Reinvigorating Our Public Life

Trent T. Gilliss

is the co-founder 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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November 15th, 2017

Fr. Richard Rohr on awe in the face of mystery. Omid Safi on touching the mystical in the daily act of driving. Rebecca Delker on rethinking how we talk about climate change. And our editor-in-chief’s latest picks from the Wall Street Journal, Hazlitt, and Netflix.

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November 10th, 2017

A video proposes that having men read misogynistic and demeaning tweets to the female sports journalists they are directed at will bring to light the horrid remarks and ad hominem attacks women must encounter daily.

People chat outside a rally for the Former President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the Partido dos Trabalhadores headquarters on March 4, 2016, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
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November 8th, 2017

From frontlines of the Obama Foundation Summit, six virtues to propel your conversations and your lives. And, some recommended takes on love and domination, the messiness of adulthood, the economics of consent, and more.

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November 1st, 2017

A Harvard dean lists his five essential questions of life. Our editor-in-chief shares his key readings on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one’s hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age.

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October 22nd, 2017

Who we’re not considering when we talk about guns, from Dorit Price-Levine. Courtney Martin on #metoo as an opportunity to heal masculinity. And Omid Safi’s frustration at a seemingly innocuous question. Incisive and insightful words on the deeper truths in our daily encounters — from our columnists and new voices, too.

Rami Nashashibi speaks at the 2017 Festival of Faiths.
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October 17th, 2017

Guns. American identity. Trap yoga. Rami Nashashibi winning the MacArthur “genius” grant. Highlighted writing on the fruitful chaos of living together from David Brooks, Anita Little, Carolina González, Omid Safi, and Courtney Martin.

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October 7th, 2017

In the midst of chaos and anxiety, a selected list of restorative words on death and love in the wake of a hurricane, on the art of risk-taking, and on stepping back and looking at our actions and reactions anew.

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September 30th, 2017

Hand-picked by our editor-in-chief, perspectives on reimagining loved ones, the workplace, and the shape of community — from Ali Schultz on the false shine of office perks to what unity looks like, on the football field and off.

Members of Team Rubicon work on a house
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September 23rd, 2017

Perspectives on hope, juxtaposed and overlapped, and action — including stories on veterans and volunteerism, Titus Kaphar’s TED talk on amending our monuments, and a constellation forms around Krista’s conversation with Junot Diaz.

A woman participates in a peaceful protest at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 5, 2017.
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September 16th, 2017

A constellation of reading and listening for early autumn from our editor-in-chief.

Writer Junot Díaz attends the Jersey Boys at The New Yorker Festival on October 10, 2014. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The New Yorker Festival)
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September 9th, 2017

Smart writing on big love, the end of summer, a new narrative of whiteness, and constellations of listening — all curated by our editor-in-chief.

A man sits in a church.
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September 2nd, 2017

From grief to the virtue of griping and a much-needed perspective on white privilege, our editor
in chief highlights three marvelous essays from three superb writers.

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August 26th, 2017

It’s been a busy summer! Brand new ways to listen and read, a new season of Creating Our Own Lives, and a morsel of wisdom on freedom from counterfeit happiness.

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August 19th, 2017

An appeal to reweave the white imagination that shapes us all; and a timelapse of superstorms to reignite awe at the grandeur of nature.

A supercell thunderstorm gathers. Photo by Niccolò Ubalducci.
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August 15th, 2017

Watch the magnificent beauty of nature’s smokeshow and fireworks slowly gather and reveal themselves through Chad Cowan’s timelapse films.

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August 12th, 2017

Reflections to hearten life amid chaos and pain — from a new take on efficiency to the breaking and remaking that shape our grief.

Cloud Cult
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August 9th, 2017

Listen to a live set of Cloud Cult’s performance at On Being Studios on a cold winter night in Minneapolis.

Woman in a fishbowl
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August 5th, 2017

From a Hmong writer’s encouragement to Oprah’s advice on how to say no, our editor-in-chief serves up his favorite commentaries on grief and loss, intergenerational relationships, solitude in faith, judging the poor, and apologies.

Waves break off Sunset Beach, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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July 29th, 2017

From remembering police captain and dharma teacher Cheri Maples to soliciting perspectives on solitude and being alone, our editor in chief’s list of the week’s most compelling commentaries on motherhood, solitude, eldering, male vulnerability, and exile.

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July 22nd, 2017

What’s your three feet of influence? Rumi’s renewed appeal thanks to Bey & Jay. Breaking open one’s heart. Happiness as human flourishing and more ideas from our editor-in-chief.

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July 15th, 2017

Be the first to try out our new On Being discovery tool for exploring hundreds of conversations in our archives! And, excellent writings on privilege, solitude, and productivity to accompany your listening.

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July 8th, 2017

Our Letter from Loring Park opens our application process for the inaugural On Being Gathering. And, articles on the complexities of family and love, giving up on the myth of perfection, grappling with inherited prejudice and being recognized for who we are, and on a revolution that starts within.

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July 1st, 2017

How our tech is distorting our attention; wisely examining places where we might grow, rather than scrutinizing our strengths; acknowledging each other’s full identities structurally and spiritually; and revisiting the visionary work of theologian and sociologist Peter Berger.

John Thompson, a friend and former colleague of Philando Castile, is embraced after speaking on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol building on June 16, 2017 in St Paul, Minnesota. Protests erupted in Minnesota after Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on all counts in the shooting death of Philando Castile. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
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June 24th, 2017

Our editor in chief turns to other sources for understanding and pondering: brain science on why our brains are wired for hate, African-American spirituals as a monument to our nation’s history and resilience, and focusing our attention on what really matters.

A black bear roams a cabin road in northern Minnesota.
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June 17th, 2017

Our weekly Letter from Loring Park compels us to witness all before us close-up, whether the frailties and strengths of our fathers or the spirit of reciprocity around us.

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June 10th, 2017

The questions of who matters and what’s really important run through each entry in this week’s edition of Letter from Loring Park.

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June 3rd, 2017

Omid on recognizing that the path we’re on is the right one; Courtney with mental trickery to uncover our creative confidence; and Turkish-American poet Adnan Onart on finding the kinship of faith during Ramadan — in a Dunkin Donuts.

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May 27th, 2017

Reflections on the gravity of our words, online and off; taking a stand for our own well being; and the debut of Gen Z — summoning a new generation into the working world.

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May 20th, 2017

Listeners challenge all of us to grow after listening to our interview with Glenn Beck. A writer contemplates her preoccupation with death after he mother’s passing. How men can live longer if they nurture deep friendships. And how humor helps us survive — a preview of the new season of our Creating Our Own Lives podcast.

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May 13th, 2017

A young man becomes a listening nomad; a missing violin brings a musician closer to herself; a community of Detroiters meditates with Sylvia Boorstein; Courtney Martin mourns the freedoms of childlessness. Reflections on the unexpected places where we find deep truth in ourselves and each other.

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May 10th, 2017

Our columnists’ vision for a brave future of masculine tenderness; a green-thumb approach to business; and a traveling reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”

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May 6th, 2017

The companionship of Thomas Merton; an inspiring faith in our nation’s potential; and the spiritual work of environmental care.

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April 28th, 2017

Setting aside time to disengage; hacking the brain; getting real about connection — wisdom from Ian Caldwell, Sharon Salzberg, George Shultz, and more.

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April 22nd, 2017

A lesson on gilding our flaws; the fresh air of the Easter and Passover season; a visual tour of a haunting ritual; and Brené Brown’s encouragement for those who are done with fear.

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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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