The On Being Project

Courtney E. Martin
Courtney E. Martin

is a columnist for On Being. Her newest book, The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream, explores 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 daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at www.courtneyemartin.com.

There Is No Honest Rest: All the Things I Would Rather Be Than Good

by Courtney E. Martin

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.

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There Is No Honest Rest: All the Things I Would Rather Be Than Good

Little Deaths

by Courtney E. Martin

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

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Little Deaths

Reclaiming the Campfire: Traveling the Distance That Divides with Stories

by Courtney E. Martin

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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Reclaiming the Campfire: Traveling the Distance That Divides with Stories

Bone Tired and Ready to Be Bossed Around

by Courtney E. Martin

There is a place beyond exhaustion, when asking ‘What can I do to help?’ is inadequate and burdensome. A commentary on how we can practice the art of generosity, to reach beyond the ease of asking towards the grit of doing.

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Bone Tired and Ready to Be Bossed Around

Spiritual Practices Hidden in Plain Sight

by Courtney E. Martin

Sometimes the most sacred experiences happen in the most mundane of places: in a big box store, after your spouse empties the litter box, or during an encounter with a taxi driver.

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Spiritual Practices Hidden in Plain Sight

Men and Friendship: Letting the Guard Down First

by Courtney E. Martin

Men’s ability to maintain sustained, intimate friendships with other men may be the key to unlocking a revolution of a new type of connection — and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century.

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Men and Friendship: Letting the Guard Down First

Learning to Self-Soothe and Surrender

by Courtney E. Martin

When life grabs you by the scruff of the neck, how do you cope with the stress and anxiety? A column on the art of reassuring oneself that all will be well.

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Learning to Self-Soothe and Surrender

The Violence of Humiliation

by Courtney E. Martin

The video of Ray Rice hitting Janay Rice has prompted all sorts of responses. Rather than resorting to humiliation and social isolation, how do we deal with generational legacies of violence when it confronts us in the news cycle? A call to see the pain before us, and create consequences and opportunities for cultural transformation — not public shaming.

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The Violence of Humiliation

The Unbearable Weight of World News

by Courtney E. Martin

How do we process all the heartbreaking news, be informed citizens, and not become detached? Is being uninformed a moral decision? One way is for media and consumers to demand headlines that reflect the fullness of the world — including the fortifying solutions happening too.

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The Unbearable Weight of World News

I Surrender, I Win. A Spiritual Reclamation of Time

by Courtney E. Martin

Our weekly columnist sends up a white flag to the insurance company, but in the end draws something more precious than money: her time and attention.

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I Surrender, I Win. A Spiritual Reclamation of Time