On Being Blog

Trent Gilliss Monday, December 16, 2013 - 09:07

A video featuring dancers aged 85, 65, 45, 25, and 5 performing the same sequence that is "stunning in ways I can't explain."

Jay Blossom Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 18:44

The season of Advent is not only a time of preparation, but one of sorrow and mourning. It's a time for reflection + remembrance of those loved ones we lost. Jay Blossom reflects on letting go of his father — and the necessity of finding the time to lament and hope for a better world ahead.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 13:51

Watch a recording of our live video stream with Rev. Lucas Johnson and Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC. The topic: nonviolence and how social change happens. A riveting hour story and substance.

Jeanne Bishop Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 20:50

To be so far from want that we wish others to be partakers of our plenty is something for which to give thanks writes a Chicago public defender on this Thanksgiving day.

Trent Gilliss Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 06:27

Pop culture makes meaning. Enter the Florida State University AcaBelles' a cappella rendition of Lorde's "Royals" to make the point.

Lily Percy Friday, November 22, 2013 - 16:26

Geneticist and Anglican priest Lindon Eaves offers insight on how he's able to take comfort in what he does not know, in both science and religion — something we could all learn from.

Trent Gilliss Monday, November 18, 2013 - 05:37

In a 1919 letter to Gandhi, the Nobel laureate offers these words of advice on planting the seeds of intolerance.

Lily Percy Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 10:52

A moving affirmation of the power we have to affect one another simply by being ourselves.

Trent Gilliss Monday, November 11, 2013 - 14:31

Rachel Button sent us this poem marking the parades that often go unacknowledged on Veterans Day.

Trent Gilliss Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 07:28

KindSpring creates a project to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for with the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge. What are you thankful for?

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Latest Interviews

July 10, 2014

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

July 3, 2014

For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

June 26, 2014

We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.

June 12, 2014

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.

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