The On Being Project

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\Living Compassion\\

Living Compassion | with Rami Nashashibi, Joan Brown Campbell, Naomi Tutu, Kevin Cosby and local Faces of Compassion\

Posted by \Festival of Faiths\ on Thursday, April 20, 2017\
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","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":28357,"slug":"mariah-helgeson-america-contains-multitudes","title":"America Contains Multitudes","date":"2017-04-21 11:49:52","path":"/blog/mariah-helgeson-america-contains-multitudes/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/mariah-helgeson-america-contains-multitudes/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/maxresdefault.jpg","author":{"id":22,"slug":"mariah-helgeson","description":"\

Mariah grew up in a Minnesota family of artists and musicians, where she first heard \On Being\ over the airwaves at age 11. She’s been a proud listener ever since.\

\n\

She collected stories of human resilience and kindness in the classrooms of George Washington University — earning a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution — and over many cups of coffee in community movements, from nuclear nonproliferation, to interfaith dialogue, to compassionate communication.\

\n\

Mariah worked as a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network and lived in southern India for a spell as a documentary curator. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music as a member of the Markado trio.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Mariah Helgeson","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Mariah.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"[email protected]","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/mariah-helgeson/","positionTitle":"Senior Editor, On Being Studios","hometown":"Bloomington","postalZipCode":"55437","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"mariah.helgeson","linkedin":"in/mariah-helgeson-778a0025","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"@mariahism"}}},"nextPost":{"id":28430,"slug":"the-inner-landscape-of-compassion","title":"The Interior Landscape of Compassion","date":"2017-04-21 17:21:22","path":"/blog/the-inner-landscape-of-compassion/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-inner-landscape-of-compassion/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/27902908133_a45e063a7e_o.jpg","author":{"id":1,"slug":"admin","description":"","guestDescription":"","name":"On Being Editors","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-ONBE_SocialMedia_Icon_OnWhite.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/admin/","positionTitle":"","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@onbeing","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-04-21T22:14:42","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=28429"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-04-21T22:14:42","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-messiness-of-compassion-in-action/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/8882638212_33f695e6b8_o.jpg?fit=5488%2C3662&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":" Gwenael Piaser","photographerUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/piaser/8882638212/in/[email protected]/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/piaser/8882638212/in/[email protected]/","imageLicenses":"Attribution-NonCommercial-Sharealike"},"path":"/blog/the-messiness-of-compassion-in-action/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/the-messiness-of-compassion-in-action/","disqusIdentifier":"28429 http://onbeing.org/?p=28429","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"The Messiness of Compassion in Action"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":28430,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-inner-landscape-of-compassion/","urlMeta":{"origin":28429,"position":0},"title":"The Interior Landscape of Compassion","date":"April 21, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Three wisdom keepers on the inner voice of compassion in the mystical and contemplative traditions","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":28204,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/what-does-a-compassionate-city-look-like/","urlMeta":{"origin":28429,"position":1},"title":"What Does a Compassionate City Look Like?","date":"April 20, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"With wisdom and humor, Karen Armstrong and a cadre of American mayors, grapple with the question of cultivating compassion in our cities. Join the live stream from the 2017 Festival of Faiths.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":8792,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-pain-of-caregiving-and-the-privilege-of-suffering/","urlMeta":{"origin":28429,"position":2},"title":"The Pain of Caregiving and the Privilege of Suffering","date":"April 12, 2015","format":false,"excerpt":"To constantly grow and serve and change, Sharon Salzberg says, we must be resilient with ourselves and the effort that it takes to care for oneself and the others in our lives.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"The Messiness of Compassion in Action"},{"property":"og:title","content":"The Messiness of Compassion in Action"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-messiness-of-compassion-in-action/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"The Messiness of Compassion in Action"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"What does it take to do the messy work compassion through incredible obstacles? Rami Nashashibi, Naomi Tutu and Kevin Cosby on courage and living compassion. "},{"property":"og:description","content":"What does it take to do the messy work compassion through incredible obstacles? Rami Nashashibi, Naomi Tutu and Kevin Cosby on courage and living compassion. "},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"What does it take to do the messy work compassion through incredible obstacles? Rami Nashashibi, Naomi Tutu and Kevin Cosby on courage and living compassion. "},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/8882638212_33f695e6b8_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/8882638212_33f695e6b8_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"The Messiness of Compassion in Action | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"28599":{"id":28599,"date":"2017-04-27T05:30:34","modified":"2017-04-27T09:53:45","slug":"omid-safi-an-abiding-faith-in-america","author":65,"title":"An Abiding Faith in America","content":"\

We had a chance to host Khizr Khan and Ghazala Khan at \my university,\ Duke, this past week. Like most of America, I was introduced to this beautiful dignified couple, who had lost their son in the Iraq War, at last year’s \Democratic National Convention.\ In that unforgettable moment, Khizr pulled a copy of the constitution from his pocket, and waved it, asking if then candidate Trump had actually read the document.\

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We would see Khizr Khan again, in a \campaign ad\ that more directly referenced their enormous, unbearable sacrifice, losing their son, Captain Humayun Khan.\

