The On Being Project

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Jerry is twenty years younger than me, but I call him my big brother because he’s forever saying things so wise they really tick me off. As I read that line about getting hooked on anger and fear, I thought, “Damn! He’s seen into my soul again and got me dead to rights.” In my religious tradition, there’s only one way forward when you’ve seen your own failings: Confess, ask forgiveness, forgive yourself, and try to get it right next time.\

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My confession is simple. Daily, I get hooked on my anger about our arrogant and unprincipled president, the poisonous aquifer of white nationalism into which he has consciously tapped, and his endless assaults on almost everything I hold to be good, true, and beautiful. \I also get hooked on my fear\, but it’s not about “those people” our president wants us to fear. I fear this president and the harm he’s done to my brothers and sisters in the U.S. and abroad, to American democracy, to world peace, and to the earth itself.\

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Jerry doesn’t say that there’s anything wrong with anger, and I’m glad for that. If I weren’t angry about what’s going down in Washington, D.C., I’d feel like I’d become dumb and numb — and I refuse to go there. Being dumb (and I include myself here) is what got us into this disgusting and dangerous mess, and \going numb will keep us in the mess\ while it gets worse and worse.\

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Anger isn’t the problem. The problem is getting \hooked\ on anger — addicted to an emotion that gives you a fleeting high but leaves you feeling worse, all the while robbing you of well-being and creating an insatiable desire for the next hit. Being hooked saps me of energy and harms my health. Worse still, it diverts me from \taking personal responsibility\ for what’s going on right now. Here, too, Jerry’s mettā meditation spoke to my condition:\

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\“Grant me the wisdom to see my own \unconscious biases\ that continue to unintentionally and inadvertently make me complicit in this staggering rise of hate and callousness. May I never forget that hate and callousness have been as much part of this American experiment as joy, hope, and love. That while this experience may be new to my consciousness it has been a part of the lives of my fellow Americans who have lacked the access to money and power that come with privilege.”\\

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Some will say that Jerry is calling for a fruitless exercise in self-flagellation. I beg to differ. He’s calling us to self-examination, to self-awareness. It’s a call that goes back at least as far as Socrates:\

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\“The unexamined life is not worth living.”\\

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To which I’d add, the unexamined life is a threat to others.\

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So, for the umpteenth time, I’m trying to come to terms with my own complicity in white privilege and the injustice and inhumanity that flow from it. When white people like me ignore or deny all that, it’s just another way of aiding and abetting it.\

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Isn’t the evidence clear-cut? A lot of things that are easy and safe for white folks are \difficult or dangerous for people of color\ — from being pulled over for a broken taillight to trying to rent or buy a home in certain communities. Being president while black is obviously more perilous than it is while white. If Barack Obama had said \any\ of the most egregious things our current president has said, or had had any similar business- or family-related “irregularities,” his political career would have gone down in flames. White privilege is a no-brainer.\

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But my confession needs to go deeper than owning up to white privilege. Like many people of my race, I carry unconscious elements of white supremacy. If I want to help stem that bloody tide, I must become conscious of that fact.\

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No, I don’t belonged to or support the KKK and its kin, whose beliefs and actions are evil to the core. But it’s a cop-out to equate white supremacy with its most toxic forms. Doing so takes the onus off people like me to come to terms with reality — our country’s and our own. How could a nation built in part on the enslavement of human beings not have a cultural substrate of white supremacy? How could white people rooted in that ground not be tainted by that toxicity?\

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If I look at myself closely and honestly, I find a form of white supremacy that’s subtle but pernicious. For a long time I held an unacknowledged assumption that “white is normal,” that white ways are the “normal” ways.  All other ways are “exotic” at best, often “strange” and even “off-putting,” and sometimes “scary.”\

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I suppose all subcultures believe their ways are normal. But in a nation grounded in the enslavement of black people, only we white people get support for that illusion. We don’t need a “white history month” to celebrate our contributions to civilization, we don’t need to encourage each other to believe that “white is beautiful,” and we don’t need to proclaim “white lives matter.” In America, where white people have ruled supreme from day one, all of that comes to us free of charge.\

