When Guests Collide; Serendipitous Virality; Angelou’s Advice to Us All; Millennials Won’t Buy This; Tagore’s Joyous Offering

Friday, July 25, 2014 - 5:04 am

When Guests Collide; Serendipitous Virality; Angelou’s Advice to Us All; Millennials Won’t Buy This; Tagore’s Joyous Offering

More wise thoughts from Parker Palmer this week on “sharing our loves and doubts” and this powerful poem by Yehuda Amichai.

After reading about my faux pas last week, he graciously offered me a bit of humorous counsel (on Facebook, no less):

“Hey, Trent! Not to worry about your minor typo when you wrote ‘dulcimer’ instead of ‘dulcet.’ In a book I published some years ago, I made several references to the Biblical story where — as I tell it — the Devil tries to tempt Jesus to perform the miracle of ‘turning bread into stones.’ When someone pointed this reversal out to me, and I got past my embarrassment, I thought, ‘Hell, that’s no miracle. I’ve done that myself!'”

Joanna Macy and Natalie Batalha with On Being listener Pancho.

How do a NASA scientist working on the Kepler Space Telescope and a translator of Rilke come together in this photo? By way of one of our listeners:

Pancho heard Joanna Macy and I in interviews with @kristatippett and brought us together. Gratitude. @Beingtweets pic.twitter.com/mPDCdrQsku

— Natalie Batalha (@nbatalha) July 18, 2014

This just made my day: two of our listeners’ favorite guests brought together in unexpected ways. Makes me think we should create some sort of physical gathering or festival in which we bring together all of our alum — both past guests, listeners, and readers — for a kind of meet cute, if you will, in Loring Park. It’d be a “reunion” of sorts for all the people who have never met but are kindred spirits. What do you think?

“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”

Navigating among W.E.B. Du Bois’ essays from Darkwater, Dale Mulfinger’s Cabinology, and a plethora of science magazines, I happened upon this quotation from Thoreau. I posted it on Tumblr and discovered a few days later that it went viral, being reblogged and liked several thousand times. But by whom? And how? And when? Well, as this graphic reveals, it wasn’t until the sixth degree of separation that it really flourished. The influencers? That Kind of Woman, for one. So much to learn!

Maya Angelou laughs at the Harlem Renaissance Day of Commitment in 2004 in New York City. (Scott Eells / Getty Images )

As I was showing Lily (senior producer) and Julie (summer intern) this data and some of the quotations we’re posting, Lily pulled out her O magazine and read these edifying words from Maya Angelou:

“You don’t need another person, place, or thing to make you whole. God already did that. Your job is to know it.”

Last September, Krista conducted a panel at The Nantucket Project with two big names in the financial industry: Jeff Walker and Bob Diamond. For The Civil Conversations Project, we’ve produced excerpts of this audio and crafted some conversation starters. We hope you’ll use them in your own conversations on ethics and economic life. If you do, will you share your experience with us? Email me at tgilliss@onbeing.org.

Rather than a favorite Instagram to end this newsletter, I’ll offer this fascinating article by Jacob Davidson for Money magazine, “Ten Things Millennials Won’t Spend Money On”:

1.  Pay TV
2.  Investments
3.  Mass-market beer
4.  Cars
5.  Homes
6.  Bulk warehouse club goods
7.  Weddings
8.  Children
9.  Health insurance
10.  Anything you tell them to buy

You must read the details to truly appreciate this list. It offers a lot of hope, and a better understanding of the next great generation.

(Photo by Express Newspapers / Getty Images )

Oh, but wait, how could I not share this joyous scene paired with the words of Rabindranath Tagore:

“Joy is everywhere; it is in the earth’s green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky; in the reckless exuberance of spring; in the severe abstinence of grey winter; in the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; in the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; in living; in the exercise of all our powers; in the acquisition of knowledge; in fighting evils; in dying for gains we never can share. Joy is there everywhere.”

Reach out to me with any questions, criticisms, or contributions you may have. I’m on email at tgilliss@onbeing.org and Twitter at @trentgilliss.
May the wind always be at your back.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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