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\“He saved everyone in his unit.
 Only one American soldier died.
 My son was Captain Humayun Khan.”\\

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A tearful Khizr asked Trump: “Would my son have a place in your America?” There was an \undeniable poignancy to this grieving father\, one who had sacrificed everything and still wanted to belong to America. The ad was so powerful, and for a while it looked like an immigrant, brown, accented Pakistani-American Muslim father may go down in history as the unexpected cultural icon who brought down Donald Trump.\

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It turns out history has a bigger plan for Khizr and Ghazala Khan.\

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When we invited them to \Duke’s Islamic Studies Center\ for our annual lecture, I was unsure of what to expect. Would it be a repeat of the DNC convention? Turns out that Khizr and Ghazala have been on the road, almost unceasingly, since that convention. I think Khizr mentioned that they have already given 106 speeches since then.\

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Most human beings would crumble under the tragedy of losing a child. Or, for a select few, it can take a different turn. Sometimes a heart breaks. And sometimes a heart opens up. Khizr and Ghazala decided to take their heartache, and have it open up their heart. In the words of \Hamilton\, they have learned to \live with the unimaginable\.\

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Yes, this is an immigrant story. It is the story of a couple who moved to the United States, \another immigrant comin’ from the bottom\. It is a parental story, of parents who have had to live with the pain of losing a son. It is a Muslim story, of a couple whose faith continues to nurture their hearts. It is also a deeply American story. It is one of the most remarkable truths about America, that those who are most marginalized, most systematically and structurally hated upon, get to stand up and be the moral compass of the society. It is African Americans, Jews, Hispanics, Native Americans, and now Muslims who get to remind us of the best that we can be, and must become.\

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In introducing Khizr, I pointed out how the Khan family’s suffering reminded me of the suffering of Mamie Till, whose 14-year old son Emmett Till was brutally and savagely killed in the South allegedly for having whistled at a white woman. When Mamie held Emmett’s funeral in Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ in Chicago, she insisted on having an open casket funeral so that the whole world could see her suffering. Yet she insisted that she would not give in to hatred, and would dedicate herself to a lifetime struggle to speak out for justice.\

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I don’t equate these episodes. Mamie came out of a multi-century long experience of slavery, decades of Jim Crow, and a \despicable epidemic\ of lynching all over the American South. But there is something analogous that Khizr and Ghazala Khan, who could be forgiven for sinking into an unbearable pain of losing their son in a war that many see as unjustified, immoral, and illegal, instead began by introducing themselves as a “patriotic, immigrant Americans… who happen to be Muslim.”\

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One of Khizr’s favorite phrases is “hearten.” He describes what he does as \heartening\ people. We have almost lost this beautiful word from the English language. Ironically, the opposite phrase is with us. The root of “cour” (heart) in words like “encourage,” “discourage” is with us. We speak of being dis\cour\aged so often. Dis-heartened. Khizr talks about heartening each other, particularly those who need some encouragement.\

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He heartens me, this humble, beautiful, grieving man. He speaks of a \hole in his heart\ that will never be filled. His wife, Ghazala, says softly that she does not offer talks in public because she’s afraid that a mere glimpse of her son’s picture might make her break out in tears, violating the dignity of the moment. Yet they continue to have faith in an America yet to come.\

\n\

Khizr speaks approvingly of the \“city on the hill”\ that Reagan spoke of:\

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\“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”\\

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\n\

I remember Khizr’s voice shaking when he spoke of this “wind-swept, God-blessed” America. He still speaks of a “blessed America.” And when I asked him what makes him look at America as this blessed nation, as this “greatest country in the world” (which he sees America as), with little hesitation he says: the rule of law. He considers constitutional amendments as “dignities,” as blessed and beautiful as lines of scripture.\

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I confess that these days, all too often, I don’t see America in this light. I no longer see us as the greatest nation on Earth, if I ever did. Nor am I sure that in reality we have equal protection under the law. And I know that Khizr is far too perceptive of a man to not see the ways that we fall short. Rather, he speaks of “the America that I know.” He sees us, the American experiment, not merely as what we are, but as \what we might yet become\. Like Langston Hughes, Khizr Khan speaks of an America that will be. An America that should be, and has yet to be.\

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In these days of bombastic nonsense, how lovely to see a beautiful humble human being who hangs on to the power of goodness, the authority of equal treatment under the law, and faith in an America to come.\

\n\

Mr. Khizr Khan and Mrs. Ghazala Khan, you hearten me.\

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You hearten America.\

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You can see the \full presentation by Khizr Khan\ here:\

\n\

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\n","excerpt":"\

Those who have suffered most may also be our greatest teachers on the road to courage. Omid Safi looks to the complicated, yet abiding faith one grieving father holds for his country for moral wisdom. \

\n","terms":[2,471,88,473,223,656,165],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

