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The On Being Project

Guiding Words on Perfectionism, Being Seen, and Racism

Guiding Words on Perfectionism, Being Seen, and Racism

For years we’ve aspired to gather together our far-flung universe of listeners and readers. Now, in partnership with the new 1440 Multiversity in the hills and redwood forests of Santa Cruz county, it’s finally happening!

On President’s Day weekend 2018, we’ll be hosting three days of conversation, poetry, and community with our host Krista Tippett, beloved teachers including special guests of the podcast and our featured columnists, and my colleagues at On Being. Space is limited to 350 people. To ensure a purposeful cross-section of humanity, we’re asking you to complete a simple application form. We’ll send invitations to register by August 10. We’d love to have you join us!

Featured Essay from Our Guest Writer

Photo by Brandon Kidwell © All Rights Reserved

Lisa Mecham | My Family Is an Arranged Constellation

“There’s a mysterious power in our arrangement — how we’ve stayed legally bound in sickness and in health — that’s kept us all anchored in this life. I feel the grip of shame unclasp inside me. What if I don’t have to understand or explain this? What if it just… is?”

Krista’s conversation with Pauline Boss helped Lisa write this incredibly nuanced reflection about the complexities of family and love, and I think it’ll resonate with many of you. She touches on mental illness and divorce, the infinite shapes a home can take, and the courage to carve out space in a world built around conventions.

A Word from Our Columnists

Photo by Benedicto de Jesus (Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial)

Parker Palmer | Perfection Will Do You In

“Are you a ‘perfectionist’ who, for example, takes 30 minutes to write a post that should have taken five minutes because he had to make it ‘just so’? If you are, you’ll love this poem as much as I do!”

A monk with a “wicked sense of humor” inspires Parker to pack his bags when it comes to attaining perfection.

 Photo by Justin Sullivan (Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved)

Courtney Martin | The Painful and Liberating Practice of Facing My Own Racism

“When we move beyond shame, we recognize that while we can never cure ourselves of the culture in which we were raised, we can transform it. It will take generations, but so be it.”

Courtney says now is the time to grapple with history and your own racism, not by eliminating it but by grappling with it “one humbling, sad, liberating, loving moment at a time.”

Photo by Spencer Platt (Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved)

Omid Safi | The Power of Being Seen for Who We Are

“I wish I could tell you that I have always had a clear sense of my own self-worth, my inherent dignity as a human being. The truth of the matter is that I needed someone to let me know that I was seen to feel like a human being.”

Our columnist remembers back to his years in college and how two professors helped affirm his identity and made him felt seen.

Illustration by Stephen Crotts

Trent Gilliss | On Suffering and Futility
A creative illustration elevates Dorothy Day’s words on “how to bring about a revolution of the heart” with a t-shirt design.

Thank you for all the wonderful feedback over the past year. It’s a privilege to hear from you. You can reach me at [email protected] or via Twitter at @trentgilliss.

May the wind always be at your back,

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