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The On Being Project

Chances to Do Better Are All Around Us

Let’s hit the ground running with our most popular essay of the week, which I think sets the table for some other excellent reads…

(Amy Morris / Flickr )

Ali Schultz | It’s Time to Meet Your Shadow Side
Shadow and leadership, Ali says, walk hand-in-hand. If we’re willing to explore our uncomfortable histories and habits tucked away in those interior recesses, then might we be able to reclaim our fullest selves and lead with integrity and wholeness?

“This is the importance of shadow work: If we don’t work on our stuff, our stuff will work on us. It will work on us while even our best intentions are to have an amazing life. And it will show up everywhere projecting its own reality in front of us like a bad movie — or perhaps recurring situations you keep finding yourself in — until it is brought to light. Once we see it — and learn how it operates — we can recognize it when it shows up.”

(Koichi Ito / Flickr / © All Rights Reserved)

Parker Palmer | In Quiet Places, We Face the Questions That Can Make or Unmake Us
There are few better pairings than David Whyte and Parker Palmer. An inspiring reflection on escaping the noise of the world and listening instead to “questions that can make or unmake a life.”

(Charlotte Gonzalez / Flickr / © All Rights Reserved)

Omid Safi | We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”
With so many “spiritual ailments” facing our society, Omid says we can’t just dismiss these behaviors as exceptions. We must acknowledge the ugliness in these actions in order to move forward:

“Our task should never be to humanize one another. We can’t humanize what is already fully human. The better question is: What’s keeping us from seeing and acknowledging the full humanity of one another? This is about removing the plank out of our own eyes and each other’s eyes, rather than ‘elevating’ a human being to a status they already hold: the status of being human.”

(Paulette Wooten / Unsplash / Public Domain Dedication (CC0))

Courtney Martin | A Lesson in Unfussy Boldness from My Mom
For our columnist, watching movies became a form of spiritual practice, and theaters were her family’s place of worship. I’m sure many of you can identify! Jeri Martin, Courtney’s mother, founded the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival nearly 30 years ago. And, from this adventure, she’s grokked many lessons on humility and courage:

“I was so struck by her unfussy boldness. These days, it often feels like people found non-profit organizations with a tremendous amount of preciousness — spending more time perfecting the branding than actually doing the dang thing. It was so refreshing to realize that part of why my mom wasn’t nervous was because she wasn’t spinning something; she was building it. Her posture wasn’t ‘how ingenious, effective, groundbreaking am I?’ but ‘Is this useful to you, my people?’”

And, a few other things we’ve really liked this week:

Science Magazine | Elemental Haiku
A periodic table of elements composed of 119 science haiku? Yes, please!

Hub & Spoke | Ministry of Ideas
Krista listened to this new podcast and “thinks it’s quite good.” It features a mix of narrative and guest voices exploring some of the central ideas and concepts of modern life. One episode Krista enjoyed: “White Balance,” on the history of race in America.

YouTube | On Words That Don’t Belong to Everyone
Having two grade-school boys who love hip-hop, I appreciate Ta-Nehisi Coates’ guidance on using the n-word while singing along to songs, especially now that they’re discovering Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. There’s a lot to unpack here.

(Just Not Sports / YouTube )

Trent Gilliss | The Things Men Say on Twitter
This Peabody Award-winning video is gut-wrenching and uncomfortable. When I first watched it, I cringed like the men who agreed to read these demeaning tweets to two female sports reporters. It’s a proposition, actually, and an emotional one at that.

May the wind always be at your back,
Trent

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