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He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","name":"Omid Safi","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.onbeing.org/column/omid-safi","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/omid-safi/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":28478,"slug":"andrew-zolli-toward-a-contemplative-ecology","title":"Toward a Contemplative Ecology","date":"2017-04-25 05:00:38","path":"/blog/andrew-zolli-toward-a-contemplative-ecology/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/andrew-zolli-toward-a-contemplative-ecology/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/gian-reto-tarnutzer-45212.jpg","author":{"id":247,"slug":"andrew-zolli","description":"\

is a board member of the \Garrison Institute\ and an advisor to \PlanetLabs\. He's the author of \\Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back\\. His work and ideas have appeared in a wide array of media outlets, including PBS, \The New York Times\, National Public Radio, \Vanity Fair\, \Fast Company\, and many others. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is a board member of the \Garrison Institute\ and an advisor to \PlanetLabs\. He's the author of \\Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back\\. His work and ideas have appeared in a wide array of media outlets, including PBS, \The New York Times\, National Public Radio, \Vanity Fair\, \Fast Company\, and many others. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.\

\n","name":"Andrew Zolli","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/zolli.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/andrew-zolli/","positionTitle":"Special Contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@andrew_zolli","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":28590,"slug":"jennifer-bailey-the-power-of-welcome-in-an-age-of-loneliness","title":"The Power of Welcome in an Age of Loneliness","date":"2017-04-27 09:47:12","path":"/blog/jennifer-bailey-the-power-of-welcome-in-an-age-of-loneliness/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/jennifer-bailey-the-power-of-welcome-in-an-age-of-loneliness/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/100days100dinners-candle-card.jpg","author":{"id":809,"slug":"jbailey","description":"\

Named one of “15 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice. She is the founding executive director of the \Faith Matters Network\ and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project. Jennifer comes to this work with nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty.\

\n\

An Ashoka and Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She writes regularly for Sojourners and The Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled \Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister\ is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Jennifer Bailey","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Jennifer_4.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/jbailey/","positionTitle":"Fellow","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"2017-2018","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"revjenbailey","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-04-27T10:30:34","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=28599"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-04-27T14:53:45","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-an-abiding-faith-in-america/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/GettyImages-584274194.jpg?fit=3220%2C2476&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"Khizr Khan, father of Humayun S. M. Khan who was killed while serving in Iraq with the US Army, gestures as his wife looks on during the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)","photographer":"Timothy A. Clary","photographerUrl":"http://www.gettyimages.com/license/584274194","license":"Getty Images","photoUrl":"http://www.gettyimages.com/license/584274194","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/omid-safi-an-abiding-faith-in-america/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-an-abiding-faith-in-america/","disqusIdentifier":"28599 http://onbeing.org/?p=28599","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"An Abiding Faith in America"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":28669,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-finding-the-spirit-to-question-our-messy-realities/","urlMeta":{"origin":28599,"position":0},"title":"Finding the Spirit to Question Our Messy Realities","date":"May 6, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"The companionship of Thomas Merton; an inspiring faith in our nation’s potential; and the spiritual work of environmental care.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":24617,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-this-is-personal-because-this-is-our-home/","urlMeta":{"origin":28599,"position":1},"title":"This Is Personal Because This Is Our Home","date":"February 9, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"A Muslim man reflects on the pain of citizenship in this moment and the fragile hope he holds from the nation he and his loved ones call home.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":18666,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-myth-and-possibility-of-american-greatness/","urlMeta":{"origin":28599,"position":2},"title":"The Myth and Possibility of American Greatness","date":"November 3, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Accepting dark realities and difficult truths doesn’t negate love for our country. An appeal for choosing American aspiration over American pride, so that we might grow into the nation we want to be.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"An Abiding Faith in America"},{"property":"og:title","content":"An Abiding Faith in America"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-an-abiding-faith-in-america/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"An Abiding Faith in America"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Those who have suffered most may be our greatest teachers on the road to courage. Omid Safi looks to a grieving father's abiding faith for moral wisdom."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Those who have suffered most may be our greatest teachers on the road to courage. Omid Safi looks to a grieving father's abiding faith for moral wisdom."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Those who have suffered most may be our greatest teachers on the road to courage. Omid Safi looks to a grieving father's abiding faith for moral wisdom."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/GettyImages-584274194.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/GettyImages-584274194.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"An Abiding Faith in America | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"28629":{"id":28629,"date":"2017-04-28T05:00:44","modified":"2017-04-27T17:23:32","slug":"courtney-martin-a-revolution-in-tenderness","author":3,"title":"A Revolution in Tenderness","content":"\

Chances are, someone has forwarded a TED talk to you at some point or another or you’ve seen one pop up on your Facebook feed. Maybe it was Ken Robinson’s impassioned \plea for a new way of thinking about education\ or Susan Cain’s insistence that\ introversion not be seen as less valuable than extroversion\.\

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Despite the fact that these are two of the most popular talks of all time, many people actually associate TED with technologists, designers, and other Silicon Valley stereotypes — the kinds of people who love to discuss how artificial intelligence might affect our future or those that use words like “synergy” and “scale.” These are guys who worship at the church of innovation.\

\n\

Well this year, the paradigm shifted. A surprise speaker \recorded an 18-minute talk…the Pope himself\.\

