Getting Our Hearts Right: From a Mesa Moonwalk to MLK, Compassion Fatigue to Rumi – and the Goodness in Us All

Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 5:00 am

Getting Our Hearts Right: From a Mesa Moonwalk to MLK, Compassion Fatigue to Rumi – and the Goodness in Us All

I do believe that this was Krista’s (@kristatippett) most popular and most retweeted thought of the week:

How a person thinks is more interesting than what they know — and how they live the intersection between what they know and who they are.

MoonwalkingAnd, I can think of no better follow-up to this sentiment than sharing this lovely message from Paul F. Tanghe, a 30-year-old officer in the Army who hails from the Minneapolis suburb of Edina:

“I have multiple overseas tours, and have lived all over the U.S. since graduating from West Point. I discovered your show last fall while returning home from Afghanistan and transitioning from the Army lifestyle to grad school, and it has been a profound source of challenge, growth, and hope for me. Thank you for what you do!”

Like most people, we — as producers and as a media project — are on a trajectory that is continually striving to live at this intersection. Whether it’s good words like Mr. Tanghe’s or critical feedback correcting us on our mistakes, we want you to know that we draw nourishment and sustenance from your ideas as we proceed forward and live as honestly as we can at this crossroads.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." ~Rumi photo by Leonardo FerraguzziHands down, our most reblogged photo-poem of the week was inspired by “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi.” We paired this lyrical passage from “A Great Wagon” with our Instagrammed version of Leonardo Ferraguzzi’s photo of a village in Emilia Romagna, Italy. There are few things more romantic, more perfect.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense.

Martin Luther King Jr.Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was this week:

Is your heart right? Moving audio of MLK as a man at his most vulnerable + his most poignant as a preacher.

I’m 43 now, and the older I get the more I fully and deeply appreciate the the man and the legend. This sermon shortly before his death in 1968 gets me every time. You should listen.
Last week’s conversation with Joan Halifax in Compassion’s Edge States” generated some wonderful responses. Photo by Joan HalifaxWe heard from Sean, a fireman and medic from DC, Stacey, an oncology nurse, Patricia, a woman grieving the loss of her husband of 40 years, and this response from Ed Brenegar:

“I agree the issue isn’t compassion fatigue. Instead it is the disconnection that we have from the contexts of pain, suffering, grief, and death that others experience.

When we see images on television that move us to either compassion or sorrow, we are not doing so in the context where we are wholly given to a process where our feelings can have an outlet that brings some kind of resolution.

Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, at the beginning of No Man Is An Island wrote, ‘The gift of love is the gift of the power and the capacity to love, and, therefore, to give love with full effect is also to receive it. So, love can only be kept by being given away, and it can only be given perfectly when it is also received.'”

We shared a longer version of Merton’s quotation on Tumblr. And Mr. Brenegar finishes with this thought:

“When we emotionally connect with global situations like Darfur or Newtown, there is a disconnection that can add to our own sense of sorrow.

It is important to remember that we are whole beings who need whole relationships, and the possibilities of mutuality to be present to be fully able to care. This is one of our great human challenges that I see.”

Brother's loveWith all the attention this week devoted to Lance Armstrong’s confession and Manti Te’o’s girlfriend hoax, these two young boys remind us of the goodness in sport and the power of family.

“If people could race with people that can’t walk or talk or can have any kind of autism, it might open eyes of people that don’t really care about it. And, maybe, the people that don’t care in the past will care in the future and actually do it with somebody.”

So good in so many ways.
This week we’re producing next week’s interview with Seth Godin, Twitter thread with Krista Tippett on creativity and artwhich spurred Krista to share this nugget:

In a post-industrial, post-geography world, “we are all artists now.” Fun fun fun producing my Seth Godin interview for next week.

Kara Holden (@joydelightsnjoy), a screenwriter replied:

Sister Corita Kent said the same in the 60’s, “Not all of us are painters but we are all artists…To create means to relate.”

Of course, these interviews call us to profound places, but there is space for a silent chuckle and a tweet (@TrentGilliss) here and there:

Something I never thought I’d hear @KristaTippett say during an interview: “Let’s talk about marketing.”

How about this wonderful line from "'The beautiful is as useful as the useful.' He added, after a moment's silence, 'perhaps more so.'" ~Victor Hugo, photo by Andreas SchreyerVictor Hugo’s Les Misérables paired with Andreas Schreyer’s photo:

“‘The beautiful is as useful as the useful.’ He added, after a moment’s silence, ‘perhaps more so.'”

Solomon Missouri (@solomonmissouri), an A.M.E. minister, made a recommendation that has been gnawing at us this past year:

On Being needs an app, @kristatippett. Love the show.

Sukina Abdul Noor and Muneera RashidaWouldn’t you know it, we’ve got something in the works as Krista intimates:

Don’t we know it. Long story but the good news is it’s coming soon. Stay tuned.

Two parting thoughts to send you into this glorious weekend. The first one by way of Krista:

All this journalistic analysis around the “Nones” as the demise of religion. But so many of them are ethically and spiritually passionate.

The new non-religious represent the evolution of faith, not its demise. They will restore the great traditions to their own deepest truths.

What’s your take on this? Drop us a line on our website, via Facebook or Twitter (@beingtweets, @KristaTippett, @TrentGilliss).
And, finally, on a somewhat elegiac and hopeful note, these words from author and poet Mary Karr:

“Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else’s suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.”

Have a great weekend and hope you enjoy the show!

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as chief content officer and executive editor. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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