The On Being Project

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Every time I think I might be close to wanting to have children someone else's baby gets shot and I remember the reason I still don't.\

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— Joshunda Sanders (@JoshundaSanders) \July 7, 2016\\

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Texts with my father this morning. He is white, Republican and a fmr cop. Maybe all cops should adopt a black son? \pic.twitter.com/bYkE8gibUP\\

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— Adam J. Foss (@adamjohnfoss) \July 7, 2016\\

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Case in point: here’s a \conversation that I will never have to have\ with my children: \

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\Do whatever the man in uniform says. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t raise your voice. Don’t reach into your pockets. Don’t defend yourself. Don’t resist. Pray like hell that someone records footage of the interaction. You might do all of these things, and still, you might not be protected. The footage will foment outrage, but it can do nothing to bring you back.\\

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Instead, I’m going to have some version of this conversation with my children for the rest of our lives: \

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\As a white child, you are afforded a range of privileges and protections that children of color are not afforded and it’s important for you to recognize this and actively work to change it. This is deeply and historically rooted. This country was founded, yes on optimism and pluralism, but also on slave labor, exploitation, violence, dehumanization. Don’t get bogged down in the guilt or shame of this history, but know it. Your story, our story, is a part of that.\\

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\The only way to “move on” from that reality is to never “move on,” to understand that just as people of color have to spend a lifetime thinking about their own skin color and how it affects \the way they are able to walk through the world\, you are walking through the world, this country, this city, these streets, as a white person.\\
\n\Make it a part of your daily consciousness even when it seems tiring and burdensome (this is not a choice for people of color, nor is it for you). Commit to interrogating the privileges that you inherit and constantly look for creative ways to subvert hierarchies, redistribute power, connect the unconnected.\\
\n\Understand that this isn’t about being a “good white person.” This is about being brave and convicted and imperfect and tireless and loving and devastated and sometimes feeling dumb about how to make change and taking it personally. You are not above bias and racism. Apologize when you say or do something racist. Shut up and ask questions.\\

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\Make real friends who will push you and hold you accountable. Push and hold other white people accountable. Push and hold other white people accountable. Push and hold other white people accountable.\\

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\n","excerpt":"\

Reckoning with the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by the police, Courtney Martin pens an impassioned missive to her white children: to understand their privilege, redistribute power, ask questions, and always to hold each other accountable.\

\n","terms":[2,408,334,255,223,318,6,8,360],"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":7689,"slug":"heeding-the-call-stepping-over-the-threshold-and-moving-into-mystery","title":"Heeding the Call, Stepping Over the Threshold, and Moving Into Mystery","date":"2016-07-07 15:00:00","path":"/blog/heeding-the-call-stepping-over-the-threshold-and-moving-into-mystery/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/heeding-the-call-stepping-over-the-threshold-and-moving-into-mystery/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/14353921007_be4bb64c01_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":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":7685,"slug":"evil-forgiveness-and-prayer-elie-wiesel","title":"Evil, Forgiveness, and Prayer — Elie Wiesel","date":"2016-07-08 15:00:00","path":"/blog/evil-forgiveness-and-prayer-elie-wiesel/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/evil-forgiveness-and-prayer-elie-wiesel/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Krupar-Elie-Wiesel.jpg","author":{"id":84,"slug":"krista-tippett","description":"\

is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and \New York Times\ bestselling author. In 2014, President Obama awarded her the National Humanities medal for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” In 2013, she created an independent, non-profit enterprise designed to deepen the engagement of diverse audiences and amplify the unusual social impact of this content.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and \New York Times\ bestselling author. In 2014, President Obama awarded her the National Humanities medal for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.” In 2013, she created an independent, non-profit enterprise designed to deepen the engagement of diverse audiences and amplify the unusual social impact of this content.\

\n","name":"Krista Tippett","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/square-krista-tippett-2.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/krista-tippett/","positionTitle":"Host / Executive Producer","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@kristatippett","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2016-07-07T20:00:00","guid":{"rendered":"http://dev-onbeingdata.pantheonsite.io/the-conversation-we-must-have-with-our-white-children/"},"modifiedGmt":"2016-11-04T12:30:14","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-conversation-we-must-have-with-our-white-children/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/27875407380_4048945369_o.jpg?fit=5480%2C3654&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"","photographerUrl":"","license":"","photoUrl":"","imageLicenses":""},"path":"/blog/the-conversation-we-must-have-with-our-white-children/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/the-conversation-we-must-have-with-our-white-children/","disqusIdentifier":"7686 http://onbeing.org/?p=7686","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"The Conversation We Must Have with Our White Children"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":7672,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/are-we-not-of-interest-to-each-other/","urlMeta":{"origin":7686,"position":0},"title":"Are We Not of Interest to Each Other?","date":"July 12, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"We find ourselves in a time of deep reckoning, and we must turn to each other for companionship and wisdom. Collected guidance on claiming the whole of our identities, and finding compassion for experiences that are not our own.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7644,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/seeing-injustice-with-bravery/","urlMeta":{"origin":7686,"position":1},"title":"Seeing Injustice with Bravery","date":"July 26, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"It is a privilege to feel that this is a time of unusual turmoil. Sarah Smarsh points at our responsibility in this revelatory moment: not just to look at the injustice we live amidst, but to act on what we see.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":18144,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/best-of-2016-top-reads-from-the-on-being-blog/","urlMeta":{"origin":7686,"position":2},"title":"Best of 2016: Top Reads from the On Being Blog","date":"January 9, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"From a perennial favorite on busyness to hard conversations to help us understand each other — a round-up of the most-read blog posts of the past year.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"The Conversation We Must Have with Our White Children"},{"property":"og:title","content":"The Conversation We Must Have with Our White Children"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-conversation-we-must-have-with-our-white-children/"},{"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 Conversation We Must Have with Our White Children"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Reckoning with the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by the police, Courtney Martin pens an impassioned missive to her white children: to understand their privilege, redistribute power, ask questions, and always to hold each other accountable."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Reckoning with the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by the police, Courtney Martin pens an impassioned missive to her white children: to understand their privilege, redistribute power, ask questions, and always to hold each other accountable."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Reckoning with the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by the police, Courtney Martin pens an impassioned missive to her white children: to understand their privilege, redistribute power, ask questions, and always to hold each other accountable."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/27875407380_4048945369_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/27875407380_4048945369_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"The Conversation We Must Have with Our White Children | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"7932":{"id":7932,"date":"2016-04-02T05:46:00","modified":"2017-06-05T11:11:13","slug":"finding-footing-in-my-worth","author":242,"title":"Finding Footing in My Worth","content":"\

