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The On Being Project

Acknowledging Our Past and Still Rising

Poetry provides a pathway to flourishing, and is an antidote to defended language. Take pleasure in The Poetry Radio Project, our vast collection of poems — from Mary Oliver and Rumi to Wendell Berry and Rainer Maria Rilke, from John O’Donohue to Marilyn Nelson to Pablo Neruda and many, many more. Listen to a poem being read by its maker. Read one aloud or in silence. Enjoy and share one of these poems with your circles today. After all, April is National Poetry Month!

Featured in The Poetry Radio Project

(Caroline Yang / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)

Layli Long Soldier | “38”
Listening to Layli’s reading of her poetry is a perfect way to acknowledge National Poetry Month and our shared history. Courtesy of Graywolf Press, here’s her poem to and for the 38 Dakota men who were hanged under the orders of President Lincoln as a result of the “Sioux Uprising” of 1862.

“Everything is in the language we use.”

What Our Columnists Are Thinking

Parker Palmer | Maya Angelou’s Daring Declaration of Independence
It would’ve been Maya Angelou’s 89th birthday on April 4th. Parker pays tribute with a reflection on her poem “Still I Rise”:

“Any time a human being speaks up to declare her identity and integrity, refusing to let others define her, it’s a cause for rejoicing as far as I’m concerned. Maybe this is something some of us need to do more often than we do — declaring to whatever may be holding us down, ‘I rise, I rise, I rise.'”

And, thankfully, Krista spoke with Maya Angelou about W.E.B Du Bois shortly before she passed away. Well worth the listen.

(Mark Wilson / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved)

Courtney Martin | Getting the Gold Star Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

“Success, as I’ve experienced and observed it, is about showing up, being useful, and connecting authentically with people. The rest follows.”

Rejection isn’t failure. In fact, it can be better than getting what you’d hoped for. Courtney offers some counsel to high school graduates waiting to hear back from college admissions offices. What advice might you offer?

What We’re Reading and Listening To
On Being Tumblr | Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
This poignant documentary chronicles the country music icon’s remarkable career, his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011, and his farewell tour in 2014. Our producer Chris Heagle described it this way: “Glen puts himself out front of audiences one last time for the world to see. He is confident, flawed, unashamed, and awe inspiring. The talent alone is virtuosic, but the real show is the courage it must have taken to go out there night after night.”

Quartz | You’re a Completely Different Person Than You Used To Be
As we age our physical appearance changes over time. That’s a given! But, are we the same person in old age as when we were teenagers? The longest personality study of all time suggests that our personality is “transformed beyond recognition.”

Harvard Business Review | From the Knowledge Economy to the Human Economy
We are in a period of transition, says Dov Seidman, from “hired heads” to “hired hearts.” As robots and machine intelligence explode onto the scene in the coming years, leaders who embrace this understanding and create an atmosphere for humanity to be expressed just may have the distinct advantage.

Our Guest Writer of the Week

(David Michalczuk / Flickr / Attribution)

Katie Salisbury | Growing Up Mixed in the 626

“I am the descendant of people who survived the potato famine in Ireland and the Japanese occupation in China. I am all-American and no, I don’t have blonde hair or blue eyes. I am, as Time magazine declared in 1993, the new face of America, and you might have a baby that looks like me one day. I am the 6.9 percent of the population that refuses to check the ‘other’ box. I am not either/or, I am all of the above and then some. I am. I am. I am.”

An insightful personal essay from a young woman who grew up in Southern California’s largest Asian enclave and her journey to assert her “hapa” identity as a perfect whole.

Liking what you’re reading? Looking for something different? Let me know and please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or via Twitter. My handle is @trentgilliss.

Until next week, may the wind always be at your back.

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