-described “constant worrier.” It’s fun, helpful, and more than a litt…
 
With his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in economics for helping to create the field of behavioral economics — and is a self-described “constant worrier.” It’s fun, helpful, and more than a litt…
 
The Oglala Lakota poet. “I wanted as much as possible to avoid this nostalgic portraiture of a Native life.” The reward and joy of patience. The difference between guilt, shame, and freedom from denial. When apologies are done well. Layli Long Soldier is a writer, a mother, a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation. …
 
The Oglala Lakota poet. “I wanted as much as possible to avoid this nostalgic portraiture of a Native life.” The reward and joy of patience. The difference between guilt, shame, and freedom from denial. When apologies are done well. Layli Long Soldier is a writer, a mother, a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation. …
 
To reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift to Northern Ireland as one of its foremost living poets. He is a voice for all of us now, wise and winsome about the force of words in a society that has moved away from sectarianism in l…
 
To reassert the liveliness of ordinary things, precisely in the face of what is hardest and most broken in life and society — this has been Michael Longley’s gift to Northern Ireland as one of its foremost living poets. He is a voice for all of us now, wise and winsome about the force of words in a society that has moved away from sectarianism in l…
 
“When you’re in a very quiet place, when you’re remembering, when you’re savoring an image, when you’re allowing your mind calmly to leap from one thought to another, that’s a poem.” Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Kindness” has traveled around the world. She grew up between Ferguson, Missouri, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. She insists that language must be a …
 
“When you’re in a very quiet place, when you’re remembering, when you’re savoring an image, when you’re allowing your mind calmly to leap from one thought to another, that’s a poem.” Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Kindness” has traveled around the world. She grew up between Ferguson, Missouri, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. She insists that language must be a …
 
What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this”? Philosopher and writer Alain de Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” was one of the most-read articles in The New York Times in recent years. As people and as a culture, he says, we would be much saner and happier if we reexamined our very …
 
The philosopher and creator of The School of Life. The question we should ask on an early date is, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy like this…” The real work of love that is in the stumbling and evolving, skill and surviving — not in the falling. The joy of flirting. What if the first question we asked on a date were, “How are you crazy? I’m crazy lik…
 
We’re fluent in the languages of psychology and medication, but the word “depression” does not do justice to this human experience. Depression is also spiritual territory. It is a shadow side of human vitality and as such teaches us about vitality. Is depression possible for the same reason that love is possible? This interview is edited and produc…
 
We’re fluent in the languages of psychology and medication, but the word “depression” does not do justice to this human experience. Depression is also spiritual territory. It is a shadow side of human vitality and as such teaches us about vitality. Is depression possible for the same reason that love is possible? This interview is edited and produc…
 
We’re fluent in the languages of psychology and medication, but the word “depression” does not do justice to this human experience. Depression is also spiritual territory. It is a shadow side of human vitality and as such teaches us about vitality. Is depression possible for the same reason that love is possible? This interview is edited and produc…
 
In the 1960s, Nikki Giovanni was a revolutionary poet of the Black Arts Movement that nourished civil rights. She had a famous dialogue with James Baldwin in Paris in 1971. As a professor at Virginia Tech, she brought beauty and courage by the way of poetry after the shooting there. Today, she is a self-proclaimed space freak and a delighted elder …
 
In the 1960s, Nikki Giovanni was a revolutionary poet of the Black Arts Movement that nourished civil rights. She had a famous dialogue with James Baldwin in Paris in 1971. As a professor at Virginia Tech, she brought beauty and courage by the way of poetry after the shooting there. Today, she is a self-proclaimed space freak and a delighted elder …
 
Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book “A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design” is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?” He’s the unusual scientist willing to analogize his discoveries about the deep structure of reality with deep meaning i…
 
Nobel physicist Frank Wilczek sees beauty as a compass for truth, discovery, and meaning. His book “A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design” is a long meditation on the question: “Does the world embody beautiful ideas?” He’s the unusual scientist willing to analogize his discoveries about the deep structure of reality with deep meaning i…
 
Life as an improvisational art, at every age. This idea animates the wise linguist and anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, whose book “Composing a Life” has touched many. Since her childhood as the daughter of the iconic anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, she’s had an ability to move through the world as both an original observer…
 
Life as an improvisational art, at every age. This idea animates the wise linguist and anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, whose book “Composing a Life” has touched many. Since her childhood as the daughter of the iconic anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, she’s had an ability to move through the world as both an original observer…
 
Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, philosopher, and historian. Her books include “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It,” “Doubt: A History,” and “Who Said.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Jennifer Michael Hecht — Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves.” Find more at…
 
Stay. That’s the message that philosopher, poet, and historian Jennifer Michael Hecht puts at the center of her unusual writing about suicide. She’s traced how the history of Western civilization has, at times, demonized those who commit suicide, and, at times, celebrated it as a moral freedom. She has struggled with suicidal places in her life and…
 
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and one of the world’s deep thinkers on religion in our age. He’s just released a new book, “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence.” In this intimate conversation with Krista, he speaks about how Jewish and other religious ideas can inform modern challenges. Rabbi Sack…
 
Jonathan Sacks was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth for 22 years. He is now the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He is also Professor of Law, Ethics…
 
A creator of the field of the sociology of emotion. Treating emotion seriously in our life together. “I could see what they couldn’t see but not what I couldn’t see.” Our stories as “felt” not merely factual. Caring is not the same as capitulating. One of the voices many have been turning to in recent years is Arlie Hochschild. She helped create th…
 
