Acknowledging Our Past and Still Rising

Trent T. Gilliss

is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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April 15th, 2017

How your personality changes over a lifetime; a tribute to the unbreakable spirit of a legendary poet; the virtue of not getting exactly what you want; and hiring not just minds, but hearts, too.

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April 10th, 2017

For those of us who are sick and tired of being afraid, a brilliant stop-motion film featuring Brené Brown in conversation with Krista Tippett.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 08: Ray Hooper riding Toss Woollaston cools off during the Karekare Beach Races on April 8, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. The event on Auckland's West Coast raises funds for Lone Kauri School and the Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
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April 8th, 2017

When a listener asks a question, a new conversation emerges. And other ideas on the harm of literalism in family life, the virtue of truth-telling, transforming anger, praise for an unappreciated generation; and others.

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April 1st, 2017

Wisdom on mortality from Ira Byock; a young woman’s reflection on magic and memory; Sharon Salzberg on recalibrating brain bias; and Krista’s five approaches to a wise life.

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March 25th, 2017

From the wrestling mat to challenging conversations in our own living rooms — the virtue of facing our deepest discomforts head-on.

A child watches a drop of water.
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March 19th, 2017

Rather than slipping into warring modes, a master list of ways to enter into conversations with more openness and hospitality.

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March 11th, 2017

Interrogating our anger, honoring our elders, facing the truth of life’s fragility, and helpful new discussion guides for Becoming Wise — the best of what’s engaging our minds and spirits these days.

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March 4th, 2017

Monotasking as a social skill? Discovering new truths in our winter years? Essential readings on new approaches to life with each other, and with our ever-evolving selves.

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February 25th, 2017

A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.

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February 18th, 2017

Our editor in chief details heartening stories of youth orchestras performing on the U.S.-Mexico border, brilliant hand-illustrated data visualizations by W.E.B. Du Bois, and commentaries on love, resistance, and hope in the face of hardship featuring Parker Palmer, Courtney Martin, and Omid Safi.

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February 11th, 2017

Prescient words from Parker Palmer, Omid Safi, Courtney E. Martin, Broderick Greer, and recommended listens/reads from Tim Ferriss and The Economist.

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February 5th, 2017

Poetry to soothe, ruminations on the balance of faith and history, and an invitation to gather around the table to listen and to be heard.

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January 27th, 2017

The struggle for soul in education and patriotism, the joy of marching in step, and reckoning with the legacy of our nation’s heroes and history.

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January 21st, 2017

On finding love, teaching our children, and having gratitude for the simple things — words and music to help us seek out the best in ourselves and our neighbors.

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January 14th, 2017

From the mysterious alchemy of place to gut feelings and nature’s enveloping soundtrack — investigations into the scenery that colors our inner and outer lives.

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January 13th, 2017

From the heart of New Delhi, a singer-songwriter explores the love and loss we all experience at one time or another. Listen and enjoy!

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January 9th, 2017

From a perennial favorite on busyness to hard conversations to help us understand each other — a round-up of the most-read blog posts of the past year.

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January 6th, 2017

Gordon Hempton guides us on an aural hike to One Square Inch of Silence, a sacred place void of man-made sound in Olympic National Park outside of Seattle.

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December 29th, 2016

Our listeners have spoken. A list of our top five shows of 2016 are sure to make your 2017 all the better.

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December 24th, 2016

Dave Chappelle as an imperfect spiritual mentor; the importance of life’s valleys alongside its peaks; reconnecting to lost family histories, and finding new ways to uplift each other through thick and thin.

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December 17th, 2016

Should we reframe the American narrative? Is there an art to conversation? Can sports refs teach us a thing or two about democracy? Questions and conversations that are pointing us north from all the niches of life.

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December 10th, 2016

From the delicate strength of the Bolivian cholita to the counsel of Master Yoda, timely glimpses of wisdom on honoring overlooked parts of ourselves and each other.

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December 3rd, 2016

Wise minds grapple with the tensions of faith and community, honor the resilience of a movement, and remember the love of family we often take for granted.