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In a world where white people are a minority group, the arrogance of “white is normal” is breathtaking — and like all arrogance, it distorts one’s view of self and world. For example, for 50 years, I’ve written and spoken about the dangers of the American tendency to “other” those who are not white, straight, Christian, etc..\

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But not until the last decade or two did I understand that \I\ am “the other” to many — I reserved that category for people who don’t fit my delusional “norm.” I didn’t hate or fear “the other,” but seeing “otherness” in everyone but me and “my people” is the road to a sense of superiority and even uglier destinations.\

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Does all of this make me guilty of something sinister simply because I was born white? Of course not. No one is born guilty of anything. The guilt comes when I deny that being white gives me social advantages and crimps my capacity to see the world clearly and engage it honestly. Denial keeps me from owning my own arrogance, putting on corrective lenses, and fully joining the fight against the pestilence of white supremacy.\

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Is there any hope for white illusionists like me? As far as I’m concerned, this entire column is about hope — because hope opens up as soon as we gain self-awareness, confess our role in creating injustice, and reach deep for ways to release the better angels of our nature.\

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Another friend and mentor, \Valarie Kaur\ — a Sikh interfaith leader and civil rights activist whose family has suffered xenophobic violence — is helping me understand what hope in action looks like through her \Revolutionary Love project\. In a recent newsletter, \Valarie wrote\,\

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\“White supremacy is as old as America. But so are acts of Revolutionary Love — and every act of love inspires another.”\\

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Then she spoke to the skeptics:\

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\“If you cringe when people say love is the answer, I do too — I’m a lawyer. In America, we only talk about love as a feeling that happens to us if we’re lucky. If love is just a good feeling, then of course it is too fickle, too sentimental, too fleeting to be a force in the face of injustice.”\\

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Through a feminist, woman-of-color lens — inspired by the Sikh concept of the warrior-saint — I believe that Valarie is redefining and reviving the great tradition of nonviolent action in terms that speak to \“the fierce urgency of now.”\ Revolutionary Love is not romantic, but embodied, courageous, and demanding.\

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To describe it, Valarie draws on the experience of becoming a mother — from the labor pains that can feel like dying to a lifetime of being gentle and fierce in nurturing and protecting the child you love:\

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\“Mothering, a capacity that exists within each of us, helps us redefine love, not just as emotion but as a form of sweet labor. It calls us to wonder about others, listen to their stories, respond to their needs. We employ many emotions in that labor: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects it.\\

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\When we practice love beyond the threshold of the home, it has the potential to transform the world around us and within us. But love must be poured in all three directions to be revolutionary. Revolutionary Love is the choice to enter into labor — for others, for our opponents, for ourselves. I believe Revolutionary Love is the call of our times.”\\

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When I find myself once again “biting the hook of anger and fear,” and have the guts to ask myself why, I come up with only one honest answer: being hooked drains me of morale, energy, and courage, thus \sparing me the challenge of committing acts of revolutionary love.\\

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So — awakened by Jerry Colonna and inspired by Valarie Kaur — I’m practicing a daily two-part gut-check:\

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\1. Where am I today with my “white is normal” delusion?\\

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\2. Today am I willing to risk that warrior-saint love that, as Valarie says, “has the power to transform our interior life, our relationships, and social conditions”?\\

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When confession opens the door to hope, and you step through, the next step is action. If you wonder what Revolutionary Love in action looks like, I urge you to \view “Divided We Fall,”\ Valarie Kaur’s documentary. If you want to join the movement, you can \sign the Declaration of Revolutionary Love\.\

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The world needs this revolution. America needs it. People of color need it. And white people like me need it, perhaps most of all — if we want to live our lives in service of the twined causes of love, truth, and justice.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around.\

\n","terms":[2,452,7,37,10,5654],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":4,"slug":"parker-j-palmer","description":"\