A creator of the field of the sociology of emotion. Treating emotion seriously in our life together. “I could see what they couldn’t see but not what I couldn’t see.” Our stories as “felt” not merely factual. Caring is not the same as capitulating. One of the voices many have been turning to in recent years is Arlie Hochschild. She helped create th…
 
The poet Jericho Brown reminds us to bear witness to the complexity of the human experience, to interrogate the proximity of violence to love, and to look and listen closer so that we might uncover the small truths and surprises in life. His presence is irreverent and magnetic, as the high school students who joined us for this conversation experie…
 
The poet Jericho Brown reminds us to bear witness to the complexity of the human experience, to interrogate the proximity of violence to love, and to look and listen closer so that we might uncover the small truths and surprises in life. His presence is irreverent and magnetic, as the high school students who joined us for this conversation experie…
 
The band Cloud Cult is hard to categorize — both musically and lyrically — though it’s been called an “orchestral indie rock collective.” Less in question is the profound and life-giving force of its music. Cloud Cult’s trajectory was altered the day its cofounder and singer-songwriter, Craig Minowa, and his wife woke up to find that their two-year…
 
The band Cloud Cult is hard to categorize — both musically and lyrically — though it’s been called an “orchestral indie rock collective.” Less in question is the profound and life-giving force of its music. Cloud Cult’s trajectory was altered the day its co-founder and singer-songwriter, Craig Minowa, and his wife woke up to find that their two-yea…
 
Mary Oliver was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She is often quoted by people across ages and backgrounds — and it’s fitting, since she described poetry as a sacred community ritual. “When you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody,” she said. Mary died on January 17, 2019, at the age of 83. She was a prolific and decorate…
 
Mary Oliver was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She is often quoted by people across ages and backgrounds — and it’s fitting, since she described poetry as a sacred community ritual. “When you write a poem, you write it for anybody and everybody,” she said. Mary died on January 17, 2019, at the age of 83. She was a prolific and decorate…
 
“The sudden passionate happiness which the natural world can occasionally trigger in us,” Michael McCarthy writes, “may well be the most serious business of all.” He is a naturalist and journalist, and this is his delightful and galvanizing call — that we can stop relying on the immobilizing language of statistics and take up our joy in the natural…
 
“The sudden passionate happiness which the natural world can occasionally trigger in us,” Michael McCarthy writes, “may well be the most serious business of all.” He is a naturalist and journalist, and this is his delightful and galvanizing call — that we can stop relying on the immobilizing language of statistics and take up our joy in the natural…
 
“The rocks are beyond slow, beyond strong, and yet yielding to a soft green breath as powerful as a glacier, the mosses wearing away their surfaces, grain by grain bringing them slowly back to sand. There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents.” This is how…
 
The problem with calling another living being “it.” Photosynthesis envy. The renewal of the world for the privilege of breath. Mosses as a celebration of the power of smallness. The science of why goldenrod and asters look so beautiful together. “The rocks are beyond slow, beyond strong, and yet yielding to a soft green breath as powerful as a glac…
 
Dario Robleto is a sculptural artist who lives and works in Houston, Texas. His most recent exhibit, “The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed,” is at the Menil Collection in Houston. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Dario Robleto — Sculptor of Memory.” Find more at onbeing.org.…
 
Sculptural artist Dario Robleto is famous for spinning and shaping unconventional materials — from dinosaur fossils to pulverized vintage records, from swamp root to cramp bark. He joins words and objects in a way that distills meaning at once social, poetic, and scientific. He reveals how objects can become meditations on love, war, and healing.…
 
Marilyn Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and to West Point cadets. She gives winsome voice to forgotten people from history, shining a light on the complicated ancestry that can help us in what she calls “communal pondering.” To sit with Marilyn Nelson is to gain a newly spacious perspective on what that might…
 
Marilyn Nelson has taught poetry and contemplative practice to college students and to West Point cadets. She gives winsome voice to forgotten people from history, shining a light on the complicated ancestry that can help us in what she calls “communal pondering.” To sit with Marilyn Nelson is to gain a newly spacious perspective on what that might…
 
The extraordinary wisdom of Congressman John Lewis. A rare look inside the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation with themselves – and their intricate art of “love in action.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “John Lewis – Love In Action.” Find more at onbeing.org.…
 
We take in the extraordinary wisdom of Congressman John Lewis on what happened in Selma on Bloody Sunday and beyond – and how it might inform common life today. A rare look inside the civil rights leaders’ spiritual confrontation with themselves – and their intricate art of “love in action.”On Being Studios
 
You could say of the present that we are suddenly in a world of “ambiguous loss.” Family therapist and clinical psychologist Pauline Boss coined this term, and invented a new field within psychology, to name the reality that every loss does not hold a promise of anything like resolution. There are “complicated griefs” that shift the world on its ax…
 
The family therapist who created the field of “ambiguous loss” — loss without closure. Complicated grief: parents, divorce, addiction, dementia, aging. “You love somebody. And when they’re lost, you still care about them. You can’t just turn it off.” There is no such thing as closure. In fact, Pauline Boss says, the idea of closure leads us astray.…
 
The late civil rights elder Vincent Harding was chairperson of the Veterans of Hope project at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, where he was professor of Religion and Transformation. He posed and lived a question that is freshly in our midst: Is America possible? This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being…
 
In an unsettled political moment, at the end of a divisive campaign, the late, great civil rights elder Vincent Harding is a voice of calm, wisdom, and perspective. He was wise about how the civil rights vision might speak to 21st-century realities. Just as importantly, he pursued this by way of patient yet passionate cross-cultural, cross-generati…
 
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