\“Take your shoes off at the door.”\\
\nIt is 7:30 in the morning. Bubbly Lululemon bodies shuffle in with stringy hair pulled tightly into ponytails. BPA-free plastic water bottles. Check. Mats tucked neatly underneath arms. Check.\
\nWe pack into four lines. I take the back line, of course. Sit down on my fresh mat and stretch. Right. Left. Right. Center. Stop. I glance down at the feet of the woman next to me. Perfect. I hate yoga.\
\nFeet. That is the thing I remember the most about my first day of private school: L.L. Bean book bags in the hallways, scrawny kids in Phish t-shirts sprawled across doorways, Birkenstocks and fresh feet.\
\nIt is fall. I am 13, and my world has collapsed, inside and out. In English class we talk in circles, seminar style, about Icarus and his wings. Before my final project, I pull my bird-like, bespectacled teacher aside to tell him that I’m having trouble completing my culminating assignment.\
\n\“Writer’s block,”\ I say. I learned the term a week ago in partner work from Bryce, the boy who quotes Khalil Gibran in casual conversations and eats from good Tupperware in the middle of class.\

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\\\\ (\Brandon King\ / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved) \\\
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I remember Easter. Time for new shoes. My brother and I, after fighting all day, sit cheek to cheek on the bus watching tired women get on and off. No husbands. But bags and more bags. And kids.\

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We arrive to the smell of plastic shoes lining the shelves. I skip down the aisles and pick out two pairs. The glossy ones with a small heel and bow for Easter Sunday church service, the other for play. We walk outside clutching our new prizes. We are happy.\
\nI didn’t know that shoes are not supposed to hurt until obscene wealth crashed against my world. The same way that I didn’t know that vegetables did not come from metal cans. That milk was not made from powder. That heat was not meant to come from an open oven door.\
\nI look down at my feet now permanently buckled and gnarled from a childhood of ill-fitting plastic shoes and endless walks. Tired little legs. Running to school. The city bus. The WIC office. The pediatrician. The corner store for bread and butter.\
\n\“What do those feel like?”\ Katie looks up at me and smiles. Her delicate figure spread out on the freshly manicured lawn.\
\nEvery Tuesday, we set up shop near the lacrosse field to warm our faces in the sun. She slides her shoe across the grass, and I slip my left foot into it and sigh. Pillows. I have pillows for feet.\
\nI chuck the leather sandal back at her, \“Well, they’re still ugly as hell.”\ I laugh.\
\nKatie is not like the rest of them. Her parents drive a gray Mercedes. She has more bathrooms than bedrooms. But she is kind.\

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\\\\ (\Chris Lohman\ / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved) \\\
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That night, I ask my mom for a pair of Katie’s shoes, and immediately I am sad. Sad that I ask her for something that she cannot give. Sad that I am now at a school away from people who look and feel like me. Sad that my standard for coolness is now kids who wear sandals.\

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Years later, I learn that every month my mother sets aside to pay for my schooling. These fancy schools, they ask the poor for that. An illusory sign of commitment. Exactly three dozen eggs, four loaves of bread, two gallons of milk, three boxes of generic-brand cereal, one pack of chicken thighs, and two pounds of rice.\
\nI think back to all the times I whined and talked sideways because I didn’t have money for leafy salads from the cafeteria. \Rabbit food\, mom called it. Or the time I cried all the way home because I couldn’t join the field hockey team. Two hundred dollars for gear. Seventy dollars for a uniform, they said.\
\nI couldn’t understand why she would send me to a place where I would never belong.\
\nI heard this story once of babies in Bali. For the first three months of their lives, they are carried everywhere — their feet never touching the red earth. The baby, it is said, is still intimately tied to the spirit world. After 12 weeks, in a final ceremony, the baby’s feet are put to the earth, and the toil of life begins.\
\nI think back to my time in Bali. I had escaped to the rice paddies shortly after my life had turned against me once again.\

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\\\\ (\Chandler Christian\ / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved) \\\
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\Saturn return\, she calls it. \I’m in hell\, I quip.\

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Radha and I had grown up five minutes apart, only to find each other two states away, on the first day of law school with that same wild look in our eyes.\
\nShe tells me that in Saturn return, Saturn goes back to the same place it fell when you were born. Its influence is felt in your late 20s. It is a crossroads. A crisis. Karma. It breaks you open and spreads you out. I know — I barely lived to tell.\
\nIn my Saturn return, I stood next to my mother lying in a wooden box. I watched my marriage come apart thread by thread. I graduated from three aching years of law school only to find that I never wanted to become like my classmates. And I realized that the thing I feared the most about myself was true: I was gay, and poor, and woman, and black, in a world where any one of such identifications would leave you unworthy of protection.\
\nI stare at Radha and her purple hair as she goes on to tell me of all the people who’ve killed themselves at this time. The 27 club. She lists them out, one by one. A sacred task.\
\nI can’t help think of Balinese babies.\
\nMaybe some of our feet were never meant to touch the ground.\
\n“Any unsafe areas?” she asks. She reaches up to grab the bottle of massage oil from the shelf. She is tall and thin.\
\nI am forced to see Becka by a body that quakes and aches at ungodly hours.\
\n“My feet,” I respond. This is the answer I give, always. When I can, I keep my socks on for the entire session.\
\nShe laughs. I laugh, too. But I am still ashamed.\
\nShe begins the session, slowly circling my shoulders, moving down my back and to my thighs.\
\nI stare at the naked floor. I moan, then I melt in and out. I hear the music playing in the background. It is waves. I think of the beach, water washing over me and burying myself in the sand. I feel her moving down my legs inching closer and closer to my feet. I am drifting so softly.\
\n“You can touch them,” I whisper.\
\nShe takes my feet into her hands and with her thumbs she squeezes the fleshy part lining my heel, and I let her. Immediately, tears begin to burn down my face onto the towel. Eventually, I am heaving into the face guard.\
\nI begin to think of my mom and her fifty dollars, Katie and her leather Birkenstocks, my brother and his bright-orange prison shoes, Easter and plastic Mary Janes with the bow on top, powdered milk with morning cereal, and our family sitting in the living room with blankets wrapped around us and the oven left on with the door open.\
\nMy whole body is convulsing now, Becka’s fingers still wrapped around my toes.\
\nShe asks me if I am okay, and I gargle, yes. I let the tears fall.\
\nWhen she is finished, I sit up and wipe my eyes. We do not speak a word of it.\