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November 22nd, 2016

From celebrations of Leonard and Leon to the good and the bad in the Electoral College — reflections to challenge our relationships with technology, with busyness, with history, and with each other.

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November 15th, 2016

From the loss of Leonard Cohen and the victory of the Chicago Cubs, music and language inviting you to think differently about shelter, resilience, suffering, and harmony.

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November 8th, 2016

t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…

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November 5th, 2016

Is it Pollyannaish to love your country at its most divided? Sara Bareilles and Leslie Odom Jr. create a song to make sense of the world before us — and imagine a country yet to be.

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November 1st, 2016

The final week of this presidential election season calls for a poem from Mary Oliver, Parker Palmer on building lives of meaning, and insightful words on “perennials,” the anatomy of an apology, and flourishing at home again.

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October 25th, 2016

Times of turmoil can open us to new opportunities. Hopeful and insightful words on how to move forward in this season of political and emotional churn.

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October 18th, 2016

Meaning and learning present themselves to us in unexpected ways. Commentaries on keeping ourselves open to surprising lenses on life, and to how they can enrich our relationships, our work, and our play.

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October 11th, 2016

Growth comes from bearing witness to our own stories and to the experiences of others. A digest of reads that challenge us to strengthen our inner and outer lives.

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October 4th, 2016

The human experience is rife with messiness and frustration, especially in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Trent Gilliss shares thoughts on embracing the turmoil and finding ways to grow from it.

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September 27th, 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.

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September 21st, 2016

The search for fulfillment feels endless, but what if the answer dwells around and among us? Contemplations on the joyful wisdom embedded in work and in life.

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September 13th, 2016

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle on respecting the resilience of nature, new learnings from Krista Tippett on self-compassion in life and career, and more deliberations on living alongside one another.

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September 6th, 2016

To soothe spiritual aches and exult in the bittersweetness of being in the world — a few lines of poetry from beloved voices, from Mary Oliver to Marie Howe.

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September 2nd, 2016

A reassuring, imagined moment of silence and clarity in the face of a frenetic world, with the guidance of Sylvia Boorstein and Pablo Neruda.

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August 30th, 2016

From the solemn to the playful, a selection of poetry to comfort and amuse.

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August 23rd, 2016

Profound moments of wisdom and change are often found in the interstitial spaces: in an exchange overlooked, in stories not shared. A collection of unexpected moments of beauty, curated by our executive editor.

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August 16th, 2016

From the inspiration and discipline we learn from sport to opening up to the experience of strangers, a digest of interesting writings on the ways we evolve together: physically, spiritually, and creatively.

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August 9th, 2016

Essential celebrations of the strength and beauty that surround us, from new life and community to the poetry of words and images.

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August 2nd, 2016

A dispatch from across the pond on frank and generous response to difficult questions, and hovering in a magical, suspended moment.

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July 26th, 2016

The tension we’re living through requires our sincerest attention, but we must also nurture our relationships with joy. Trent Gilliss offers hopeful words on fostering communities of humility and understanding, with love and laughter at their center.

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July 19th, 2016

Our days have been marked by pain and gaps in understanding. The enduring presence of kindness, mercy, poise, and the beauty of music provide guidance in harrowing times.

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July 12th, 2016

We find ourselves in a time of deep reckoning, and we must turn to each other for companionship and wisdom. Collected guidance on claiming the whole of our identities, and finding compassion for experiences that are not our own.

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July 12th, 2016

After arriving in the U.S. in the 1930s, Albert Einstein witnessed the inequities and injustices done to black Americans. Read his little-known essay from 1946 about the “deeply entrenched evil” as he saw it then, and that pervades this country today.

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July 7th, 2016

How do we enrich, rather than enforce, our historical perspective? These collected writings give a new lens on which stories serve us and where we encounter them.

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June 28th, 2016

Do we need others to see ourselves clearly? Curated reads on our need for empathy, and its power to unearth and reconcile what’s hidden within.

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June 21st, 2016

In the wake of tragedy, how do we respond with resilience? How do we continue to love across boundaries?

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June 14th, 2016

Writings on transcending social, psychological, and physical boundaries, and coming together in deeper connection with ourselves and each other.

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