\n\

I sat in the audience as the silence settled over the crowd. Rather than seeing this 80-year-old priest’s message as out-of-date or cliché, rather than pushing back against the value of religious belief writ large, it seemed like the TED audience was actually starving for his words. What struck me most was what he said about our need for a “revolution in tenderness”:\

\n\
\

\“And what is tenderness? It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands. Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future.”\\

\
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At a\ conference known for\ its culture of young people celebrating “moving fast and breaking things,” here was an old man talking about slowing down and really seeing people. At a conference where \positivity and courage\ are celebrated, where the future is often painted with an unapologetically optimistic patina, here was a reminder that the world doesn’t feel so hospitable to everyone, that people have deep and understandable fear of what is around the corner — either in their personal lives or in our political sphere.\

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It was truly radical. \Tenderness, it strikes me, is an endangered virtue\ in so many of our professional and public spaces. While I spend hours a week tending to the needs of my babies within my home — comforting my increasingly leggy toddler after a fall or lovingly preparing a bath overflowing with bubbles — \when I’m out in the “real world,”\ I am conditioned to produce, achieve, and only ask for or offer help if its understood as a mechanism for getting to a goal faster or better, not acknowledging inherent human weakness. Autonomy and excellence, not tenderness, are prized in the public sphere.\

\n\

The Pope made me wonder: what would our public spaces look like if tenderness were made visible? And I immediately flashed on this photo by Ed Clark that I have always been so deeply struck by:\

\n\
\\"\"\
\Tears stream down the cheeks of accordion-playing Chief Petty Officer (USN) Graham Jackson as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s flag-draped funeral train leaves Warm Springs, GA., April 13, 1945. \\\ (Ed Clark / The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
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In it, tears of grief stream down the cheeks of Chief Petty Officer Graham Jackson as he plays “Goin’ Home” on the accordion in Warm Springs, Georgia. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s flag-draped casket was passing at just that moment, headed for the presidential train and its journey back to Washington. It’s a beautiful image, in part because it \embodies both toughness and tenderness in one single moment\. Jackson is both openly weeping but playing on. He doesn’t hide his face. He is strong enough to express genuine sadness. In a sense, it’s a way of acknowledging how much the moment matters. His brave tenderness gives the moment a dignifying gravity.\

\n\

There are so many moments in our fast, furious public lives these days where we miss an opportunity for this kind of brave tenderness, this kind of dignifying gravity. We rush through our neighborhoods, through airports, through workplaces as if trying to bypass the presence of embarrassing emotion, \as if none of it matters enough to slow us down\, as if — and this is the Pope’s real point — \no one\ matters enough to slow us down.\

\n\

So this week, I’m going to do an experiment. I’m going to slow down wherever and whenever I feel tenderness — in myself or others — and actually experience it. I’m going to use my eyes and ears to take it in, to express it, to make it real in public. I’m going to, as the TEDsters might say, “disrupt” the dominant culture — not with a new app or a crazy idea — but with the unorthodox assumption that there is room enough for tenderness, here and now, always. Join me?\

\n","excerpt":"\

Inspired by the Pope’s TED Talk, Courtney issues an invitation and a challenge to slow down, notice, and make room for brave tenderness. \

\n","terms":[2,5403,457,882,88,726,590,1340,39],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":3,"slug":"courtneymartin","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. Her column appears every Friday.\

\n\

Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

\n\

Courtney has authored/edited five books, including \\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\, and \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women\\. Her work appears frequently in \The New York Times\ and \The Washington Post\. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at \www.courtneyemartin.com\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is the co-founder of the \\Solutions Journalism Network\\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is the author of six books including \\\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\\ and, most recently, \\\The New Better Off\\\.\\

\n","name":"Courtney E. Martin","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CourtneyMartin.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/courtneymartin/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@courtwrites","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"video","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"\","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":28590,"slug":"jennifer-bailey-the-power-of-welcome-in-an-age-of-loneliness","title":"The Power of Welcome in an Age of Loneliness","date":"2017-04-27 09:47:12","path":"/blog/jennifer-bailey-the-power-of-welcome-in-an-age-of-loneliness/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/jennifer-bailey-the-power-of-welcome-in-an-age-of-loneliness/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/100days100dinners-candle-card.jpg","author":{"id":809,"slug":"jbailey","description":"\

Named one of “15 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice. She is the founding executive director of the \Faith Matters Network\ and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project. Jennifer comes to this work with nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty.\

