On the Blog

Featured Commentary

BY November 17, 2017

Sharon Salzberg’s advice for difficult conversations with family at Thanksgiving? Practice listening from a place of generosity and love — whether you agree or not.

On the Blog

BY December 8, 2017

If you want to lead others, learn to be alone with your thoughts. A penetrating contemplation of what great leadership requires: a steady independence of mind that only comes with solitude.

BY December 7, 2017

Courtney Martin delves into America’s dysfunctional relationship with sex, money, and power — and calls for a rethinking of sex education, to reflect the actual complexity and broad range of how human sexuality gets expressed and must be honored.

Men pray in the Eyup Cultural Center mosque which has a large number of Uzbek and Turkish worshippers from the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn on November 3, 2017 in New York City.
BY December 6, 2017

Omid Safi explores the harmful good Sufi/bad Muslim construct in the way we talk about Islam — and calls for a greater understanding of the true breadth of the spectrum of Islamic thought.

BY December 5, 2017

A hopeful poem by Portia Nelson on the slow but cathartic process of breaking out of our harmful habits.

A dentist jokes with a patient at The Center of Excellence for Children with Immunodeficiencies (CENID) at the Benjamin Bloom National Children Hospital in San Salvador, El Salvador on November 28, 2012.
BY December 4, 2017

A new generation of physicians with a pledge beyond doing no harm: to walk alongside their patients as people, and to nurture wellbeing with compassion, thoughtfulness, and integrity.

BY December 1, 2017

From the dreary lyrics of “Eleanor Rigby” to Lennon’s infamous remarks on Christianity, The Beatles seemed to embody a godless skepticism about the world. But was their outlook really so bleak? Kenneth Womack on the deeper message at the heart of their music: a life-affirming, transcendent sense of communal good.

Ana Barrios, 30, stands at her living room in Barquisimeto, Lara state, Venezuela on October 23, 2017.
BY November 30, 2017

Tools for a more honest perspective on where we stand on the socioeconomic spectrum — and on rewriting the story we tell ourselves about how we got where we are, and what we can do for those less fortunate.

BY November 28, 2017

On stripping away the clutter of life to live more deeply, inspired by a Mary Oliver poem on the clarity that comes from winter’s sparseness.

BY November 27, 2017

To learn the transgressions of men we admire feels like betrayal. But is forsaking them the only way forward? On redemption and taking up a more nuanced understanding of why people with power do bad things.

BY November 25, 2017

An unexpected note illuminates the challenging grace of valuing those who think differently from us. Sharon Salzberg’s useful tips for gracefully disagreeing with people we love. Parker palmer on how life’s greatest blessings can’t be seen. Karissa Chen reimagines her grandfather’s story, and her place in it. And Courtney Martin on trusting in the intuition of our own bodies.

BY November 24, 2017

On reckoning with an unknown family past, searching for truth, and the stories we imagine to understand the ones we love.

BY November 23, 2017

What if we trusted what our bodies tell us about our experiences? On the frustrating gap between our emotional intuition, and the reality that we perceive.

BY November 22, 2017

It can be hard, sometimes embarrassing, to admit we don’t have the answers. But there’s grace and wisdom in owning up to what we don’t know — and giving space for the strengths of those we might overshadow.

BY November 21, 2017

A poem from Mary Oliver on the ultimate act of gratitude: offering up our own gifts of the mind, heart, and spirit.

BY November 18, 2017

A video of men reading #MoreThanMean tweets to female sports journalists is difficult, but important to watch. 119 science haiku form a poetic periodic table. Ali Schultz on reclaiming what’s in shadow for the better. And more ideas worth pondering from Parker Palmer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Omid Safi, and Ministry of Ideas, curated by Trent Gilliss.

BY November 16, 2017

In doing good community work, Courtney observes, our focus on ingenuity, success, and failure is sometimes misplaced. Instead, she looks to her mother and the film festival she founded for guidance — on providing for our communities with humility and unfussy boldness.

BY November 15, 2017

On joining our individual reckoning with injustice with the practical work of changing the broken structures that affect our lives.

BY November 15, 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.

BY November 14, 2017

A poem from David Whyte on escaping the noise of the world, and listening instead to “questions that can make or unmake a life.”

BY November 13, 2017

We all have habits and histories that lie in shadow, uncomfortable to face. But what if we went beyond acknowledging our shadow side and reclaimed it for the better?

BY November 10, 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.

Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr teaching a class at Union Theological Seminary. (Photo by Gjon Mili//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
BY November 10, 2017

Kindred in mind and spirit, the legendary Christian and Jewish theologians shared a little-known companionship that was as deeply thoughtful as it was affectionate. Ursula Niebuhr commemorates the bond her husband shared with Rabbi Heschel — only preserved now in two letters and fond memory.

BY November 9, 2017

There’s wisdom on the well-worn phrase “Think global, act local” — but does it come with a spiritual cost? On the heartbreaking tension between local loyalty and the greater good.

BY November 8, 2017

We never would have guessed it, but Omid is a total gearhead. What a jaunt in a convertible dream car taught him about seeking out the luminous moments in the mundane — that while we can’t all speed around in expensive convertibles, we can find the joy of driving the family car with all the windows rolled down.

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.
BY November 8, 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.