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

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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":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":36032,"slug":"trent-gilliss-theres-useful-tension-in-our-life-together","title":"There's Useful Tension in Our Life Together","date":"2017-10-17 09:00:03","path":"/blog/trent-gilliss-theres-useful-tension-in-our-life-together/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-theres-useful-tension-in-our-life-together/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/34684044915_65a9045997_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":36050,"slug":"omid-safi-the-problem-with-asking-where-are-you-from","title":"The Problem with Asking \"Where Are You From?\"","date":"2017-10-18 16:22:40","path":"/blog/omid-safi-the-problem-with-asking-where-are-you-from/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-the-problem-with-asking-where-are-you-from/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/eunice-lituanas-242757.jpg","author":{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

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

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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.\

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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.\

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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":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-10-17T21:50:15","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=36001"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-10-17T21:53:24","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/945209480.jpg?fit=3446%2C2102&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Mari Lezhava","photographerUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/q65bNe9fW-w","license":"Unsplash","photoUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/q65bNe9fW-w","imageLicenses":"Public Domain Dedication (CC0)"},"path":"/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","disqusIdentifier":"36001 http://onbeing.org/?p=36001","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":36368,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-how-might-we-face-our-own-hubris-better/","urlMeta":{"origin":36001,"position":0},"title":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?","date":"November 1, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"A Harvard dean lists his five essential questions of life. Our editor-in-chief shares his key readings on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one's hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7650,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/what-i-said-when-my-white-friend-asked-for-my-black-opinion-on-white-privilege/","urlMeta":{"origin":36001,"position":1},"title":"What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege","date":"July 23, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"We can begin to understand each other by asking the right questions — and listening to the stories we receive in turn. Lori Lakin Hutchinson sheds frank and essential light on the reality of racism in America.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9495,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/grieving-the-space-between-us-video/","urlMeta":{"origin":36001,"position":2},"title":"Grieving the Space Between Us (video)","date":"January 21, 2014","format":false,"excerpt":"What happens when we choose anger and hatred over vulnerability and love? A short video with a World War II veteran who tells a personal story about being confronted by the German enemy and the power of music.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/"},{"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":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. 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He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/945209480.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/945209480.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"36209":{"id":36209,"date":"2017-10-22T05:00:31","modified":"2017-10-25T16:25:11","slug":"trent-gilliss-give-yourself-a-chance-to-sit-with-your-reactions","author":2,"title":"Give Yourself a Chance to Sit With Your Reactions","content":"\

To kick off your day, a thought from Mexican photographer Cristina Mittermeier:\

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\“Being capable is not the same as being educated; capable is being able to survive and make the most of the place where you live.”\\

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This was excerpted from a caption to \her portrait of a young Kayapo woman\ who led her through a Brazilian forest. Well worth checking out her work on Instagram.\

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\\ (\Ayo Ogunseinde\ / Unsplash / Public Domain Dedication (CC0)) \\\
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\Courtney Martin\ | \\For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies\\\
\nMy social media feeds are awash with #metoo posts. It’s heartbreaking and uncomfortable — and paralyzing. Men are responding all types of ways, but Courtney tells us that the first step is to…\

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\“Do nothing. Sit in silence. Don’t say anything. Don’t retweet anything. Don’t text anyone. Just sit there. Maybe even close your eyes. Feel what you feel.”\\

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But she doesn’t stop there. \Read on.\\

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\\ (\Eunice Lituañas\ / Unsplash / Public Domain Dedication (CC0)) \\\
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\Omid Safi\ | \\The Problem with Asking “Where Are You From?”\\\
\nAs a man of Persian descent who was raised in Florida, our beloved columnist is often complimented on how well he speaks English. Then he’s asked where he’s from. It’s a question, Omid says, that makes him moan:\

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\“For immigrants, for people of color, it has been a different experience. This is not about having brown skin, an Iranian accent, an Indian accent, or a Hispanic accent. It is ultimately about the American dream. Is the American dream expansive enough to include all of us — or is it ultimately a white, Anglo-Saxon dream?”\\