\n\

An Ashoka and Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She writes regularly for Sojourners and The Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled \Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister\ is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Jennifer Bailey","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Jennifer_4.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/jbailey/","positionTitle":"Fellow","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"2017-2018","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"revjenbailey","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":28487,"slug":"trent-gilliss-belonging-to-one-another-and-taking-back-stolen-time","title":"Belonging to One Another and Taking Back Stolen Time","date":"2017-04-28 15:03:00","path":"/blog/trent-gilliss-belonging-to-one-another-and-taking-back-stolen-time/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-belonging-to-one-another-and-taking-back-stolen-time/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/5341209101_f1885fa58c_o.jpg","author":{"id":2,"slug":"trent-gilliss","description":"\

was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Trent T. Gilliss","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/bio-trentgilliss_0.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/trent-gilliss/","positionTitle":"founding executive editor of On Being Studios","hometown":"Minneapolis","postalZipCode":"55405","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@TrentGilliss","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-04-28T10:00:44","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=28629"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-04-27T22:23:32","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-a-revolution-in-tenderness/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/edc964db4ad6bf22ebe2bb188c19a2c1.jpg?fit=2500%2C1680&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"Tears stream down the cheeks of accordion-playing Chief Petty Officer (USN) Graham Jackson as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's flag-draped funeral train leaves Warm Springs, Ga., April 13, 1945. ","photographer":"Ed Clark","photographerUrl":"","license":"The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images","photoUrl":"","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/courtney-martin-a-revolution-in-tenderness/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-a-revolution-in-tenderness/","disqusIdentifier":"28629 http://onbeing.org/?p=28629","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"A Revolution in Tenderness"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":8042,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/big-and-small-at-the-same-time/","urlMeta":{"origin":28629,"position":0},"title":"Big and Small at the Same Time","date":"February 19, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"The big stage of TED can provide a platform for dreaming big, talking big, and a big ego. As our columnist prepares to present at TED2016, she looks to Pema Chödrön and the bigness of her own ideas to make a difference through the massive platform.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7893,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/pope-francis-acts-of-accompaniment/","urlMeta":{"origin":28629,"position":1},"title":"Pope Francis' Acts of Accompaniment","date":"April 18, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Pope Francis had an extraordinary week issuing a seminal document on love and family, travelling to a refugee \"hot zone,\" and meeting Bernie Sanders in Rome. The common thread: the pope's willingness to accompany people where they're at and walk alongside humanity, whether it be a Syrian refugee or a…","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7789,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/good-ideas-are-wrestled-and-wrought/","urlMeta":{"origin":28629,"position":2},"title":"Good Ideas Are Wrestled and Wrought","date":"May 27, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"The best ideas are often the simplest ones, but their inception is mysterious and complex. Courtney Martin on serendipity and community, rather than process, as the crucial elements of creativity.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"A Revolution in Tenderness"},{"property":"og:title","content":"A Revolution in Tenderness"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-a-revolution-in-tenderness/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"A Revolution in Tenderness"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Inspired by the Pope's TED Talk, Courtney issues an invitation and a challenge to slow down, notice, and make room for brave tenderness. "},{"property":"og:description","content":"Inspired by the Pope's TED Talk, Courtney issues an invitation and a challenge to slow down, notice, and make room for brave tenderness. "},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Inspired by the Pope's TED Talk, Courtney issues an invitation and a challenge to slow down, notice, and make room for brave tenderness. "},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/edc964db4ad6bf22ebe2bb188c19a2c1.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/edc964db4ad6bf22ebe2bb188c19a2c1.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"A Revolution in Tenderness | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"30174":{"id":30174,"date":"2017-06-01T15:23:18","modified":"2017-06-01T15:32:58","slug":"courtney-martin-how-to-game-yourself-to-make-great-art","author":3,"title":"How to Game Yourself to Make Great Art","content":"\

The dark bar was so packed that people were lined up on staircases and spilling over the balcony. It was loud. It was sweaty. It was hip. There was a sort of visceral anticipation in the air. I was there, too, beer in hand, looking around, filled with fear. I was 19 years old, about to take the tiny platform stage at the \Nuyorican Poets Café\ in New York City and read a poem, and I was terrified. And yet, as I perched on a stool and waited for the host to get the evening started, I yawned repeatedly.\

\n\

I thought of this strange juxtaposition recently when \I heard novelist George Saunders tell media mogul Tavi Gevinson\ that artists have to, in a sense, game themselves in order to do their best work. He was talking about how he managed to write his first novel, \Lincoln in the Bardo\. Basically, he pretended — even to himself — that he wasn’t writing a novel. That way, his mind couldn’t go to all the scary places that a mind might go if it thinks it is doing something with gravitas and risk.\

\n\

As I heard this, it occurred to me that I frequently game myself in order to get scary things done. When I yawned at the Nuyorican Poets Café in order to trick myself into thinking that I was bored, when really I was about to throw up. When I was writing my first book, \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters\\, I first pretended I was writing a letter to my cousin Anna, whom I love very much and sometimes burden with unsolicited advice (as a big cousin is obligated to do).\

\n\

That happened again for \\The New Better Off\, \my latest book; in that case, as I was flailing around feeling unsure of what it was, exactly, that I was trying to say, I wrote and actually sent a letter to my friend. Some of the language from that letter made it into the book proposal, which helped me sell the book. When I gave \my first TED talk\, I developed a sort of rebellious-teenager stance to the whole enterprise as I wandered around the green room beforehand, thinking to myself, “Screw this. Screw the hype. TED isn’t that awesome, anyway.”\