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\\\\ (\Brandon King\ / Flickr / Some Rights Reserved) \\\
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Walking down the street, I press down on the pavement hard. I can feel the bones beneath me, the bones that ground me, finally.\

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I think of my precious feet and all the things they have seen. And how well they have carried. I still fucking hate yoga, though.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not.\

\n","terms":[2,71,69,147,500,116,6,794,668,560],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":242,"slug":"sakeenah-el-amin","description":"\

manages a law education program for young adults in the juvenile justice system. She is in the the process of opening a progressive, social justice-oriented school for low-income girls. Her writing has been published in \Full Grown People\.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Sakeenah El-Amin","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Sakeenah-El-Amin-bio.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/sakeenah-el-amin/","positionTitle":"Guest Contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@sakeenahelamin","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":7933,"slug":"the-price-of-responding-to-the-social-media-signal","title":"The Price of Responding to the Social Media Signal","date":"2016-04-01 05:08:00","path":"/blog/the-price-of-responding-to-the-social-media-signal/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-price-of-responding-to-the-social-media-signal/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Shepard-reading-newspaper.jpg","author":{"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":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":7931,"slug":"to-crucify-christ-anew-lynching-ell-michael-and-jesus","title":"To Crucify Christ Anew: Lynching Ell, Michael, and Jesus","date":"2016-04-02 09:18:00","path":"/blog/to-crucify-christ-anew-lynching-ell-michael-and-jesus/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/to-crucify-christ-anew-lynching-ell-michael-and-jesus/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/morales_ellperson-abutments.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":"2016-04-02T05:46:00","guid":{"rendered":"http://dev-onbeingdata.pantheonsite.io/finding-footing-in-my-worth/"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-06-05T16:11:13","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/finding-footing-in-my-worth/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Lister-child-shoes.jpg?fit=1729%2C1186&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Helena Lister","photographerUrl":"http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8997797781/","license":"","photoUrl":"","imageLicenses":""},"path":"/blog/finding-footing-in-my-worth/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/finding-footing-in-my-worth/","disqusIdentifier":"7932 http://onbeing.org/?p=7932","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Finding Footing in My Worth"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":8117,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/running-is-moving-meditation/","urlMeta":{"origin":7932,"position":0},"title":"Running Is Moving Meditation","date":"January 17, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"The act of running reveals. An avid marathoner realizes that her physical training is also a spiritual exercise — a place to meditate on the move and find God in unexpected, sacred places.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7807,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/olympians-are-chosen-by-the-gods-billy-mills/","urlMeta":{"origin":7932,"position":1},"title":"Olympians are Chosen by the Gods — Billy Mills","date":"May 20, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Gold medalist Billy Mills tells his redemptive story of how running healed his \"broken soul\" and saved his life. And he shares a mystical story uniting his father's words with Lakota wisdom as he crossed the finish line.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7699,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/i-always-think-of-my-mom-when-im-running-mallary-tenore/","urlMeta":{"origin":7932,"position":2},"title":"I Always Think of My Mom When I’m Running — Mallary Tenore","date":"July 2, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"“My love for running started with me running towards my mom.” Mallary Tenore's mother introduced her to one of the defining practices in her life: running — which has been equal parts destructive, spiritual, and healing.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Finding Footing in My Worth"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Finding Footing in My Worth"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/finding-footing-in-my-worth/"},{"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":"Finding Footing in My Worth"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Lister-child-shoes.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Lister-child-shoes.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Finding Footing in My Worth | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"9211":{"id":9211,"date":"2014-08-27T08:59:00","modified":"2017-12-03T19:37:03","slug":"courtney-says-no-parker-creates-calm-padraig-proposes-love-and-the-lost-skills-of-the-cowboy","author":2,"title":"Courtney Says No; Parker Creates Calm; Pádraig Proposes Love; and the Lost Skills of the Cowboy","content":"\

Postcard from Minnesota: a foggy morning on Lake Washburn.\
\nHere we are in the final throes of summer. We’ve closed down the office for a couple of weeks and the staff is taking a much-needed holiday. In a few days Krista and I will be in San Francisco for our August board meeting. It’s a time of great joy and immense possibility — a “crisis of opportunity” as one friend has told us. Since helping found Krista Tippett Public Productions a year ago, I’ve taken a yes-first approach, treating it as a learning environment to inform future decisions. It’s been an affirming energy that’s allowed us to meet so many new people and do some awesome work.\

\n\
\\"\"\
\\\\ (\Stephen Brace\ / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)) \\\
\
\n\

It does come with a cost, though, and Courtney \Martin makes the case that saying “no” is a spiritual art\:\

\n\
\

\“You say no so you can say yes. It’s sad in the way that all limitations are, but also liberating. You are human and finite and precious and fumbling. This is your one chance to spend your gifts, your attention, most importantly your love, on the things that matter most. Don’t screw it up by being sentimental about what could have been or delusional about your own capacity. Have the grace to acknowledge your own priorities. Prune and survive.”\\

\
\n\
\\"\"\
\Segara Anak Lake crater on Mount Rinjani.\\\ (\Bohari\ / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).) \\\
\
\n\
\

\“Ever been lost in the wilderness — or in the wilds of your own life?”\\

\
\n\

\Parker Palmer’s opening question\ is one that resonated with hundreds of thousands of people this week. He touches on fear and the need for calm, putting a fine point on this idea with a wonderful poem by David Wagoner.\