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\\ (\Kit\ / CalderbridgeFocus / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
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\Dorit Price-Levine\ | \\The Conversation About Guns We’re Not Having\\\

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Dorit’s perspective is one we don’t hear from enough when it comes to thinking through and assessing our own tendencies towards self-righteousness — especially when it comes to guns:\

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\“I won’t be able to get anyone on board with me by shaming them for something they love, especially when I’m the first to admit I’ve never even held a gun myself. How can I, with any authority or integrity, ridicule someone for something when I hardly know the first thing about it?”\\

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\\ (\Jez Timms\ / Unsplash / Public Domain Dedication (CC0)) \\\
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\Ali Schultz\ | \\The Space Between Us Is a Creative Possibility\\\

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\“With horses, if something’s not working, forcing the matter doesn’t create a positive result. There must be opening for change to happen. That shift had to come from inside one of us. We needed to show up differently for each other. Most of the time, that started with me. Hello, radical self-inquiry. (Horses are human whisperers, after all.)\\

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Ahhhhh… horses. They possess an exquisite ability to teach humans about openness and trust. What if we transferred those learnings to our relationships in the workplace?\

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

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\How are we doing? What kinds of perspectives are we missing? What kinds of topics and ideas would you like us to explore? What questions are you holding? Send me a note and we’ll definitely consider. You can reach me \at\ \[email protected]\.\\

\n","excerpt":"\

Who we’re not considering when we talk about guns, from Dorit Price-Levine. Courtney Martin on #metoo as an opportunity to heal masculinity. And Omid Safi’s frustration at a seemingly innocuous question. Incisive and insightful words on the deeper truths in our daily encounters — from our columnists and new voices, too.\

\n","terms":[2,5410,5362,54,686,79,314,977,83,523,631,7,4319,4460,360,105],"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":"http://us4.campaign-archive.com/?u=c4ce343e5cb83e8b16dffbf08&id=e9211ffc48&e=d977cfd1e3","prevPost":{"id":34839,"slug":"emily-jane-odell-performing-our-town-in-oman","title":"Performing \"Our Town\" In Oman","date":"2017-10-20 11:52:37","path":"/blog/emily-jane-odell-performing-our-town-in-oman/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/emily-jane-odell-performing-our-town-in-oman/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/unnamed-6.jpg","author":{"id":887,"slug":"emilyjodell","description":"\

is an assistant professor at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. Previously, she held the Whittlesey Chair of History & Archaeology at the American University of Beirut. Her writing has appeared in \The New York Times\, \The N\\ew York Times Magazine\, Salon, NPR, Al Jazeera, \Christian Science Monitor\, and The Huffington Post. She also blogs about her travels on \her website\.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Emily Jane O'Dell","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/emilyjodell.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://emilyodell.com/","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/emilyjodell/","positionTitle":"guest contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@emilyjodell","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":35349,"slug":"julian-deshazier-hip-hop-job-and-the-black-struggle-for-being","title":"Hip-Hop, Job, and the Black Struggle for Being","date":"2017-10-23 17:02:46","path":"/blog/julian-deshazier-hip-hop-job-and-the-black-struggle-for-being/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/julian-deshazier-hip-hop-job-and-the-black-struggle-for-being/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/austin-neill-247047.jpg","author":{"id":1061,"slug":"julian_deshazier","description":"\

