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 November 21, 2017

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

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.

BY November 7, 2017

Humor and poetry are therapeutic, and together they can be the ultimate balm. A verse from Ron Koertge — on a happy misunderstanding about the order of Carmelites.

BY November 6, 2017

We crave the closure of explanations and answers, but what if we were enlivened by the questions themselves? On the evolution of his own faith — from a hunger for certainty to awe at the ineffable.

BY November 3, 2017

Models and data show what’s happening to our planet, but are our conversations about climate change really about something deeper? A biologist poses a challenge to the scientific community, and to all of us: to infuse our debates not only with factual rigor, but with empathy and compassion, too.

BY November 2, 2017

We equate adulthood with “having our shit together” — but there’s just as much clutter and confusion behind every successful grown-up we admire.

BY November 1, 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.

BY November 1, 2017

To feast on Mom’s home cooking is its own blessing — but sometimes, traveling with it is a different story. On the particular frustration of traveling while brown and Muslim, and on food as a vehicle for love, not judgment.

Porterville, California, resident Manuel Dominguez, who has no running water, plays guitar in his living room on April 23, 2015.
BY October 31, 2017

For when the world’s trouble starts to overwhelm, a poem from William Stafford on savoring and safeguarding the refuge of life’s quiet, peaceful moments.

BY October 31, 2017

“Trunk or treats” are happening in church parking lots across the country in an attempt to make #Halloween rituals safer and less scary. On upholding the macabre lineage of All Hallows’ Eve — and welcoming both the risks and rewards of neighborliness.

BY October 30, 2017

Something dark lurks in the shadows of Kao Kalia Yang’s childhood memories. Two spectral encounters, unsettling and unexplained.

BY October 27, 2017

To change another to better fit our own ideals is not love; it is domination. Instead, to truly love is to engage joyfully in our differences and to bring out the best in our unique potential — in personal relationships, and in community.

BY October 26, 2017

The fruit of working for racial justice lies in the discomfort and the mess — but only if we acknowledge the lessons those tensions have to teach us. On negotiating the tricky path of making change with authenticity and constant self-reflection.

Demonstrators argue during a national protest against the social welfare reform bill introduced by the government of President Michel Temer, which seeks to extend the years of contributions and raise the minimum age for retirement, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 31, 2017.
BY October 25, 2017

It’s easy to respond to vitriol in kind. But, our columnist asks, what if we looked to examples of our better nature and chose to reflect back a spirit of kindness, instead?