Courtney E. Martin

Courtney E. Martin

is a columnist for On Being. Her column appears every Friday.

She is is currently working on a book titled The New Better Off, exploring how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com. Courtney has authored/edited five books, including Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women. Her work appears frequently in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their baby girl Maya. Read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.
By Courtney E. Martin April 17, 2015

A daughter's embarrassment of her mother's alternative approaches to healing turns into a letter of admiration and an apology.

By Courtney E. Martin April 10, 2015

The term "scale" is the buzzword in social entrepreneurship circles. But, as Courtney Martin Often shows us, changing the world is about changing systems and helping others one person at a time.

By Courtney E. Martin April 03, 2015

Forgiving yourself for your stupid mistakes can be really difficult. By doing so, though, Courtney Martin argues that you will not only honor those who love you deeply and you will stop beating yourself up in the process.

By Courtney E. Martin March 27, 2015

When we get too attached to habits, we risk losing our sense of wonder and our potential for catalytic experience. Courtney Martin's encouragement for the job of being alive: “May I see what I do. May I do it differently. May I make this a way of life.”

By Courtney E. Martin March 20, 2015

In an Internet age, we create highly curated versions of ourselves. But how do we reflect the full spectrum of our own humanity and not a collection of status updates?

By Courtney E. Martin March 13, 2015

Sometimes it takes a fire hydrant turning into a geyser to remind us that there is somebody there to fix it. In seeing all of the people around us who make systems and services work, we begin to understand what it takes to make a community thrive.

By Courtney E. Martin March 06, 2015

Part of becoming an adult is learning how to lower your expectations. But parenting a toddler brings different gifts — of rediscovering discovery, reuniting with awe, and finding where the mundane becomes miraculous.

By Courtney E. Martin February 27, 2015

When yes is overused it takes what should be a whole-hearted gift and turns it into an anxiety-producing check box. Courtney Martin's argument for saying "no" gracefully and learning to measure life in acts of unhurried love.

By Courtney E. Martin February 20, 2015

Closure may not be all it's cracked up to be. Courtney Martin on the death of a friendship and the insatiable, sometimes unsatisfying, need to create silver linings where none exist.

By Courtney E. Martin January 30, 2015

Researchers are showing that doing it all at the same time is a “diabolical illusion.” If we know this, why does it continue to be so seductive, so alluring? In this technological, overambitious age, a commentary on striving to be focused and whole again.

By Courtney E. Martin January 23, 2015

In a day where more and more wedding ceremonies are not presided over by an official religious figure, there's much to figure out when it comes to designing a ritual. Some practices to consider for modern nuptials.

By Courtney E. Martin January 16, 2015

Making connections can be "life-giving" but they can also reinforce "damaging divides." Courtney Martin is reminded of the vitality of human bonds — and the chasms that remain in this hypernetworked world.

By Courtney E. Martin January 09, 2015

So often it's the quiet moments with someone that cements and deepens a relationship. An acknowledgement (and a bit of a love letter) to the silence that joins us together.

By Courtney E. Martin January 01, 2015

As the siren song of productivity in the new year beckons, our weekly columnist Courtney Martin finds presence and peace of mind in the habits of a less productive but more awesome life.

By Courtney E. Martin December 26, 2014

We don't choose our family, as the old saying goes, but we do choose our friends. An encouragement to discover people to surround ourselves with and scout friends who beget our culture.

By Courtney E. Martin December 19, 2014

The end of year is fast approaching. And with that comes an influx of charitable giving. In this digital age when the basket is now an online form, how do we create a spiritual practice of tithing and discern the "right" way to give?

By Courtney E. Martin December 12, 2014

Lennon Flowers and Carla Fernandez are creating a national movement of dinner parties for 20-30 year olds that are humanizing grief and creating new communities after loss.

By Courtney E. Martin December 05, 2014

With the overwhelming angst of privilege, our columnist confesses to her own inclinations to participate in Twitter testimonies of white privilege. But, it's no substitute for the moral imagination required to acknowledge the emotional lives of others.

By Courtney E. Martin November 28, 2014

With the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown, a school of children's uncommon silence in New Mexico leads the way to expressing grief and finding a role for our anger.

By Courtney E. Martin November 21, 2014

Atul Gawande's new book on the aging and the dying process inspires this column on turning bearing witness to our own instincts and doing things a different way.

By Courtney E. Martin November 14, 2014

Before conscious time began, someone cared for you. And you survived. A call to action to remember that someone showed up for you over and over and over again.

By Courtney E. Martin November 07, 2014

We often desire a sense of adventure and travel. But when a "life of wandering" overtakes a "life of rootedness," we take time away from home and community — and "the ground at our own feet."

By Courtney E. Martin October 31, 2014

Nowadays there are unintended consequences for just about everything we do. An encouragement to strive for curiosity over goodness, to seek gentleness over righteousness, and engage with ethics as a process rather than a destination.

By Courtney E. Martin October 24, 2014

It’s fall and things are dying. What least productive practices and mindsets are you working on shedding?

By Courtney E. Martin October 17, 2014

With the ever-widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor, statistics abound. But they fail to animate the human spirit. Story is a way into history and "teaching our hearts how to live as choiceful human beings."

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