is pastor of University Church in Chicago. He is also an award-winning hip hop musician and songwriter, known to many as “\J.Kwest\.” He is a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School. In 2015, he won an EMMY Award for his role in the short film, Strange Fruit.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Julian DeShazier","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/JKHeadshot_0.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://universitychurchchicago.org/team/rev-julian-deshazier-senior-pastor/","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/julian_deshazier/","positionTitle":"guest contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@PureKwest","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-10-22T10:00:31","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=36209"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-10-25T21:25:11","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-give-yourself-a-chance-to-sit-with-your-reactions/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/22636844_161172414469046_8471401938536103936_n.jpg?fit=1080%2C717&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Cristina Mittermeier","photographerUrl":"https://www.instagram.com/p/BaXH2A-FEoR/","license":"Instagram","photoUrl":"https://www.instagram.com/p/BaXH2A-FEoR/","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/trent-gilliss-give-yourself-a-chance-to-sit-with-your-reactions/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-give-yourself-a-chance-to-sit-with-your-reactions/","disqusIdentifier":"36209 http://onbeing.org/?p=36209","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Give Yourself a Chance to Sit With Your Reactions"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":36093,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-for-guys-reading-metoo-testimonies/","urlMeta":{"origin":36209,"position":0},"title":"For Guys Reading #MeToo Testimonies","date":"October 19, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. And for men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. Our columnist sees this collective discomfort as a spiritual challenge — one that men must meet earnestly, first in themselves, and then in each other.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":36368,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-how-might-we-face-our-own-hubris-better/","urlMeta":{"origin":36209,"position":1},"title":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?","date":"November 1, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"A Harvard dean lists his five essential questions of life. Our editor-in-chief shares his key readings on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one's hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":33406,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-when-we-move-into-the-breaking-our-future-floats-down/","urlMeta":{"origin":36209,"position":2},"title":"When We Move Into the Breaking Our Future Floats Down","date":"August 5, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"From a Hmong writer's encouragement to Oprah's advice on how to say no, our editor-in-chief serves up his favorite commentaries on grief and loss, intergenerational relationships, solitude in faith, judging the poor, and apologies.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Give Yourself a Chance to Sit With Your Reactions"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Give Yourself a Chance to Sit With Your Reactions"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-give-yourself-a-chance-to-sit-with-your-reactions/"},{"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":"Give Yourself a Chance to Sit With Your Reactions"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Who we’re not considering when we talk about guns, from Dorit Price-Levine. Courtney Martin on #metoo as an opportunity to heal masculinity. And Omid Safi’s frustration at a seemingly innocuous question. Incisive and insightful words on the deeper truths in our daily encounters — from our columnists and new voices, too."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Who we’re not considering when we talk about guns, from Dorit Price-Levine. Courtney Martin on #metoo as an opportunity to heal masculinity. And Omid Safi’s frustration at a seemingly innocuous question. Incisive and insightful words on the deeper truths in our daily encounters — from our columnists and new voices, too."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Who we’re not considering when we talk about guns, from Dorit Price-Levine. Courtney Martin on #metoo as an opportunity to heal masculinity. And Omid Safi’s frustration at a seemingly innocuous question. Incisive and insightful words on the deeper truths in our daily encounters — from our columnists and new voices, too."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/22636844_161172414469046_8471401938536103936_n.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/22636844_161172414469046_8471401938536103936_n.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Give Yourself a Chance to Sit With Your Reactions | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"36292":{"id":36292,"date":"2017-10-26T16:35:31","modified":"2017-10-26T16:35:31","slug":"courtney-martin-three-tensions-at-the-heart-of-fighting-racism-as-a-white-person","author":3,"title":"Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person","content":"\

Over the past few months, a group of friends and I — three of us white, one black — planned \a panel for the beloved Bioneers Conference\ on how white people, women in particular, can wake up and fight racism. Our conversations were wide-ranging, but one of the patterns that emerged was tensions.\

\n\

There is a series of tensions that we believe white people have to hold if we are going to effectively and eternally be part of fighting racism. They are deeply indebted to the wisdom and influence of many women of color whom we have been in conversation with or read over the years.\

\n\

We offer a few of them up to you in case they are helpful on your journey (and, \as I’ve argued before\, it is a lifelong journey):\

\n\

\1. Pause and slow down vs. take action.\\

\n\

As a white person, it is easy to read the news of another police shooting and want to give money to the \Black Lives Matter movement\. Not a bad instinct, truth be told. If more of us redistributed our wealth (white people hold \90 percent of the wealth\ in America despite only being \60 percent of the current population\), a lot of change would take place.\

