Exploring the Mysteries and Encouraging a Love Affair with Life

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 6:17am
Photo by Bohari

Exploring the Mysteries and Encouraging a Love Affair with Life

I know I speak for many when I congratulate Krista Tippett on the National Humanities Medal presented to her by President Obama at the White House on Monday. It’s a huge honor, hard-earned and well-deserved. And, as Krista is the first to say, it’s one shared by executive editor Trent Gilliss and the entire staff of On Being.

When a destination like this is reached, we often forget that the journey to it was full of risks. It’s a sign of hope for all of us that a program like On Being — which explores deep, subtle, and elusive questions of what it means to be human — can be honored this way in a culture mired in noise, frenzy, consumerism, disinformation, divisiveness, and various forms of violence. Think of it! In the midst of all that, On Being courageously hosts honest and engaging on-air and online conversations that evoke what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” — always reaching out for diversity, never blinking the hard realities around and within us, helping us live more fully into the human possibility.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes. To Krista and all who help bring On Being to us, thank you for helping us explore the mysteries of the beginning and end of life, and the savage and beautiful country that lies in between. Thank you for encouraging our love affair with life!

“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”

—Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

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Parker J. Palmer

is a columnist for On Being. His column appears every Wednesday.

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include Healing the Heart of Democracy, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

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Congratulations, Krista and crew. Your presentations are a highlight of my week.

Trent Gilliss's picture

Thank you, Susan. The kind words are appreciated!

Congratulations Krista, Trent and entire On Being staff! You produce and deliver an amazing show. THANK YOU!

Trent Gilliss's picture

So nice of you to write, Jill. The pleasure is all ours!

Bravo!! Well deserved!!

Yes, thank you for informing listeners of Krista's latest accomplishment. Great work!

I wish that On Being was aired at times when I could actually listen to it, 6:00AM and 7:00PM on Sundays isn't working out well for me, and I'll bet a whole lot of other folks too.

Podcasts anytime anywhere.

Trent Gilliss's picture

Word. ;)

Program doesn't air at all my area. But the online podcasts have been a lifeline for my spirit since I discovered the program a couple years ago. The audio comes through loud and clear despite my lack of highspeed Internet. Thank you for all you do at OnBeing.

Trent Gilliss's picture

It's so good to hear that our online streaming is extending the reach of these conversations. Whereabouts do you live, Stephanie?

Trent Gilliss's picture

Sally, I'm guessing you are an MPR listener. Yes, these time slots aren't ideal but podcasting and our mobile app might be of some help. Maybe? I do realize that there is something magical about tuning in at an appointed time and listening to the radio, though, and am still trying to figure out how to create that sense of community through a streaming service. Do you have any suggestions?

Also, please write your local station and express your wish for the time slot that would be most convenient for you. We are public media, and it's vital that all program directors hear from their listeners. ;)

Congratulations for an honor well deserved. On Being explores the best questions of today and encourages living with hope. Well done!

Trent Gilliss's picture

Well said. Danke.

I couldn't agree with Parker's sentiments more. That Krista and crew were recognized so formally and powerfully is such a testament to the weight that On Being wields, and the resonance it creates. We live in a country that appears to bury it's collective head in the sand over so many pressing issues... seemingly trading a healthy future for short-term returns. On Being is a breath of fresh air and a ray hope. Hats off to the On Being team... please continue your important and inspiring work!

What wonderful news Krista! I've been listening to your wonderful, inspiring program for many years. May On Being and you and your great crew continue. The show and the website bring me solace, inner peace and, always, hope.

How I wish that my Mom had lived to see this honor and recognition given to one of her favorite radio voices. She listened faithfully every week when you were "Speaking of Faith" and then for awhile longer when you were "On Being" until she left us at age 99. Her sight was gone (even TV was "radio" to her) and her ears needed the volume turned up pretty loud. She felt that you are one of the most intelligent and open-hearted people she had ever heard. Thank you for the years of enjoyment and enlightenment that you shared with her.

Trent Gilliss's picture

Barbara, our condolences to you and your family. What a wonderful testimony to read. Thank you so much for sharing these kind words.

Good wishes and congratulations to Krista and all involved in bringing us On Being, an hour of thinking, talking, and simple goodness each week.

A black hole would appear in the universe if "On Being" disappeared. Yet, I suspect, if we're quiet we could still hear the many illuminating voices including that of the one and only, Krista Tippett. Your contribution extraordinary Krista! Congratulations for this well deserved honor!