Contemplating Privilege and Birthright, Delighting in the Unexpected, and Readers Share Their Stories
Krista sparked much conversation with her tweet:
Civil society depends on the mental, spiritual and moral health of the stranger. Rule of law is a privilege, a blessing, not a birthright.
Scott Paeth (@scottpaeth), an associate professor of Religious Studies at Depaul University, asked:
@KristaTippett What’s this distinction between a “birthright” and a “privilege” that you’re pointing to. I’m [not] sure I get your point.
A privilege has to be honored and defended and comes with responsibilities. A birthright is yours no matter what – my take.
Check out the rest of the thread — and add to the discussion.
It’s heartening to read how our interview with Fr. Boyle finds new resonance in the pens of other writers. Marya Zilberberg writes:
“Is this not exactly what we are seeing in medicine? We have told ourselves a lie that by chasing only those outcomes that are quantifiable we are pursuing only that which is important. But wasn’t it Einstein who said that not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts?
Is this gaming of the system that Father Boyle talks about…?”
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader. For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew. I am in a place, in a situation, as if I had materialized from cloud or risen out of the ground. There is a glad recognition of the long lost and the rest follows.”
This very much resonates with my experience as a producer and editor of this program. Delight often comes in the serendipity of the unexpected (which runs counter to a producer’s need to plan all things!). The full passage is on our Tumblr.
Which reminds me of the pure pleasure one experiences when an interview pitch finally comes into being. My post about how Alan Rabinowitz made his way to Krista’s guest chair is accompanied by these great sketchnotes of the produced show.
In response to Rabinowitz’s story of talking to animals, Elias Soria shared this personal story:
“I can relate. Having to learn English as a teen, it was most difficult and created lots of embarrassing moments. So I would spend a lot of time in my back yard talking and practicing with bugs and any other animals that would listen without judgement.”
“You act like a man who still has this deep, deep hole inside of him.”
This narrated pictorial journey of how he discovered a common bond with Dawi, a pygmy leader — and the bounty of that friendship — found new life this past week.
Seeing this gorgeous black and white photo of the Trona Pinnacles in the Mojave Desert of California somehow reminded me of a line from Game of Thrones:
“Ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”
But, for Susan Gluckman, Varys’ image evoked something completely different — and heartbreaking in its poignancy. She offered this story on our Facebook page:
“I was just thinking that while emptying my former home, right down to the last box: a pair if my deceased beloved’s shoes. He was 5’4″. It’s been five years, all has been laid to rest, and I am happily married. Still, there’s something sacred-seeming and softly, finally sad about a pair of empty shoes. Long shadow, indeed.”
What a gift you shared Susan.
And, the On Being Tumblr reblog of the week is a pairing of this lithe image with these words from spiritual writer Frederick Buechner:
“Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for living in someone’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me unless there is peace and joy finally for you too.”
An about face. The public’s trust in “organized religion” is on the decline. While wearying, Martin Marty says that these polls offer insights and lessons on how religious institutions must serve the public better.
Read Professor Marty’s full commentary and offer your thoughts. I’m curious: how do you interpret this trend and the larger implications?
One of the most pleasant surprises of the week came while shopping with my wife at Anthropologie: a beautifully packaged book of love poems by Pablo Neruda. Surprises abound in even the most retail corners. Happy spring!