\n\

But, until white people have the emotional fortitude to sit with the profound sadness of being part of a people that has enslaved and exploited for centuries, our action can only come from a shallow place, a place that doesn’t match the depth of the problem. We can end up in \a cycle of clicking on petitions and donating to causes\ as a way of staving off our own discomfort. Not only does it keep our potential as change-makers anemic, it keeps us feeling dissatisfied and compartmentalized. The lead-up to transformation is not paved with strategically-timed donations to the \ACLU\; it is thorny and painful and messy. As \Mia Birdsong\, one of the panelists, said, “If you’re not f-ing up, you’re not trying hard enough.”\

\n\

\2. Try to influence other white people to do anti-racist work vs. perform your own\ \anti-racism as a sort of ego-boost.\\

\n\

One of the things that white folks indisputably need to do if we are going to shift racial dynamics in this country is have real, hard conversations with our family and friends. Ideally, that happens within the context of a loving relationship, in person, maybe even around a dinner table at Thanksgiving. \Showing Up for Racial Justice\, an entity organizing white people to fight racism, actually has a \Thanksgiving hotline\ set up so people can get support on these kinds of conversations in real time!\

\n\

It’s not always realistic to have those kinds of heart-to-hearts. Sometimes we want to influence our social network via Facebook or some other means. I know that posting a brilliant article by \Brittney Cooper\ to my nearly 4,000 friends, the majority of them white, is a worthwhile way to use my influence. Yet, when does the posting of that piece become more about how I want other people to see me rather than how I want them to see the world? How can I tell the difference? It’s one of those things that only shows up internally, so the more we pause and check in with our own motivational truth, the better we get at doing things from a genuine place.\

\n\

\3. De-center whiteness and learn about other cultures vs. objectify, co-opt, and/or disrupt sacred spaces.\\

\n\

No doubt many of you have \heard the brilliant Heather McGhee\. She spoke right before our panel this year and told \the now famous story\ of how a guy named Gary from Indiana called up a C-SPAN show she was on and admitted to being racist and earnestly asked for her help in changing. Heather and Gary have now become friends in real life, and Gary has been on a journey to read about and experience cultures outside of his own, including, according to Heather, showing up at a black church. I cringed when I head her share this detail because it reminded me of one of the other common tensions that white people must struggle with.\

\n\

On the one hand, we have to de-center whiteness in our lives. We should be deliberately consuming media made by people of color (\The Read\, \Very Smart Brothas\, \Blavity\, \Radio Menea\, \Muslim Girl\, etc.). We should be creating and pursuing spaces where we can build bonds with people of color. Friendship is not only the most foundational element of a happy, healthy life, but of radical social and political transformation, too. Proximity is where it’s at!\

\n\

Yet, we have to make sure that we are not falling into the all-too-common traps of cultural appropriation (the adoption of the elements of one culture by members of another culture) or “collecting” friends of color as a way to feel better about your own inescapable racism. We have to make sure we’re not disrupting spaces, often spaces that people of color have fought tooth-and-nail to protect, that are designed for the sacred connection of people of color with one another. Some of this is obvious — don’t show up at a mosque unless you’re invited. Some of this is more subtle and goes back to building our muscle to be self-aware and check in about our motivational truth. And, of course, look for signs of how we are affecting those around us. If you’re trying to make friends from a transactional, objectifying place, folks aren’t going to respond with warmth. Read the room.\

\n\

All of this adds up to a wiser way for white people to pursue lives of meaning, to be part of shifting culture and power, to make our lives — as small and insignificant as each one may be \in the scheme of a daunting racist history and present\ — matter. It’s more complicated than I was socialized to believe it was, and yet, I am starting to understand just how rewarding it can be. Heather McGhee said:\

\n\
\

\“We have to tell the many stories of how white supremacy is materially and psychologically harmful to white people.”\\

\
\n\

Agreed; \and\ we have to start telling the story of how being part of challenging and dismantling white supremacy is one way to grow up, get more genuine, experience the joy and pleasure of boundary-breaking friendships, shed delusions of superiority, stop worshipping individuality, and pursue spiritual maturity. It won’t make you a “good white person,” but it will make you a better human.\