\n\
\\"\"\
\\\\ (\Ben Heine\ / Copyright Ben Heine.) \\\
\
\n\

Several months ago I watched \Pádraig Ó Tuama give a moving speech on human sexuality\ as part of a conversation within the Church of Ireland. Most kindly, he created a commentary for us, \“Love Is the Great Endeavour,”\ that’s a powerful testimonial to dialogue, pain, and profundity in which he puts forward his “gay agenda”: to love the gospels; to love repentance; to love words and courage and his partner; and to show love to each other on our great endeavor. It’s a terrific read that I hope can lead to even more fruitful discussions and encounters among the good community we’re trying to foster here — from all perspectives.\

\n\
\\"\"\
\\\\ (\Shena Tschofen\ / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)) \\\
\
\n\

Inspired by the ALS ice bucket challenge and Courtney Martin’s column on being white and reckoning with Michael Brown’s death, \Sharon Browning proposes a “Pilfering with Privilege” campaign\:\

\n\
\

\“Lovingly invite each other to step up, listen to our ghosts, and acknowledge our own capacity for poor judgment, for making mistakes that are a breach of the law. What have you done that could have escalated into serious trouble if discovered or seen through a racial lens? How has your own privilege protected you and your beloveds? What bad decision did your child-self make before you became hard-wired for sound judgment, as most humans do, somewhere in your early to mid-20s?”\\

\
\n\

Read and share. I think it’ll generate some good discussions in your social circles too.\
\n\\

\n\

In a similar vein, \Christianity Today\ is posting a notable series titled “It’s Time to Listen.” They’re asking white evangelical Christians to listen to fellow African-American evangelicals’ experiences during this moment in our history. I found \this three-part essay by pastor Léonce Crump\ to be particularly insightful.\

\n\

\\

\n\

As many of you know, I’m a proud North Dakotan and naturally take a shine to rural wisdom and the lessons of the prairie. I’ll leave you with this thought from \American Cowboy\ magazine on \“the lost skills of the cowboy code”\:\

\n\
\

\“Ride for the brand. Loyalty is the character trait embodied by this Old West saying. A ranch’s trademark was — and is — the hot iron brand it stamped on the hide of its cattle and horses. When, as an employee, you signed on with an outfit, riding for the brand meant dedication, pride, and teamwork. If you rode for the brand, you became part of a larger mission and took to any task assigned. It means pulling a cow out of a bog when no one’s watching and without expectation of recognition, just because it’s the right thing to do.”\\

\
\n\

Comments? Suggestions? An article you’d like to write for publication at onbeing.org? Reach me at \[email protected]\ and on Twitter at \@trentgilliss\.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Advice on living… from saying no to say yes and the lost skills of the cowboy code.\

\n","terms":[2,5410,5362,957,1917,932,1919,80,1918,6],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"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":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":9212,"slug":"gratitude-for-teachers-and-compassion-for-kids","title":"Gratitude for Teachers and Compassion for Kids","date":"2014-08-27 06:09:00","path":"/blog/gratitude-for-teachers-and-compassion-for-kids/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/gratitude-for-teachers-and-compassion-for-kids/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/7039138531_aec4067cde_o.jpg","author":{"id":4,"slug":"parker-j-palmer","description":"\

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.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\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\\\.\\

\n","name":"Parker J. Palmer","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/•Parker-J.-Palmer-Photo—Sept.-2017.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Palmer","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/parker-j-palmer/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@ParkerJPalmer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":16557,"slug":"annunciation","title":"\"Annunciation\"","date":"2014-08-28 15:54:43","path":"/blog/annunciation/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/annunciation/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/marie_howe_lead.jpg","author":{"id":275,"slug":"marie-howe","description":"\

is the State Poet of New York and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She’s published three collections of poetry: \What the Living Do\, \The Good Thief\, and \The Kingdom of Ordinary Time\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is the former Poet Laureate of New York and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She’s published four collections of poetry: \\\What the Living Do\\\, \\\The Good Thief\\\, \\\The Kingdom of Ordinary Time\\\, and \\\Magdalene\\\.\\

\n","name":"Marie Howe","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/marie_howe-1.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/marie-howe","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/marie-howe/","positionTitle":"Special Contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2014-08-27T08:59:00","guid":{"rendered":"http://dev-onbeingdata.pantheonsite.io/courtney-says-no-parker-creates-calm-padraig-proposes-love-and-the-lost-skills-of-the-cowboy/"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-12-04T01:37:03","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-says-no-parker-creates-calm-padraig-proposes-love-and-the-lost-skills-of-the-cowboy/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3084a7bf-cea1-4d1c-8ccc-873793f3eae2_0.jpg?fit=640%2C640&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"","photographerUrl":"","license":"","photoUrl":"","imageLicenses":""},"path":"/blog/courtney-says-no-parker-creates-calm-padraig-proposes-love-and-the-lost-skills-of-the-cowboy/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-says-no-parker-creates-calm-padraig-proposes-love-and-the-lost-skills-of-the-cowboy/","disqusIdentifier":"9211 http://onbeing.org/?p=9211","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Courtney Says No; 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Postcard from Maine; Bach as Cosmologist; The Story of Your Voice; Autumn Inspires Omid + Courtney","date":"October 30, 2014","format":false,"excerpt":"Dispatches from PopTech, a magnificent essay on Bach, an invitation to find the autobiography of your voice, a meditation on the splendor of Autumn, and an instructive essay on shedding old mindsets.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Courtney Says No; Parker Creates Calm; Pádraig Proposes Love; and the Lost Skills of the Cowboy"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Courtney Says No; Parker Creates Calm; Pádraig Proposes Love; and the Lost Skills of the Cowboy"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-says-no-parker-creates-calm-padraig-proposes-love-and-the-lost-skills-of-the-cowboy/"},{"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":"Courtney Says No; Parker Creates Calm; Pádraig Proposes Love; and the Lost Skills of the Cowboy"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Advice on living... from saying no to say yes and the lost skills of the cowboy code."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Advice on living... from saying no to say yes and the lost skills of the cowboy code."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Advice on living... from saying no to say yes and the lost skills of the cowboy code."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3084a7bf-cea1-4d1c-8ccc-873793f3eae2_0.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/3084a7bf-cea1-4d1c-8ccc-873793f3eae2_0.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Courtney Says No; Parker Creates Calm; Pádraig Proposes Love; and the Lost Skills of the Cowboy | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"18181":{"id":18181,"date":"2016-10-07T05:30:53","modified":"2017-01-13T13:06:01","slug":"afflicting-the-comfortable","author":3,"title":"Afflicting the Comfortable","content":"\

