On the Blog

Featured Commentary

BY Alexandra Elle January 18, 2016

Being around people can be an anxious experience, if not draining experience, for many. But, how can we manage that trepidation and move forward? Alexandra Elle reflects on having the courage to show up and interact when it feels next to impossible.

On the Blog

BY Ben Bagocius February 13, 2016

Einstein and Darwin were some of our most poetic writers. But a bifurcation has taken place, a rupture in the disciplines. A literature professor celebrates the natural symbiosis of the world of facts and the creative word.

BY Courtney E. Martin February 12, 2016

Cross-generational relationships may be one of our greatest untapped resources today. But, people in their "third act" of living are creating new encounters and meaningful differences among youth and our communities.

BY Omid Safi February 11, 2016

After a stint in the rain, our columnist comes to appreciate a new orientation to gray days, both in meteorology and in life.

BY Broderick Greer February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday is often understood as an opportunity to engage in the practice of personal improvement. But, what if it were used to look outward and create a more just, merciful society rather than ending with our hearts?

BY Parker J. Palmer February 10, 2016

Life, like verse, contains beauty, grit, and uncomfortable truth. Inspired by a couplet from Thoreau, our columnist reflects on the journey of life as an artistic, creative craft, in the vein of lyrical composition.

BY Trent Gilliss February 09, 2016

Our paths intersect with countless others as we navigate our days, but how often do we live out the potential of these exchanges? Gleanings from the complementary persistence of Super Mario and Sisyphus, the enduring kinship of the Abrahamic family, and the unexpected inspiration to honor a late loved one from a song by Sting.

BY Sharon Salzberg February 09, 2016

We often equate ruthless doubt with intelligent discernment. As Sharon Salzberg points out, sitting through the uncertainty can be the surest way to become present to the wisdom of our own intuition.

BY Jane Gross February 08, 2016

Once we reach "a certain age," our time can start to feel simultaneously precious and dreadfully empty. Our columnist finds the joy and frustration of entering into a reading group, discovering new hobbies, and rediscovering practices from the past.

BY Lauren Small February 07, 2016

Is it possible to teach doctors how to give bad news? A writer's probing reflection on hearing — and giving — the hardest messages to receive.

BY Fleda Mask Jackson February 06, 2016

A song of hard-working shipyards inspires the daughter of an African-American railroad man to honor her father, a man whose quiet strength fueled both his work and his love for family. A testimony to labor and providing for future generations.

BY Courtney E. Martin February 05, 2016

What happens when our sense of identity doesn't line up with how others see us? Our columnist reflects on the complicated work of asserting our identity, which often means wearing the parts we'd like to shed with pride.

BY Omid Safi February 04, 2016

Our language to be inclusive through terms like "Judeo-Christian" and "Abrahamic" might not be big enough to encompass the needs of the many.

BY Parker J. Palmer February 03, 2016

We're trained to demonize and combat those who disagree with us. But what if we cultivated better habits that didn't unravel the fabric of our civic community?

BY Trent Gilliss February 02, 2016

Might we understand each other better if we dropped our assumptions and reframed the questions we ask? The contemplative season sparks ruminations on how we might be more generous in imagining our neighbors, and ourselves.

BY Jackson Culpepper February 01, 2016

Growing up with firearms provided life-long lessons on responsibility and discipline for many families. A man born and raised in a Southern hunting family reckons with the heritage of guns in his life and our our deeply held tendencies to trust in violence.

BY Claire Dietrich Ranna January 31, 2016

When we encounter the stranger, a deepening exchange takes place. Through the metaphor of marriage and her own personal vows, an Episcopal priest calls for a return to unity and the remembrance of the shared history and values that bind Christians and Muslims together.

BY Vishavjit Singh January 30, 2016

What if instead of asking "How do you identify yourself?" we asked "What's your story?" A cartoonist with a penchant for cosplay tells the sometimes embattled, often joyful story of finding belonging as a Sikh man in America.

BY Courtney E. Martin January 29, 2016

The uproar over the Academy Awards failure to nominate any actors of color this year is surfacing questions of the value of "diversity." But, as our columnist points out, in trying to adjust our aperture of belonging, we must describe the fullness of one's identity.

BY Calvyn C. du Toit January 28, 2016

What do the Triune God and jazz music have in common? A South African musician explores jazz through three theological metaphors.

BY Omid Safi January 28, 2016

If there's one thing winter teaches its humbled residents, it's that gratitude begins before the snow falls and happiness finds new heart in the thaw.

BY Jeanie Greensfelder January 27, 2016

The voyage of discovery comes from seeing the world with grateful eyes. A poetic contemplation of aging, attention, and gratitude.

BY Parker J. Palmer January 27, 2016

What are the last things you want to cherish? The last things you want to give up? Parker Palmer on treasuring those things that anchor one to the blessings of life.

BY Jane Gross January 26, 2016

In a culture that prizes youth and vigor, our elders often get excluded from the workplace and our media diets. Our columnist highlights Norman Lear's frustrations with ageism and the difficulty of being recognized — and recognizing oneself — in the third act of life.

BY Trent Gilliss January 26, 2016

The catharsis of living up to challenge, in all walks of life — essays on powering through the hardest miles in a marathon to facing a crowd of unfamiliar strangers, to reckoning with one's best and worst selves while reflecting in the solitude of the woods.

BY Katharine Rose January 25, 2016

In the height of winter, perhaps what we need to chase away the cold and gray is a bit of the January blues. Music legend Buddy Guy provides some heartening perspective about life being more than flesh and bone.

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