\n","excerpt":"\

The fruit of working for racial justice lies in the discomfort and the mess — but only if we acknowledge the lessons those tensions have to teach us. On negotiating the tricky path of making change with authenticity and constant self-reflection.\

\n","terms":[2,5370,7,320,8,133],"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":36204,"slug":"omid-safi-how-can-we-live-beautifully-in-an-age-of-vitriol","title":"How Can We Live Beautifully in an Age of Vitriol?","date":"2017-10-25 15:46:01","path":"/blog/omid-safi-how-can-we-live-beautifully-in-an-age-of-vitriol/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-how-can-we-live-beautifully-in-an-age-of-vitriol/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GettyImages-662184808.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":35775,"slug":"broderick-greer-when-you-try-to-change-people-thats-not-love-its-domination","title":"When You Try to Change People That's Not Love, It's Domination","date":"2017-10-27 15:44:13","path":"/blog/broderick-greer-when-you-try-to-change-people-thats-not-love-its-domination/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/broderick-greer-when-you-try-to-change-people-thats-not-love-its-domination/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GettyImages-841891226.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":"2017-10-26T21:35:31","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=36292"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-10-26T21:35:31","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-three-tensions-at-the-heart-of-fighting-racism-as-a-white-person/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/35249252084_789acc54ec_o.jpg?fit=1024%2C681&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Jefferson County Public Schools","photographerUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/jcpsdep/35249252084/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/jcpsdep/35249252084/","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/courtney-martin-three-tensions-at-the-heart-of-fighting-racism-as-a-white-person/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-three-tensions-at-the-heart-of-fighting-racism-as-a-white-person/","disqusIdentifier":"36292 http://onbeing.org/?p=36292","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":32230,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-the-painful-and-liberating-practice-of-facing-my-own-racism/","urlMeta":{"origin":36292,"position":0},"title":"The Painful and Liberating Practice of Facing My Own Racism","date":"July 6, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Shame and defensiveness about racism are not the path to change. Our columnist extends a challenge to white progressives, and to herself: to face the reality of deeply embedded racism directly, and to resolve to change the prejudices that remain.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":21053,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/yolanda-pierce-a-fragile-hope-has-been-broken-by-my-white-brothers-and-sisters/","urlMeta":{"origin":36292,"position":1},"title":"A Fragile Hope Has Been Broken By My White Brothers and Sisters","date":"November 22, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"An African-American professor who has spent her life building bridges across racial divides questions whether she can continue knowing that four out of five white Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":36725,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-we-can-do-better-than-not-all-men/","urlMeta":{"origin":36292,"position":2},"title":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”","date":"November 15, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"On joining our individual reckoning with injustice with the practical work of changing the broken structures that affect our lives.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-three-tensions-at-the-heart-of-fighting-racism-as-a-white-person/"},{"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":"Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"The fruit of working for racial justice lies in the discomfort and the mess — but only if we acknowledge the lessons those tensions have to teach us."},{"property":"og:description","content":"The fruit of working for racial justice lies in the discomfort and the mess — but only if we acknowledge the lessons those tensions have to teach us."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"The fruit of working for racial justice lies in the discomfort and the mess — but only if we acknowledge the lessons those tensions have to teach us."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/35249252084_789acc54ec_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/35249252084_789acc54ec_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"36368":{"id":36368,"date":"2017-11-01T16:31:25","modified":"2017-11-07T23:03:48","slug":"trent-gilliss-how-might-we-face-our-own-hubris-better","author":2,"title":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?","content":"\

Inquiry before advocacy. We are a project that values this approach to \living an examined life\. When we enter into any space with inquiry-based curiosity, we begin to understand ourselves and the issues we’re troubled by.\

\n\

We live in an era where anger is abundant — and understandably so. Gone unchecked, it can form a thick callus of certainty and self-righteousness. Columns by \Parker\, \Courtney\, and \Omid\ demonstrate how we might face our own hubris with courage, humility, and gratitude for our anger and gifts.\

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Mari Lezhava\ / Unsplash / Public Domain Dedication (CC0)) \\\
\
\n\