In professor and poverty expert C. Nicole Mason’s new memoir, \\Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey From Nothing to Something in America\\, Mason tells the harrowing tale of how she deftly navigated the violence of structural poverty and systemic racism in Southern California in the ‘80s and ‘90s to end up in college. Like Frank McCourt’s \\Angela’s Ashes\\ or Jeanette Walls’ \\The Glass Castle\\, it makes painfully vivid what often happens under the radar: a child weathering the dysfunction of the adult world in the most courageous and innovative of ways.\

\n\

Mason’s aim with her beautifully written memoir was not to formalize her particular victimization, but, in contrast, to point out just how ordinary the kind of challenges she faced were, and how lucky, not exceptional, she is to have survived them. She went to multiple failing schools, often missing more days than she attended. She was sometimes hungry and surrounded by drugs and violence from an early age. She was sexually abused by her stepfather and emotionally abandoned by her mother. She had no support when it came to applying to college — not just financially, but logistically. The fact that she ended up at Howard University is something of a miracle, actually.\

\n\

As I was reading, I kept thinking about the radical nature of her underlying thesis: that she is not exceptional, just lucky, that her existence should not be held up as evidence of the so-called post-racial world, but as an anomaly in a country where poor kids’ chances at a stable life are decimated by substandard schools, a racist, classist justice system, wounded, violent caregivers, and financial instability perpetuated by lack of access to decent jobs or fair financial services.\

\n\

The detail with which she writes about the indignities of being a poor kid brings \the abstraction of poverty into focus\:\

\n\
\

\On the way to school, we stopped halfway down the block to pick up a little girl who lived on the opposite side of the street from us. We arrived early and stood in the doorway as she ate Trix cereal and giggled at cartoons. The slurp of the milk and the crunch of the cereal were so familiar. My eyes tracked the motion of the spoon in her hand, from the bowl to her mouth. I desperately wanted some.\\

\n\

\“Do y’all want a bowl?” the girl’s mother asked. I had been caught staring.\\

\n\

\Before Amber could open her mouth to say yes, I answered no for the both of us.\\

\
\n\

\\"\"\

\n\

C. Nicole Mason survived that hungry tummy, that pride, and so many other heavy crosses no tiny human should bear, but her survival is not reason for us to have faith in the inevitable march of progress for all. To the contrary, she recounts every painful detail in her new book (one that I can imagine being canonized) so that we might lose faith in that inevitability, so that we might question, once again, the accuracy of our own sight, the universality of our relative comfort.\

\n\

Reading \Born Bright\ was an exercise of bearing witness for me. In part, I was bearing witness to her: one real girl, trying to read the signs and symbols around her, craving more attention and access, mentoring herself where there were no mentors, leveraging the hell out of \the supports that did come along\ (a helpful guidance counselor, for one). This was so important because too often poor kids are statistics to those of us who don’t know or interact with them. By investing in reading the story of one little girl, I was investing in my own capacity to look deeper than headlines.\

\n\

In part, I was bearing witness to myself. Where I recoiled in shock, I took notice; clearly my reality is deeply disconnected from the one that this little girl lived and that’s important for me to register. Where I cringed at the adult behavior around her, I took notice; I asked myself to look at the wounds underneath that kind of violence, particularly when it came to her mother, who I must admit I felt a lot of anger towards. At first I asked, “Why isn’t she showing up for her little girl? Why doesn’t she believe her?” But then I asked, “Who didn’t show up for \her\?”\

\n\

\Finley Peter Dunne\, an American humorist, once wrote that a journalist’s job is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” That’s what Mason has done. She’s used the revealing details of her own ordinary life to wake me — wake us — up to an extraordinary truth: that we claim to be an ethical people while still tolerating, daily, the abuse and neglect of thousands of children based solely on the zip codes and families they were born into.\

\n\

In this country, we tend to focus on what Booker T. Washington famously dubbed \“the talented tenth”\ — the black kids who make it out of poverty and into fancy schools, the ones who end up with prestigious jobs and the capacity to blend into white, elite worlds. That’s far more comfortable than looking at the persistent plague of poverty because it jives perfectly with our American Dream ethos. It makes us \feel less complicit\. If Barack Obama and Condoleezza Rice exist, then, we reason, \the legacies of slavery must be surmountable\, maybe even fading. If Oprah and Robert F. Smith exist, then anyone has a chance at winning the life lottery even while racism persists.\

\n\

While this may soothe the psyche, it’s morally repugnant.\

\n\

As I turn the last page, I look up at my own three-year-old and two-month-old and wonder how I can make \my own parenting less narcissistic\. White, upper-middle-class parents in particular are led to believe that it is normal, even necessary, to spend our energy mostly thinking about how to make sure that \our\ kids get the best of everything: the best food, the best schools, the best childcare. But what of the kids who aren’t related to us, who don’t look like us? What do I teach my girls if I model that my every waking second is directed towards improving \their\ lives?\

\n\

How can I parent like a reader? How can I parent like a witness? How can I parent like a citizen?\

\n","excerpt":"\

Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason’s new memoir and turning toward what’s uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel.\

\n","terms":[2,5370,71,66,429,1473,35,298,863,6,669,3378,37,10],"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":18178,"slug":"the-solution-is-already-with-you","title":"The Solution Is Already With You","date":"2016-10-06 05:30:17","path":"/blog/the-solution-is-already-with-you/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/the-solution-is-already-with-you/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Fischer-phone-charger.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":29037,"slug":"tod-marshall-the-cultivation-of-uncertainty","title":"The Cultivation of Uncertainty","date":"2016-10-10 05:00:49","path":"/blog/tod-marshall-the-cultivation-of-uncertainty/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/tod-marshall-the-cultivation-of-uncertainty/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/1864994682_d9c105bab5_o.jpg","author":{"id":997,"slug":"tod-marshall","description":"\

