Love, Resistance, and Turning Off the Spigots of Negativity
As Krista noted in Becoming Wise:
“Love is the superstar virtue of virtues, and the most watered down word in the English language.”
And her conversation with Alain de Botton got us thinking about the many forms love takes in our lives.
So we created a project that invites you to briefly tell us about someone who’s special to you. Then, we’ll send that someone a beautiful, hand-illustrated postcard (yes, via postal mail!) — each featuring wise words exemplifying different kinds of love. There’s no cost to you; it’s our gift. We only ask that you share the word via Instagram and use the hashtag #fourkindsoflove!
Our Guest Writer of the Week
John Metta | I’m Done Drinking the Draught of Despair
So much of our media and social media streams have been hijacked by negativity, particularly in response to politics. But is this firehose of information healthy or toxic? John Metta suggests we turn off the spigot for a while and turn to self-care:
“Looking inward, I will be focusing on things that increase my energy and strength, rather than drain them. One of those things is writing. … Another thing I’ll be focusing on is my family. I don’t want to miss my kids’ childhoods while I’m constantly checking on destruction…”
What Our Columnists Had to Say This Week
Courtney Martin | The Twin Forces of Love and Resistance
Is the language of resistance sufficient or is it merely reactionary? Courtney is reexamining her own relationship with the word, and how we can construct something bolder:
“We’re proving ourselves capable of a mighty resistance, but we must also prove ourselves capable of this kind of expansive love. The twinning of the two will be this country’s salvation.”
Omid Safi | This Is Personal Because This Is Our Home
In last week’s column, Omid made a case for why he considered President Trump’s executive order a “Muslim ban.” He follows it up with something much more personal to him — as a son of Iranian parents, as a mentor to college students with student visas, as an American citizen, and as a father to Muslim children:
“My daughter came to me with tears in her eyes because she had heard that Trump would not allow Muslims in the country. She wanted to know if that meant we had to move, and that she would not get to play with her friend across the street anymore. Her question was not about the “United States of America,” something that is too big for her mind to understand, and too small for her soul. No, she simply wanted to know if she could continue to play with her best friend.”
Parker Palmer | Seeing Beneath the Broken Surface
Some of my favorite posts from Parker are rooted in his rendezvous with nature, whether it’s a trek in the Grand Canyon or a paddle in the Boundary Waters. This time, it’s a walk in the winter woods:
“It’s easy to ‘look’ at the world around us and find only banality, corruption, and violence — rather than truly ‘seeing’ the promise that’s there, the ‘hidden wholeness’ (as Thomas Merton called it) that lies beneath the broken surface of things.”
What We’re Reading and Listening To
BBC World Service Newshour | David Grossman: What Hope of an Israeli-Palestinian Deal?
The Israeli writer discusses why it’s not too late for a two-state solution even though he struggles to see a future for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. A wise voice for our troubled times. (h/t Krista!)
The Dallas Morning News | Amid Deteriorating U.S.-Mexico Relationship, Border Youth Orchestras Unite for Joint Concerts
The El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestras and Esperanza Azteca Symphony Orchestra of Ciudad Juarez provide a respite from the news with this very human story of possibility — by youth coming together and playing music for each other on both sides of the border.
The Public Domain Review | W. E. B. Du Bois’ Hand-Drawn Infographics of African-American Life
The great thinker and author of The Souls of Black Folk also created a series of remarkable hand-drawn charts about the economic life of African Americans. They’re not merely aesthetically stunning; they are also potent visualizations that take an immense amount of data and make it accessible.
From the Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois & The American Soul
Don’t know much about one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history? Get acquainted and listen to our podcast featuring Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad. They talk about Du Bois as an intellectual who continues to inform how we grapple with “color line” in our time.
May the wind always be at your back!