On Being Blog

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 07:34

When one's pen goes silent for three years, what's the first line to come out. Christian Wiman tell us. Listen to his beautiful reading of "Every Riven Thing" too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 11:31

Rilke follows the course of change through seasons and captures the loneliness of uncertainty in everyday life. Includes Joanna Macy's brilliant reading of "Onto a Vast Plain."

Monday, May 20, 2013 - 07:14

Talking with your pre-teen son or daughter can be difficult enough, says Naazish YarKhan, without adding terrorism and its misguided association with Islam to the mix.

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 05:49

An imaginative video that brilliantly captures the essence and impact of David Foster Wallace's 2005 commencement speech at Kenyon College.

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 06:51

Glenn Greewald's calling out of Sam Harris' speech as anti-Muslim rhetoric sparked quite a debate. Is Mr. Harris a new form of atheism an old form of colonialism?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 19:05

A powerful Zen parable teaching us about compassion and gratitude in the face of death.

Monday, May 13, 2013 - 12:25

A sneak preview of our upcoming show with Sounds True founder Tami Simon. Enjoy and share your favorites.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 05:17

On this Mother's Day, in some odd way, I can think of no more fitting tribute than to listen to Ms. Boorstein reciting these lovely lines from Pablo Neruda.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 - 09:08

On this Mother's Day weekend, a time to celebrate the women in our lives and be real about parenting. Along with art on happiness, brainstorming reactions, and emerging forms of spirituality in Ireland.

Friday, May 10, 2013 - 04:49

In Ireland, former Catholics are rediscovering their religious beliefs and Irish heritage in pre-Christian spirituality. Shweta Saraswat and Tricia Tongco's story on the reemerging presence of Pagan spirituality in Dublin.

Pages

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.