\n\

Deep down, the truth is that I, too, thought TED was really awesome and that I wanted, more than anything, to give a killer talk. But I submerged earnest, eager Courtney and let eye-rolling, over-it Courtney take over for a little while because I knew — on some totally subconscious level — that she would be able to handle the bright lights, the thousands of people in the audience, and the prospect of making something meaningful for such a huge platform far better.\

\n\

Gaming yourself is related, to some extent, to “fake it till you make it” — an idea that when you feel like an imposter in a particular context, you just have to put your head down and pretend you’re feeling confident until you actually are. It’s also related to the much-discussed \“power pose” that psychologist Amy Cuddy recommends\ that people take if they’re headed into a situation that makes them nervous. Cuddy has said,\

\n\
\

\“Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds.”\\

\
\n\

In a sense, Cuddy is advocating that you game your mind using your body. But what Saunders was talking about, and what I realize I do, is game my heart using my mind. If I can trick myself into thinking the stakes are lower than they really are, then I can get out of my own way emotionally and let my gift flow more freely. There’s a directness, a playful quality, a delight, that can exist within the context of this game; it isn’t weighed down with all the self-seriousness of the artist trying to make something worthy of the world. Even Saunders, a professor, bestseller, and highly awarded and beloved writer, fools himself into thinking he’s just arranging words on the page rather than writing something that thousands of fans are waiting for with bated breath (and, no doubt, a few itchy critics). Maybe you have to get even better at tricking yourself the more successful you get? As the stakes get higher and higher, your game has to get stronger and stronger.\

\n\

Interestingly, even scientific studies of writer’s block — that frightening term for what happens when writers can’t write despite their best efforts—find that \the cure is not looking your artistic demons right in the eyes\. Writers who were led through free-association visual exercises and wrote about them were able to unlock their own creative force better than those who attended group therapy sessions where they actually talked about their block. In other words, sometimes talking ad nauseam about how nervous you are about something is less effective than just pretending you’re not even doing that something in the first place.\

\n\

Why? As I see it, because the exercises inspire an almost childlike innocence about creative sensibility. It’s not about publishing the great American novel or the perfect poem or the well-made play. It’s about drawing strange and wonderful connections between the moments that one experiences on a daily basis. Nothing more, nothing less. Just noticing and remixing and making meaning out of these brief days that we are on this earth and lucky enough to look around. And the funny thing? All that playfulness can accidentally lead to profound art — whether your subconscious knew it or not.\

\n\

So go on, game yourself. The world is waiting for your masterpiece by way of your slacker, rebel, silly, nonsensical, inefficient, brave self.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Sometimes we need to trick our hearts to make great art — and do the things that most scare us. \

\n","terms":[2,5370,240,588,88,365,248,117],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":3,"slug":"courtneymartin","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. Her column appears every Friday.\

\n\

Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

\n\

Courtney has authored/edited five books, including \\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\, and \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women\\. Her work appears frequently in \The New York Times\ and \The Washington Post\. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at \www.courtneyemartin.com\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is the co-founder of the \\Solutions Journalism Network\\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is the author of six books including \\\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\\ and, most recently, \\\The New Better Off\\\.\\

\n","name":"Courtney E. Martin","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CourtneyMartin.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/courtneymartin/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@courtwrites","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":30127,"slug":"omid-safi-the-sacred-path-is-the-one-were-on","title":"The Sacred Path Is the One We're On","date":"2017-05-31 16:30:44","path":"/blog/omid-safi-the-sacred-path-is-the-one-were-on/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-the-sacred-path-is-the-one-were-on/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/8207545533_3aa4049050_o.jpg","author":{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

\n\

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","name":"Omid Safi","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.onbeing.org/column/omid-safi","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/omid-safi/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":30023,"slug":"broderick-greer-frail-bodies-are-a-witness-to-resilience-and-resurrection","title":"Frail Bodies Are a Witness to Resilience and Resurrection","date":"2017-06-02 16:30:53","path":"/blog/broderick-greer-frail-bodies-are-a-witness-to-resilience-and-resurrection/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/broderick-greer-frail-bodies-are-a-witness-to-resilience-and-resurrection/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/GettyImages-667876604.jpg","author":{"id":225,"slug":"broderick-greer","description":"\
\n\

is canon precentor at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver where he directs liturgy and oversees ministry with people in their 20s and 30s. He occasionally offers lectures and facilitates conversations related to the interplay of culture, theology, and justice. His work has appeared in \The Guardian\, \Teen Vogue\, and \The Washington Post\.\

