The daughter of refugees pens an open letter to her mother. She reflects on the inheritance of suffering, offering this ode to the resilience of the human spirit and gratitude for the opportunity to flourish.
Our corrective actions can have radiating effects, placing a burden on those who don't deserve it. A moving revelation of the extended trauma of mass incarceration — farther reaching than we might imagine.
The architecture around us inhabits the vernacular of our lives. Our executive editor with this week's letter from Loring Park welcoming our new columnist Sarah Smarsh, who joins a collective contemplation of where and how we navigate our lives in faith, family, and citizenship.
Pope Francis had an extraordinary week issuing a seminal document on love and family, travelling to a refugee "hot zone," and meeting Bernie Sanders in Rome. The common thread: the pope's willingness to accompany people where they're at and walk alongside humanity, whether it be a Syrian refugee or a U.S. presidential candidate.
To put the children first is a parent's most basic instinct. But when does self-sacrifice become self-destruction? Omid Safi offers a new understanding of the importance of self-care.
Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not.
When the demands of daily life drain us, a respite in solitude is exactly what we need. A testament to the power of aloneness to reconnect us with the steady sense of self we lose.
Paul Kalanithi's latest book spurs a pregnant mother to recognize the myth of meaning-making. Our columnist on reckoning with ambiguous endings, and the spectrum of imperfection on which we must all live and thrive.
Each year in New York during the marathon, an intimate gathering of Holocaust survivors come together. A tapestry of memory unfolds, telling the powerful stories of the survivors and the courageous people who protected them.
What happens when we go too far in pushing against the "other" — whether in asserting our identity or in protecting ourselves from danger? Reminders that we must also open ourselves to the vulnerability of acknowledging our dignified differences and common ground.
Our names are rife with meaning, stories we claim and others we discard. Listen to this group of "audio selfies," including one with Parker Palmer, exploring how our identity is formed by the names we're given, the ones we take, and the ones we long for but never quite materialize.
The love that siblings share is complex, and something that perhaps only they can understand. Jane Gross with a note of appreciation, frustration, perplexity, and profound love for her little brother — and the wayward path they've walked together.
Each year a mysterious gift is delivered to a woman's doorstep on Valentine's Day from a secret admirer. A reflection on expectations and love in all its incarnations.
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.
The voyage of discovery comes from seeing the world with grateful eyes. A poetic contemplation of aging, attention, and gratitude.
A mother's poetic reflection on simultaneously striving to comfort and teach her children, and learn from her own mother, about the growth that can come from struggle.
A gracious and unexpected gift from the band Radiohead for the new year and a medley of guiding essays on revolutions and resolutions, ending arrogance, love of wide open spaces, embracing family and more. Our executive editor's Letter from Loring Park to kick off 2016.
There is no norm when it comes to the prototypical family unit. And, family as we all know is at once our breaking point and our healing refuge. With the holiday season behind us, Courtney Martin asks us to embrace the family we have and resist the idealized version that never existed.
A young mother of twins returns to the comfort of the kitchen and cooking rice as she remembers learning from her own mother as a child, and revels in the unique tension between her desire for order and the joyful chaos that her children bring.
The ritual of lighting luminaria on Christmas Eve in New Mexico inspires this reflection on grief and waiting for the light.
With the gift of a poem, a father marvels at the infinities embodied by his young son in this lyrical moment of parental reverence.
Thanksgiving is the one holiday when our columnist's family spent the day together. In her imperfect efforts to revive the tradition of her childhood Thanksgivings, Jane Gross discovers that even small gestures — like keeping a set of gaudy dishes — can be all the tradition she needs.
A composer's song for the background noise of a family living room — a soundtrack for the ordinary work of cooking, cleaning, and growing up.
There are those people who know how to get ahead of the train wreck and those folks who are called to their senses after the collision has happened. But, catastrophe, too, can be a contemplative path if you choose to accept it.
An affirmation of presence, a victory of joy, a connection maintained: these are the things a young mother observes in her elderly next door neighbors, as a husband gently tends to his wife in her final days. A beautiful account of what love truly looks like.