BY Parker J. Palmer October 12, 2016

Compassion is a virtue, but do we direct it inward as much as outward? Parker Palmer gleans wisdom from Mary Oliver on mending ourselves so that we might be better companions to loved ones in need.

BY Trent Gilliss September 27, 2016

How can we be more present to daily joys? What does it look like to engage with each other in our fullest capacity? Questions and meditations on community and identity from voices on our radar.

BY Omid Safi September 22, 2016

A true friendship doesn't only bring support and joy, but also challenges us to grow. Omid Safi reflects on the importance of nurturing relationships that acknowledge our imperfections, and nourish the best in us.

BY Conor McCormick Cavanagh May 07, 2016

After his childhood friend enlists in the IDF, a journalist of Lebanese heritage reflects on the journey of understanding he's traveled with someone on the "other side" of the conflict.

BY Trent Gilliss May 04, 2016

From Game of Thrones to a biological time capsule in Norway, fascinating reads on what's happening in our collective culture with wise meditations on mutual trust in our individual power to rise and thrive.

BY Courtney E. Martin February 26, 2016

A mentor-mentee relationship, like any good one, requires commitment, openness, and honesty. Courtney Martin gives counsel on building relationships of mutual joy and learning with those in our lives whom we admire.

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 Courtney E. Martin January 22, 2016

The most romantic relationships just may be our platonic friendships. But, as we age, it gets more difficult to establish new friendships with those of the same sex. Our columnist celebrates the inimitable joy of platonic courtship and female attachment.

BY Suzanne Greenwald December 29, 2015

Unexpected relationships can lead to deep and lasting learning and growth.

BY Andréana E. Lefton November 28, 2015

An unexpected exchange catalyzes a conversation about the essential truths of aphorisms and paring the excess without violating the mystery.

BY Parker J. Palmer October 28, 2015

In response to Courtney Martin's letter, Parker Palmer corresponds with his dear friend about the uncertainty of life. A contemplation on the value of being vulnerable and open to supportive friends.

BY Hannah Rehak October 13, 2015

What person or story comes to mind when you think of middle school? An open invitation to reflect and respond about your experience of early adolescence, in middle school or junior high.

BY Sharon Salzberg October 05, 2015

When asked about love, people frequently use the word "need." Sharon Salzberg analyzes this intermingling and why we should find a way to disentangle them to better understanding of real need, and real love.

BY Courtney E. Martin October 02, 2015

The once thick, black line between personal and professional connections appears to be fading. Its replacement is a new kind of network rooted in our relatedness and built on the generosity authentic friendships.

BY Janie Brown September 29, 2015

For the end of Suicide Awareness Month, an elegy for a vibrant but fragile life unraveled by mental health — and one woman's challenge to recognize love in the presence of desperation.

BY Sharon Salzberg August 17, 2015

Forgiveness is not easily granted. But, summoning the deepest compassion for ourselves and others may allow both parties to move on without bitterness. Through the bittersweet story of her friend, Sharon Salzberg imparts a lesson about the shifting course of relationships and a path to peace.

BY Muhammad Asadi August 09, 2015

Dogs and humans have lived alongside each other for thousands of years. Could it be that each species has impacted the evolution of the other? And could dogs be an essential element in human self-actualization?

BY Courtney E. Martin July 24, 2015

In a culture of accumulation and hoarding, many are experiencing a growing exasperation with owning things that, as it turns out, aren't necessary. Could the "sharing economy" help restore spiritual calm?

BY Barbara Mahany May 25, 2015

The Magic Hedge is an oasis on the outskirts of Chicago renowned for its excellent birdwatching. With the hopes of sighting of a rare bird, two friends venture forth to encounter small miracles, the warmth of unexpected community, and the blessings of stillness.

BY Courtney E. Martin April 24, 2015

While eavesdropping, our columnist witnesses the intimacy of two strangers generously listening to one another — without an intent to save, fix, or advise. A lesson in witnessing over chicken wings.

BY Esther Cohen April 06, 2015

Holidays like Passover create occasions for encounter, however strange they may be. And those encounters may lead to friendships that create new possibilities.

BY Trent Gilliss February 23, 2015

Some of the best things of the week: on quiet nobility, thin places, the fist of fate, severed friendships, and Malcolm X.

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 Trent Gilliss December 30, 2014

Our executive editor looks into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope, including an elegy for light, the lessons of hardship, and a piece in praise of chosen family.

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.