\n\
\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Broderick Greer","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/broderick-greer.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/broderick-greer/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@BroderickGreer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-06-01T20:23:18","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=30174"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-06-01T20:32:58","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-how-to-game-yourself-to-make-great-art/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/33721643384_4901826c2a_o.jpg?fit=2048%2C1536&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Francisco Osorio","photographerUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/33721643384/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/francisco_osorio/33721643384/","imageLicenses":"Attribution"},"path":"/blog/courtney-martin-how-to-game-yourself-to-make-great-art/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-how-to-game-yourself-to-make-great-art/","disqusIdentifier":"30174 http://onbeing.org/?p=30174","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"How to Game Yourself to Make Great Art"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":36814,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/karissa-chen-my-grandfathers-fateful-goodbye-reimagined/","urlMeta":{"origin":30174,"position":0},"title":"My Grandfather's Fateful Goodbye, Reimagined","date":"November 24, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"On reckoning with an unknown family past, searching for truth, and the stories we imagine to understand the ones we love.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9572,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/neil-gaiman-says-it-better-video/","urlMeta":{"origin":30174,"position":1},"title":"Neil Gaiman Says It Better (Video)","date":"September 27, 2013","format":false,"excerpt":"Neil Gaiman's commencement speech is exactly what you need. Make mistakes, enjoy the journey, break the rules, make good art.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":17788,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/uta-hagen/","urlMeta":{"origin":30174,"position":2},"title":"Uta Hagen","date":"December 16, 2015","format":false,"excerpt":"She is an actress and has won two Tony Awards: one for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the other for her role in The Country Girl. She was equally celebrated as Shaw's St. Joan, as Desdemona to Paul Robeson's Otello, and as Blanche DuBois in A…","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"How to Game Yourself to Make Great Art"},{"property":"og:title","content":"How to Game Yourself to Make Great Art"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-how-to-game-yourself-to-make-great-art/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"How to Game Yourself to Make Great Art"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Sometimes we need to trick our hearts to make great art — and do the things that most scare us. "},{"property":"og:description","content":"Sometimes we need to trick our hearts to make great art — and do the things that most scare us. "},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Sometimes we need to trick our hearts to make great art — and do the things that most scare us. "},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/33721643384_4901826c2a_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/33721643384_4901826c2a_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"How to Game Yourself to Make Great Art | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"30900":{"id":30900,"date":"2017-06-10T09:00:32","modified":"2017-06-15T06:09:51","slug":"trent-gilliss-love-loss-and-laughter-are-sources-of-strength-and-courage","author":2,"title":"Love, Loss, and Laughter Are Sources of Strength and Courage","content":"\

The questions of \who matters\ and \what’s really important\ run through each entry in this week’s newsletter. For some folks, it’s requiring ourselves to look beyond accepted norms of love, or to see a gift in tragic loss. For others, it’s finding new ways of reconnecting with age-old traditions, or questioning moral authority when it comes at the sacrifice of another.\

\n\

My hope is that you’ll choose one article that speaks to you, and take it in deeply. And, then, if you’d be so kind, share it with someone you care about.\

\n\

\A Word from Our Columnists\\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Francisco Osorio\ / Flickr / Attribution) \\\
\
\n\

\Sharon Salzberg | \\\Love Doesn’t Make Us Stupid, It Makes Us Brave\\\
\nThe incomparable Buddhist teacher sees pathways most of us just can’t. Sharon’s column is a countervailing response to a culture that makes it too easy to be cynical:\

\n\
\

\“We don’t have to limit our notion of love to romance. We can challenge our conditioning that tells us that loving someone also mandates our liking them and wanting to spend time with them. We can remember that, as the Buddha taught, love is the antidote to fear, not the countervailing force to wisdom. Love doesn’t make us stupid; it makes us brave.”\\

\
\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\\
\
\n\

\Courtney Martin | \\\The Gifts We Give, The Gifts We Are\\\

\n\
\

\“And then, just moments after doing a yoga class side by side, he had a sudden heart attack and died. Katie had to reschedule the tent they had rented for the wedding to be used for her person’s funeral.”\\

\
\n\

In a few months I will have been married to the most marvelous person for 20 years. So when Courtney passed on this tragic story of her dear friend’s loss, I asked her to share it, provide some framing, and reflect on the phrase “cruel gift.” What do you think?\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Michelle Lucille Photography\ / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs) \\\
\
\n\

\Parker Palmer | \\\Walt Whitman’s Advice for a Kind and Authentic Life\\\

\n\
\

\“I love the grounded quality of Whitman’s counsel. In it, I find a powerful antidote to our tendency to get distracted by bling, to lust after shiny things, to bow down to false authority and lose our souls in the process.”\\

\
\n\

Parker summons the great American poet’s preface to \Leaves of Grass\ as a way to focus on living a life of generosity and integrity. But, true to form, Parker also seizes on a touch of healthy rebelliousness, too!\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\ (\Christopher Furlong\ / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

\Omid Safi | \\\Our Bodies Are Means By Which We Live Out Our Faith\\\
\nOmid has diabetes and cannot participate in ritual fasting during Ramadan. He shares how it’s affected the rhythms of this holy month for him, and how he participates in alternative forms of fasting instead:\

\n\
\

\“Some of my Muslim friends joked with me, ‘Omid, you’re so lucky. You don’t need to fast.’ Little did they know how much I miss fasting. I miss getting up for meals before sunrise, seeing my body as a means by which I live out my faith, and taking part in the communal breaking of the fast. I do ‘break fast’ with some friends, but I know that the hunger and thirst they have experienced is one that I have not. Yes, I do feel like I am missing out on something, on the communal and embodied experience of the fast.”\\

