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The On Being Project

Image By Prakash Mathema
The Visibility of Holiness and the Meaning We Create

The Visibility of Holiness and the Meaning We Create

We’re eagerly anticipating our live event with our columnist Courtney Martin, who is launching The New Better Off, her new book about how a new generation of Americans is constructing a completely different framework for success in their vocational and personal lives. Courtney will open the evening with a reading, followed by a conversation between her and Krista. It’ll be an intimate experience in which we’ll be discussing what it means to live a good life today.

(Chris Ford / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

For how many years did I wander slowly / through the forest. What wonder and / glory I would have missed had I ever been / in a hurry!

While the gods are understandably invisible, the poet Mary Oliver tells us, holiness is on full display. She was kind enough to grace us with this gorgeous poem from Felicity. It’s a delightful reminder to slow down and find shelter in the beauty that surrounds us.

(Boland Rotor / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Parker Palmer: Your Life Is a Shrine to Meaning
“I don’t know this…” “I’ll never be that…” Many of us get caught in this trap of thinking that our lives aren’t of consequence because we’re not extraordinary. Leonard Nathan sees it differently, and Parker reminds us that we can build lives of meaning, no matter how insignificant we may feel:

“There’s always something meaningful I can do to honor the gift of life in myself, others, and the world around us. Just do it!”

Omid Safi: Getting Over Our Disgust When Life Gets Gross
What I appreciate so much about Omid is how he can take a seemingly mundane encounter, perseverate on it, and find a lesson to be shared — and often with a good sense of humor. This week, the occasion was finding a dead cockroach in a Duke University stairwell:

“We shriek. We run. We walk away. We hope that someone else will remove it for us. We think it’s someone else’s job to remove it. Far too often, no one else does. It’s no one else’s job. It is our job. It is my job.

The truth of the matter is that I myself did not remove the dead roach on the stairway. I was disgusted, I ran away, but I did not apply my own power. I let my disgust override my own power, my agency. Let us, you and I, begin by grabbing a paper towel, picking up the roach, and flushing it down the toilet to that abyss where God’s terrible creatures go to never be seen again.”

Guest Contributor of the Week

(Kevin N. Murphy / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved)

Katrina Kenison: When the Going Gets Tough

“When the going gets tough may I look for a door to step through rather than a wall to hide behind.”

When facing one of those difficult days, take a moment to sit in stillness and recite this meditative petition. So many folks have written in to say that it was just what they needed!

What Else We’re Reading

Meet the Perennials.
Gina Pell pushes back on the antiquated idea of mass targeting people based on their ages and stereotypes. And she’s coined a new term for these folks with no “cultural age” — Perennials:

“We are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who live in the present time, know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology, and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded, risk takers who continue to push up against our growing edge and know how to hustle. We comprise an inclusive, enduring mindset, not a divisive demographic.”

What a Real Apology Requires.
Harvard Business Review with the examination of an apology, which Joseph Grenny posits is about regaining integrity, not just trust:

“Your motive shouldn’t be to regain trust, but to deserve it. We should spend less time worrying about how to give an apology, and more time reflecting on how we can merit forgiveness.”

The Fetishisation of Work Is Making Us Miserable. Anna Coote makes a persuasive argument in the Guardian for creating a shorter work week that allows people to flourish at home once again:

“Our political leaders idolise ‘strivers’ and ‘hard-working people,’ not ‘chilled-out, caring dads,’ for example. The longer and harder we work, the more admirable we are supposed to be.”

From the On Being Tumblr

Krista Tippett Illustrated
One of our talented listeners, Jennifer Ryan, created this fun animation to accompany an excerpt from Pico Iyer’s conversation with Krista last May. Such fun to watch!

Have feedback that will help me improve this newsletter? Send me your thoughts about this weekly Letter from Loring Park at [email protected].

May the wind always be at your back!

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