America Contains Multitudes

Mariah Helgeson

is an editor at On Being. She earned a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution from George Washington University. She grew up in Minnesota and was a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music as a member of the Markado trio.

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April 21st, 2017

52 regular folks read Walt Whitman’s poem, “Song of Myself” —  a profound and deeply humanizing portrait of American life.

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November 8th, 2016

Do conversations matter in this election? A lifelong believer in the power of conversation to transform conflict wrote to Krista asking for advice about how to understand the other side in this contentious election.

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March 27th, 2016

On this Easter morning, a memory and a story of finding God not in the four walls of a church but by reclaiming awe in the woods of rural Minnesota. Listen to this audio short by Craig Minowa of the orchestral indie rock collective Cloud Cult and his reverence for the ritual of Easter morning.

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March 1st, 2016

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.

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November 29th, 2015

As we enter the contemplative season of waiting, an invitation to join us in reflecting on the myriad experiences of Advent.

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November 9th, 2015

Darwin’s concept of “deep time” finds its musical expression in a piano arrangement by German composer Hauschka.

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May 21st, 2015

While preparing for our live show with Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn in Nashville, their cover of “The Final Countdown” goes viral. So fun to watch!

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May 14th, 2015

What happens when two millennial Jesuit podcasters interview Krista Tippett? Practical wisdom on the way millennials do religion and a whole host of Jesuit humor.

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March 17th, 2015

The recent suicide of Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich has many discussing the bullying nature of politics. In a powerful sermon by former U.S. Senator John Danforth, he calls for an end to what politics has become.

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March 10th, 2015

Join us at 10:00 am this morning for a live video stream of Krista’s conversation with john a. powell, one of the most revered thinkers on race today. We’ll be taking your questions online too!

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February 24th, 2015

How is the way we live online changing the way we court, the way we love, the way we marry? Helen Fisher’s “Singles in America” study offers some curious insights into the trials and tribulations of modern love.

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February 16th, 2015

The highly acclaimed and beloved poet Mary Oliver reads her four-part poem, “The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac,” — a poem in which she explores death, purpose, and the call to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago.

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February 7th, 2015

Mary Oliver’s poems often feel like prayers as much as poems. In her own voice, she recites one of our favorites that feels like an incantation.

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January 22nd, 2015

Our conversation on the inner life rebellion inspires a 23-year-old singer-songwriter to write a song that embodies the rebellious energy she senses within herself and her generation. Take a listen; it’s a treat.

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January 10th, 2015

Watch this cross-generational conversation at PopTech in which Courtney Martin and Parker Palmer contemplate the meaning of rebellion, and finding a balance between inner and outer lives and the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity.

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November 16th, 2014

Listen to this virtuosic performance of Bach’s much-heralded chaconne for solo violin — a complicated, messy, transcendent portrait of grief, at once personal and universal.

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September 11th, 2014

A behind-the-scenes narrative of how the music in our podcasts find its way serendipitously into our production process — all by way of hip hop aficionado Imani Perry. Lauryn Hill comes through in a pinch.

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August 16th, 2014

In his interview with Krista Tippett, the Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho surprised us by recalling Krista’s 2010 TED talk at the United Nations. It is in wrestling with ourselves and our contradictions, he says, that we uncover the breeding grounds of compassion.

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July 14th, 2014

What do nuns playing basketball in 1965 and a renowned Indian poet have in common? Joy!

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July 10th, 2014

Flannery O’Connor’s prayer journal offers a rare glimpse into the life of a brilliant writer, colored by doubt and uncertainty, preoccupied with both magnificent grace and the mundane absurdity of everyday life.

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July 8th, 2014

Krista Tippett interviewed the poet and memoirist Maya Angelou just three weeks before her death. In an intimate phone conversation, she shares a final encouragement for today’s young men and women.

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July 8th, 2014

Former Black Panther party member Kathleen Cleaver on the third option. Beyond revolt and submission, there is another path, the path of self-realization.

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July 8th, 2014

Civil rights veteran Julian Bond on the guardianship of W.E.B. Du Bois in the efforts to move beyond the color line in the twenty-first century.

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July 7th, 2014

This unpublished list of books written by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1923 might be a list of favorites, or it might be a to-read list, or a list of recommendations for a friend. In any case, it’s a window into the mind of a terrific writer, through the books he loved.

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July 3rd, 2014

Inspired by Du Bois, Cory Booker reflects on the individual yearning of black men as essential to collective struggle. For him, the gift of his skin color is in allowing a better appreciation of the texture of humanity and a deeper ability to feel compassion.

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July 1st, 2014

How do we teach our children to be aware, to question, to be tolerant, to be resilient and righteous? How do we nurture their brilliance and bravery? A photoquote from poet Elizabeth Alexander, inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois

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June 10th, 2014

The writer’s words from 1955 resonate even more profoundly today in an era of technological ubiquity. A meditation on the gifts of solitude, loneliness, and silence.

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June 1st, 2014

Listen to this beautiful recitation of the Maasai creed from the late great scholar Jaroslav Pelikan. It’s a treasure.

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May 15th, 2014

As the narrative of Noah and the flood resurfaces in pop culture, a poetic midrash by Elie Wiesel.

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May 12th, 2014

A poetic photoquote from Rebecca Solnit on meeting moments of arrival, moments of realization, and moments of discovery with open arms.

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May 6th, 2014

In this photoquote of the day, Annie Dillard reminds us to ride the “monsters down deep.”

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May 6th, 2014

Join us at 1:00PM (CT) today for a live video stream of our inaugural live event at On Being Studios. It’s sure to be a rich discussion about science and religion between two great thinkers.

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May 5th, 2014

A mesmerizing collaboration between Memphis-born street dancer Lil Buck and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A moment of transcendence that stops you in your tracks and begs to be noticed.

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May 1st, 2014

If you didn’t know it, Krista’s a Trekkie. And so was one of our guests. A meeting of two Trekkie minds makes for an endearing few moments between interviewer and interviewee. Listen in.

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April 22nd, 2014

A compilation of tweets from our conversation on the legacy of Gershom Scholem. It overflows with gems of wisdom you’ll be glad you read!

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April 21st, 2014

A letter from beloved children’s author on living out your joy, in whatever form it takes.

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April 9th, 2014

Watch this TED talk with Andrew Solomon, who breaks the silence we share around depression and asks of us profound empathy for the vitality within the struggle.

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March 28th, 2014

A revered writer and a sand artist remind us the greatest adventures happen when we let go of ourselves and proceed into the unknown.

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March 22nd, 2014

How can we learn to offer feedback with grace and compassion at work and at home? Brené Brown offers a rubric for offering guidance and sitting on the same side of the table.

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March 22nd, 2014

We live-tweeted our interview with the founder of StoryCorps. The takeaway? Some real gems from a life spent listening to and recording others.

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March 6th, 2014

Musicians practice absolutely unmixed attention and listening of a different kind of in the melodies of whale songs. What would we hear if we were truly listening?

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March 1st, 2014

On the anniversary of Mr. Rogers’ passing, a conversation about unconditional love, community, and the gentle way we learned how to be human from a quiet man in a reliable sweater.

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January 24th, 2014

There’s something magical about the way Ann Hamilton inhabits space. This video will transport you to an extraordinary world of ordinary life observed by a maker.

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January 21st, 2014

What happens when we choose anger and hatred over vulnerability and love? A short video with a World War II veteran who tells a personal story about being confronted by the German enemy and the power of music.