\
\n\

\Recommended Reads from Other Outlets\\
\n\Quanta Magazine | \\\A Mind Made Out of Silk\\\
\nExtended cognition. Embodied cognition. A mind outside the head? I’ve been turning these ideas over and over in my mind after reading this delicious piece by Joshua Sokol. \(h/t Teri Schindler)\\

\n\

\Literary Hub | \\\The Loneliness of Donald Trump\\\
\nWhen one past guest (\Rebecca Solnit\) of \On Being\ references the interview of another guest (\Lyndsey Stonebridge\), our hearts delight. It’s all about connections.\

\n\

\Thrive Global | \\\Krista Tippett On Wisdom, Work, And Why So Many People Are Spiritual, But Not Religious\\\
\nThe title pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?\

\n\
\

\“There’s something special about wisdom that’s been accumulated with a lot of life experience, but everybody doesn’t grow wise\\ \\ —\\ \\ some people just grow old.”\\

\
\n\

\Public Theology Reimagined\\

\n\
\\"\"\
\\(\Seffi Loos\ / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

\Christena Cleveland | \\\True Connection Requires Our Bodies and Our Minds\\\
\nBuilding deep relationships with those outside our cultural comfort zones can be a challenge. Christena’s special commentary for our Public Theology Reimagined initiative encourages each one of us to seek out mutual dependence — with our bodies and our minds:\

\n\
\

\“Social psychologists have discovered that when we become close friends with people, we literally expand our sense of self to include them in it. As a result, we naturally incorporate their perspective into our perspective, their resources become our resources (and vice versa), their failures become our failures, and we take up their causes as if they were our own causes. In short, we identify with them and are changed as a result of relationship with them.”\\

\
\n\
\\"\"\
\\(\Ezequiel Becerra\ / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

\Broderick Greer | \\\Frail Bodies Are a Witness to Resilience and Resurrection\\\

\n\
\

\“‘This is what happened to me’ may be one of the most singularly powerful lines a person can utter.”\\

\
\n\

Our friend from Memphis writes a rigorous piece on the threat of moral authority when it lords over others bodies — and how solidarity can lead to resurrection.\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\\
\
\n\

\New from On Being Studios\\
\nNeed some quality binge listening for your summer road trip? Or your daily commute? We just released the entire second season of our podcast \Creating Our Own Lives \with you in mind. There are several ways to listen: on \our website\, via \Apple Podcasts\ or \RadioPublic\, or through the podcasting app of your choice.\

\n\

Thank you for all the helpful words and critical feedback. It helps us make better radio and smarter newsletters! You can reach me at \[email protected]\ or via Twitter at \@trentgilliss\.\

\n\

May the wind always be at your back,\
\n\Trent\\

\n","excerpt":"\

The questions of who matters and what’s really important run through each entry in this week’s edition of Letter from Loring Park. \

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was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

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is a columnist for \On Being\. Her column appears every Friday.\

\n\

Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

\n\

Courtney has authored/edited five books, including \\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\, and \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women\\. Her work appears frequently in \The New York Times\ and \The Washington Post\. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at \www.courtneyemartin.com\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is the co-founder of the \\Solutions Journalism Network\\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is the author of six books including \\\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\\ and, most recently, \\\The New Better Off\\\.\\

\n","name":"Courtney E. Martin","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CourtneyMartin.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/courtneymartin/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@courtwrites","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":29965,"slug":"john-metta-resistance-and-belonging-a-bread-meditation","title":"Resistance and Belonging: A Bread Meditation","date":"2017-06-12 17:00:11","path":"/blog/john-metta-resistance-and-belonging-a-bread-meditation/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/john-metta-resistance-and-belonging-a-bread-meditation/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/4476874600_df82f8f797_o.jpg","author":{"id":911,"slug":"john-metta","description":"\

is a writer, \cidermaker\, software developer, and managing editor of the experimental literary magazine \\Gorge Literary Journal\\. His writing can be found on \Medium\ and \Al Jazeera\.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"John Metta","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/John-Metta-bio2.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://johnmetta.com/","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/john-metta/","positionTitle":"guest contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@JohnMetta","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"johnmetta"}}},"dateGmt":"2017-06-10T14:00:32","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=30900"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-06-15T11:09:51","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-love-loss-and-laughter-are-sources-of-strength-and-courage/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/GettyImages-143306184-1.jpg?fit=3000%2C1873&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"BOONEVILLE, KY - APRIL 20: Craig and Cora Adams, married nine years, pose outside their trailer in Owsley County on April 20, 2012 in Booneville, Kentucky. 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was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

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is a columnist for \On Being\. Her column appears every Friday.\

\n\

Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

\n\

Courtney has authored/edited five books, including \\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\, and \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women\\. Her work appears frequently in \The New York Times\ and \The Washington Post\. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at \www.courtneyemartin.com\.\

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is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every Wednesday.\

\n\

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the \Center for Courage & Renewal\. His books include \\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\, and \\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\. His book \\On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old\\ will be published in June.\

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\is founder and senior partner of the \\Center for Courage & Renewal\\. His books include \\\Healing the Heart of Democracy\\\, \\\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\\, and \\\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\\.\\

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is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

\n\

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

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is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

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