is the Washington State Poet Laureate (2016-2018) and a professor at Gonzaga University. He is the author most recently of \Bugle\, which won the Washington State Book Award, and two previous collections, \Dare Say\ and \The Tangled Line\.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Tod Marshall","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/tod-marshall-bio.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/tod-marshall/","positionTitle":"special contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@WAPoetLaureate","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2016-10-07T11:30:53","guid":{"rendered":"http://onbeing.org/?p=18181"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-01-13T19:06:01","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/afflicting-the-comfortable/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Hidalgo-hand-to-light.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Leo Hidalgo","photographerUrl":"http://www.flickr.com/photos/ileohidalgo/16639154936/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"http://www.flickr.com/photos/ileohidalgo/16639154936/","imageLicenses":""},"path":"/blog/afflicting-the-comfortable/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/afflicting-the-comfortable/","disqusIdentifier":"18181 http://onbeing.org/?p=18181","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Afflicting the Comfortable"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":18193,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/finding-new-energy-within/","urlMeta":{"origin":18181,"position":0},"title":"Finding New Energy Within Ourselves","date":"October 11, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Growth comes from bearing witness to our own stories and to the experiences of others. A digest of reads that challenge us to strengthen our inner and outer lives.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":32950,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/krista-tippett-a-whirlwind-in-purple/","urlMeta":{"origin":18181,"position":1},"title":"A Whirlwind in Purple","date":"October 4, 2007","format":false,"excerpt":"Joan Chittister is a committed member of a small Benedictine community in Erie, Pennsylvania and a global activist. She is an influential, sometimes uncomfortable voice in her beloved Roman Catholic Church — a hero to some, a heretic to others. She is guided in all of this, she says, by…","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9348,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/barbara-ehrenreich-on-living-with-a-wild-god/","urlMeta":{"origin":18181,"position":2},"title":"Barbara Ehrenreich on \"Living With a 'Wild' God\"","date":"May 27, 2014","format":false,"excerpt":"In Barbara Ehrenreich's latest book — and first memoir — she asks the age-old questions at the center of human life. A self-described atheist, she leans into the word \"mystical\" and encourages more cosmic wandering.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Afflicting the Comfortable"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Afflicting the Comfortable"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/afflicting-the-comfortable/"},{"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":"Afflicting the Comfortable"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason's new memoir and turning toward what's uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason's new memoir and turning toward what's uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason's new memoir and turning toward what's uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Hidalgo-hand-to-light.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Hidalgo-hand-to-light.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Afflicting the Comfortable | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"32179":{"id":32179,"date":"2017-07-07T16:42:24","modified":"2017-07-10T16:49:14","slug":"christena-cleveland-so-much-of-the-privileged-life-is-about-transcendence","author":1009,"title":"So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence","content":"\

The day after the 2016 presidential election, I happened to be speaking at a conference in New Orleans, one of the bluest cities in the South. While wandering the working art studios in the Bourbon Street area, I encountered a local sculptor who, upon hearing that I teach peace and justice studies at Duke Divinity School, burst into zealous tears. Her collar soggy with snot and runny mascara, she articulated the disillusionment that many New Orleanians felt in the aftermath of the President Trump’s election.\

\n\

“This is so devastating,” she lamented.\

\n\
\

\“Is there any hope? Where is God in the midst of this?”\\

\
\n\

Her sorrow didn’t surprise me; after all, over \80 percent of New Orleans’ voters\ chose Hillary Clinton. However, her difficulty in finding hope and God in the midst of such devastation is one that struck me as both distinctly human and distinctly privileged.\

\n\

Indeed, as I’ve traveled the U.S. since the election, I’ve witnessed similar sentiments among privileged people (e.g., white and/or middle-class people). I honor the humanity in their vulnerable and sincere questioning. I also believe it is worth pointing out that privileged people’s immediate and enduring theological responses to the election have been decidedly less hopeful than those of people who identify with oppressed groups. This suggests to me that the difficulty in finding hope and God in the midst of devastation has deep roots in many privileged people’s theology.\

\n\

The privileged life is all about transcendence, living a life that lies beyond the limits of \ordinary experience\. It’s about avoiding, escaping, or anesthetizing systemic/societal pain. It is quite effective as a system of transcendence in that most privileged people are deeply disconnected from the ordinary experience of many.\

\n\

In 2017, a woman of color regularly faces food insecurity, violence, and/or housing instability. This is the norm. Since privileged people have agency and mobility, we can typically choose which neighborhoods we want to live in, \which schools to send our children to\, and which churches to attend. Most privileged people make choices that shield them from the realities of those who are excluded from such stable, safe, and prosperous communities. Intentionally or not, when privileged people choose to participate in economically- and racially-stratified neighborhoods, schools, and spiritual communities, \they isolate themselves from the majority of people in their region\ who experience systemic oppression.\

\n\

Given that transcendence is central to the privileged experience, it’s not surprising that many spiritual practices that are common among privileged people support a theology of transcendence, a belief that God lies beyond, not within, the limits of ordinary experience.\

\n\

I recently attended a silent meditation retreat in which we spent all day alternating between walking and sitting meditation. Over course of the week-long retreat, we concluded our daily meditation practice by watching hundreds of chimney swallows gracefully circle the sky and eventually acrobatically swoop into the retreat center’s brick chimney for rest. The meditation teachers invited us to allow the “liturgy of the chimney swallows to wash over us,” and the act of watching this stunning natural theater was coined the “swallow meditation,” thus designating it a distinctly spiritual activity on par with the walking and sitting meditation that we had done all day.\

\n\

I absolutely loved the swallow meditation and found it to be deeply edifying. And yet, as the only person of color at the retreat, I wondered whether a focused, curious meditation on the devastating effects of environmental racism in predominantly black and brown neighborhoods would have also been designated a spiritual activity. I’ve never been to a meditation retreat that included a “contaminated water meditation.”\

\n\

Turning our attention toward systemic pain is not something we typically associate with spiritual nourishment and liberation, but what if it is? What if we can’t truly experience the hope of the Divine until we are able to \experience the Divine in the most hopeless situations\?\

\n\

Throughout human history, the oppressed peoples of the world have, out of necessity, intentionally turned their focus on God in the midst of the most painful experiences.\

\n\

Within the Christian tradition it is taught that Mary conceived of the Magnificat while living in dire circumstances as a Jew under Roman occupation, further endangered by her status as an unmarried pregnant woman of color. In her song, she articulates a theology of immanence, the belief that the God of hope is precisely to be found \in the midst of uncertainty and distress\.\

