Crafting Connections with Humor and Delight

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 7:00 pm

Crafting Connections with Humor and Delight

At the invitation of the Corrymeela Community, we will be traveling to Northern Ireland this week to record a series of interviews. If you’re in Belfast on Thursday night, please join us at The MAC where Krista will be on stage with Michael Longley. Then we’ll head north to Ballycastle where Krista will sit down with Pádraig Ó Tuama and Siobhán Garrigan. We’re so excited to bring these splendid voices to you. Stay tuned!

(Bill Wadman / © All Rights Reserved)

Seth Godin: We Choose Our Own Tribes
We often pass around Seth Godin’s daily doses of wisdom among our staff. In this edition of the Becoming Wise podcast, he explains how the Internet offers us the ability to create our own tribes and elevate the human spirit:

“I think we’re capable of going beyond division and into connection. I think we’re capable of dealing with the shame that comes from vulnerability, and opening ourselves to what the audience wants to tell us. And I think that this society now has said to people, wherever they live, we can have more faith. We can have more faith in community and charity and innovation and dignity and education.”

Donald Trump supporters listen to Trump speak in San Diego, California. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved)

Mohammed Fairouz: Welcome to the Age of Narcissism

“The hazards of arrogance, of knowing better, are real. The price we pay for indulging in a culture of narcissism is too great for us and for the generations that will follow.”

Mohammed has a similar hopeful spirit, although the title of his article may not seem like it. He worries that our public discourse has been infiltrated by ego and self-interest. In this commentary, he calls for a humbler, more generous political spirit.

Hosea Williams and John Lewis confront troopers, March 7, 1965 on “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama. (Spider Martin / Steven Kasher Gallery / © All Rights Reserved)

Sarah Smarsh: As a Nation, Where Do We Stand?

“’Hashtag activism’ gets a bad rap as being ineffectual, but merely tweeting our views indeed might change the world, if only through some butterfly effect of ideas. Technology’s greatest utility in taking a stand, though, might be in telling the public when and where to show up in real life.”

The act of showing up can be our most powerful tool — whether that’s a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives or a filibuster in the Texas Senate. Sarah Smarsh on the power of presence in bringing about change.

(Tom Waterhouse / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Parker Palmer: Five Stories about Otherness and Me

“The more you know about another’s story, the less fearsome and more human that person becomes. It’s equally true that the better we understand our own stories, the more human we become.”

Can we be more generous in understanding those who are different from us? Parker offers up his 70+ years of experience and shares some of his encounters with “the other.”

Activists walk through the crowd near the Quicken Loans Arena during the 2016 Republican National Convention July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.

A group of young protesters walk through the crowd near the Quicken Loans Arena during the 2016 Republican National Convention July 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Brendan Smialowski / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images / None (All Rights Reserved))

Omid Safi: The White Walkers of White Supremacy

“The universe itself is not good, nor is it evil. The passage of time by itself doesn’t make things better, nor does it make things worse. It is the will of humanity put into action that inclines us towards the good and the beautiful.”

In recent events and political conversations, our weekly columnist sees overt racism cropping up like the walking undead from Game of Thrones. Omid comments on the stubborn disease of white supremacy, and on resisting its spread with the resilience of kinship and kindness. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the metaphor and his conclusion.

Krista Tippett: Humor as a Virtue

“Humor is one of those virtues that softens us for all the others.”

Krista tweeted this idea several months ago and I thought of it when Kristof Polleunis’ portrait appeared in my Facebook feed recently. It made me smile, and I think this idea of humor resonates with so many of us because we know that when a debate is at its most intractable, when it’s stuck, humor is the singular quality that dislodges us from our stubborn positions and opens us up to new possibilities.
As ever, I welcome your feedback and your advice. Please feel free to contact me or anyone on our team with your thoughts at or via Facebook or Twitter.
May the wind always be at your back.

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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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