\n\

\Mary’s theology of immanence\ has three parts. First, she affirms that God has graced her particular situation, that God is by her side as she experiences oppression in her “lowly” social location:\

\n\
\

\“My soul proclaims your greatness, O God,\\

\n\

\and my spirit rejoices in you, my savior.\\

\n\

\For you have looked with favor\\

\n\

\upon your lowly servant,\\

\n\

\and from this day forward\\

\n\

\all generations will call me blessed.\\

\n\

\For you, the Almighty, have done great things for\\

\n\

\me, and holy is your Name.”\\

\
\n\

Second, she affirms that God is a God of justice who works on behalf of the systemically oppressed:\

\n\
\

\“Your mercy reaches from age to age\\

\n\

\for those who fear you.\\

\n\

\You have shown strength with your arm;\\

\n\

\you have scattered the proud in their conceit;\\

\n\

\you have deposed the mighty from their thrones\\

\n\

\and raised the lowly to high places.\\

\n\

\You have filled the hungry with good things,\\

\n\

\while you have sent the rich away empty.”\\

\
\n\

Finally, she looks to the future with hope, affirming that God is coming to her aid and will fulfill the promises that were made to her ancestors:\

\n\
\

\“You have come to the aid of Israel your servant,\\

\n\

\mindful of your mercy—\\

\n\

\the promise you made to our ancestors—\\

\n\

\to Sarah and Abraham\\

\n\

\and their descendants forever.”\\

\
\n\

Unlike the privileged life, Mary’s life as a “lowly servant” fell within the limits of ordinary experience. She was unable to transcend the realities of the oppressed women of color of her day. As theologian \Grace Ji-sun Kim\ teaches us, theology is biography. Mary’s theology grew out of her lived experiences of oppression. Her lived experiences required a robust theology that could withstand the pain and disillusionment that she regularly faced. Her understanding of God had to be intimately linked to her pain, so much so that hope and God were found in pain.\

\n\

What would it look like for privileged Westerners to \intentionally turn toward the very pain that we so often avoid\, intentionally seeking out evidence that God is present, active, and bringing hope? Because in the end we must ask ourselves: How can we seek hope and God in the midst of devastating systemic pain if our whole lives are about escaping the reality of such pain?\

\n","excerpt":"\

Rather than focusing on what’s beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what’s within.\

\n","terms":[2,5433,344,235,473,146,48,6,7,131],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":1009,"slug":"christena_cleveland","description":"\

is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She teaches at Duke University’s Divinity School and is the author of \Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She teaches at Duke University’s Divinity School and is the author of \Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart\.\

\n","name":"Christena Cleveland","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cleveland.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.christenacleveland.com/","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/christena_cleveland/","positionTitle":"Contributing Editor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@CSCleve","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":31230,"slug":"elizabeth-welliver-how-the-wisdom-of-millennial-nones-can-revitalize-the-christian-church","title":"How the Wisdom of Millennial Nones Can Revitalize the Christian Church","date":"2017-07-07 14:56:03","path":"/blog/elizabeth-welliver-how-the-wisdom-of-millennial-nones-can-revitalize-the-christian-church/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/elizabeth-welliver-how-the-wisdom-of-millennial-nones-can-revitalize-the-christian-church/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/34434224771_82d811275b_o.jpg","author":{"id":1034,"slug":"elizabeth_welliver","description":"\

is the Interfaith Engagement Fellow at Davidson College, and she writes as an alumna of the Interfaith Youth Core. She identifies as a Presbyterian-Quaker and enjoys spoken word poetry, pilgrimage, and intergenerational dinner parties. \

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Elizabeth Welliver","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Portrait.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/elizabeth_welliver/","positionTitle":"guest contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@EliWelliver","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":32298,"slug":"trent-gilliss-guiding-words-on-perfectionism-being-seen-and-racism","title":"Guiding Words on Perfectionism, Being Seen, and Racism","date":"2017-07-08 09:00:41","path":"/blog/trent-gilliss-guiding-words-on-perfectionism-being-seen-and-racism/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-guiding-words-on-perfectionism-being-seen-and-racism/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ApplyDateLocationSquare_OBG.jpg","author":{"id":2,"slug":"trent-gilliss","description":"\

was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Trent T. 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As we draw nearer to both, a writer revisits her family’s story of the night Dr. King was killed, forty-eight years ago.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":33248,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/krista-tippett-understanding-chinas-past-through-new-ears/","urlMeta":{"origin":32179,"position":1},"title":"Understanding China's Past Through New Ears","date":"September 13, 2007","format":false,"excerpt":"Anchee Min's perspective is one of survival — of a human spirit that remains vigorous through the most dire and brutalizing experiences.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":34002,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/krista-tippett-drawing-beauty-and-decency-from-loss/","urlMeta":{"origin":32179,"position":2},"title":"Drawing Beauty and Decency from Loss","date":"November 26, 2009","format":false,"excerpt":"Kate Braestrup gleans and shares insight into the raw processes of human grief and healing — the simple, stunning, recurring experience that human beings are equipped, preparing unconsciously in all we do, to deal with unimaginable loss.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence"},{"property":"og:title","content":"So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/christena-cleveland-so-much-of-the-privileged-life-is-about-transcendence/"},{"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":"So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Rather than focusing on what's beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what's within."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Rather than focusing on what's beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what's within."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Rather than focusing on what's beyond the limits of ordinary experience, we might be better served focusing on what's within."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/GettyImages-649780880-1.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/GettyImages-649780880-1.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"32501":{"id":32501,"date":"2017-07-15T09:00:30","modified":"2017-09-26T11:12:23","slug":"trent-gilliss-a-tailored-experience-beyond-privilege-productivity-and-connectedness","author":2,"title":"A Tailored Experience Beyond Privilege, Productivity, and Connectedness","content":"\

Exciting news!\

\n\

We’ve been told that the \On Being\ archives can be overwhelming for new and old listeners alike. We aim to change that! So we’ve designed and built \a dynamic, new discovery tool\, and we need some of our most loyal listeners to help give it a test run.\

\n\

Using a “relationship algorithm” and human curation, we’ve tailored an experience that goes beyond topics. You can now explore new \conversation threads\ and save \crafted playlists\ tailored to your curiosities.\

\n\

\Would you be the first to try it out?\\

\n\

\\\"\"\\

\n\

As you play with our discovery tool, you’ll notice that the interviews with the strongest relationships appear at the top of the list of conversation threads. And, each time you click on one of these kindred threads, a new series of conversation threads is revealed!\

\n\

You can also navigate by one of four themes: \Arts\, \Sciences\, \Spiritual Inquiry\, and \Social Good\. Or, if you prefer, browse our archives chronologically by clicking the extremely cool \Explore All\ search field. Our hope? To make it easier for you to discover new conversations that enrich your understanding of the world. Then, save them as playlists and share them with others so you can discuss.\

\n\

This is \an early preview exclusive to our blog readers and newsletter subscribers\. It’s free, but we’d love to get your feedback. Let me know what you like and what needs more shaping so we can improve it in real-time. You can reach me at \[email protected]\ or via Twitter at \@trentgilliss\.\

\n\

\Featured Essay from Our Guest Writer\\

\n\
\\\"Three\\
\\\\ (\Doug Kaye\ / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs) \\\
\
\n\

\Jennifer Stitt\ | \\Before You Can Be With Others, First Learn to Be Alone\\\
\nWe can communicate with almost anybody at any moment and all the time. But are we losing our capacity to be alone, and therefore our ability to think anew? Rediscovering this ability just may be pivotal to the health of democracy and the struggle against nonconformity:\

\n\
\

\“Solitude is not only a state of mind essential to the development of an individual’s consciousness — and conscience — but also a practice that prepares one for participation in social and political life. Before we can keep company with others, we must learn to keep company with ourselves.”\\

\
\n\

\Public Theology Reimagined\\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Drew Angerer\ / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

\Christena Cleveland\ | \\So Much of the Privileged Life Is About Transcendence\\\
\nThis commentary is a provocative one. Rather than focusing on what’s beyond the limits of ordinary experience, Christena says, we might be better served focusing on what’s within:\

\n\
\

\“What would it look like for privileged Westerners to intentionally turn toward the very pain that we so often avoid, intentionally seeking out evidence that God is present, active, and bringing hope?”\\

\
\n\

Her post generated a vibrant discussion in the comments section, and it’d be wonderful to see how you respond too.\

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

\Elizabeth Welliver\ | \\How the Wisdom of Millennial Nones Can Revitalize the Christian Church\\\
\nI deeply appreciate hearing from a young woman who “adopts a denominational label.” Her straightforward analysis is timely and a perspective we don’t hear from that much in the larger media:\

\n\
\

\“While my peers and I flock to protests, book clubs, and yoga classes, we are forging new paths of spiritual engagement. At the same time, I sense that many of us yearn for tradition: a household of inherited practices and beliefs to inhabit as our full selves.”\\

\
\n\

\Things from Beyond Our Realm\\
\n\The Washington Post \| \\The 14th Amendment Solved One Citizenship Crisis, But It Created a New One\\\
\nThe historian Martha S. Jones offers this brilliant analysis about how the 14th Amendment “becomes a generational scythe” for unauthorized immigrants.\

\n\

\Academy of American Poets \| \\Elizabeth Bishop: “The Fish”\\\
\nI try to read at least one poem every morning. Bishop paints images that are so precise and right for these summer months.\

\n\

\The New York Times \| \\The Daily\\\
\nThe second segment on FARC members re-entering Colombian society as civilians is an excellent primer on what’s at stake — and how sticky the reconciliation process can be.\

\n\

\A Word from Our Columnists\\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Benni Pause\ / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial) \\\
\
\n\

\Parker Palmer\ | \\We Are Owned by the Wilderness\\\
\nFrom the high desert mountains of New Mexico, our beloved columnist Parker reflects on ownership and arrogance — punctuated with a poem by Margaret Atwood:\

\n\
\

\“We never belonged to you. / You never found us. / It was always the other way round.”\\

\
\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Deveion Acker\ / Flickr / Attribution) \\\
\
\n\

\Courtney Martin\ | \\What Am I For?\\\
\nCourtney opens with these bracing lines from Wendell Berry:\

\n\
\

\“The shoddy work of despair, the pointless work of pride, equally betray Creation. They are wastes of life.”\\

\
\n\

Where does she take this? Well, to places that pick at false measures of productivity and purpose. Read on.\

\n\

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

\n","excerpt":"\

Be the first to try out our new On Being discovery tool for exploring hundreds of conversations in our archives! And, excellent writings on privilege, solitude, and productivity to accompany your listening.\

\n","terms":[2,5410,5362,344,235,33,212,113,104,366,146,83,47,55,59,26,6,1244,7,295,102,131],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":2,"slug":"trent-gilliss","description":"\

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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 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\\\.\\

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Marie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied at New York University — where she picked up a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications, and a passion for media in the public service, in exchange for her ability to walk slowly. A voracious consumer of podcasts, she joined the team at \On Being\ to fulfill her dream of contributing to the kind of enlightening programming that has captivated her as a listener during so many long city strolls.\

\n\

Previously, Marie explored various avenues of media production — including television and documentary production, newspaper editing, and even a bit of pharmaceutical advertising.\

\n\

Her other obsessions include language, British comedy, large-breed dogs, documenting poignant and humorous moments that she encounters from day to day, and winning huge amounts of imaginary money while playing \Jeopardy!\ over dinner.\

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manages a law education program for young adults in the juvenile justice system. She is in the the process of opening a progressive, social justice-oriented school for low-income girls. Her writing has been published in \Full Grown People\.\

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is a Los Angeles native, Harvard graduate, former film studio executive, film and television writer/producer, and founder/editor-in-chief of the award-winning website \Good Black News\. She is also a wife, mother, vegetarian, crossword puzzle enthusiast, nerd, and avid music lover.\

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is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She teaches at Duke University’s Divinity School and is the author of \Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart\.\

\n","slug":"christena_cleveland","name":"Christena Cleveland","profileImage":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/cleveland.jpg","positionTitle":"Contributing Editor","guestDescription":"\

is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She teaches at Duke University’s Divinity School and is the author of \Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart\.\

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