\Parker Palmer | \\\Owning Up to My Toxic Biases\\\
\nIf there’s one thing I know about Parker, it’s that he’s lived a life of self-introspection and self-criticism. And I think that’s what so many readers found appealing about his column this week: his willingness to challenge his own assumptions and privilege… even in his 78th year:\

\n\
\

\“Anger isn’t the problem. The problem is getting hooked on anger — addicted to an emotion that gives you a fleeting high but leaves you feeling worse, all the while robbing you of well-being and creating an insatiable desire for the next hit. Being hooked saps me of energy and harms my health. Worse still, it diverts me from taking personal responsibility for what’s going on right now.”\\

\
\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (Jefferson County Public Schools / Flickr ) \\\
\
\n\

\Courtney Martin | \\\Three Tensions at the Heart of Fighting Racism as a White Person\\\
\nMaking change with renewed self-reflection and authenticity requires work. Dealing with the discomfort and the messiness of working for racial justice is where the lessons lie:\

\n\
\

\“Look for signs of how we are affecting those around us. If you’re trying to make friends from a transactional, objectifying place, folks aren’t going to respond with warmth. Read the room.”\\

\
\n\
\\\"Demonstrators\\
\\(\Tercio Teixeira\ / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

\Omid Safi | \\\How Can We Live Beautifully in an Age of Vitriol?\\\
\nIt’s difficult not to meet anger with anger. But, Omid asks, can we be better people and step away from a confrontation in which no one wins?\

\n\
\

\“How do we live beautifully when so much of dialogue is ‘marketized’ based on how many people we can arouse to one side, immediately capitalizing on division and bifurcations? When conversation seems based less on listening and nuance and more on scoring points and eviscerating the perceived virtual opposition? Where is not just the common ground but the higher ground?”\\

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

\Musa Okwonga | \\\Harvey Weinstein, and the Crisis in Masculinity\\\
\nThis post isn’t so much about the Hollywood producer and more about men of all kinds. Musa tells the brutal story of a friend (Mark) that left the author struck dumb:\

\n\
\

\“I don’t think I had the perfect response to Mark. Nowhere near, and I’m not proud of it. And that is what this article is about, in a sense. It’s about not waiting to be perfect, it’s about doing the best work we can right now. It’s about drawing a line, and acting – about trying to make sure that men like Mark feel that little bit less entitled, so women can go about their lives in a little less danger. Since then I have tried to be better. And I am not naturally confrontational, so if I can do it then I am sure a lot of other men can too.”\\

\
\n\

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

\n","excerpt":"\

A Harvard dean lists his five essential questions of life. Our editor-in-chief shares his key readings on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one’s hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age.\

\n","terms":[2,5410,5362,314,523,631,7,573,10],"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":"video","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"\","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"http://us4.campaign-archive.com/?u=c4ce343e5cb83e8b16dffbf08&id=7a2d3cde24&e=5dac384fb8","prevPost":{"id":36369,"slug":"omid-safi-you-know-youre-an-immigrant-when","title":"You Know You're An Immigrant When...","date":"2017-11-01 16:27:48","path":"/blog/omid-safi-you-know-youre-an-immigrant-when/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-you-know-youre-an-immigrant-when/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/31915208504_d15de00a65_b.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":36417,"slug":"courtney-martin-a-couple-of-truths-about-adulthood-that-no-one-tells-you","title":"A Couple of Truths About Adulthood That No One Tells You","date":"2017-11-02 16:01:10","path":"/blog/courtney-martin-a-couple-of-truths-about-adulthood-that-no-one-tells-you/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-a-couple-of-truths-about-adulthood-that-no-one-tells-you/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/33303923510_ef19023868_o.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":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-11-01T21:31:25","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=36368"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-11-08T04:03:48","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-how-might-we-face-our-own-hubris-better/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/686059254.jpg?fit=594%2C396&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"WELCH, WV - MAY 20: Ronald Collins waits in line for free groceries at the Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank outside of the struggling coal mining town of Welch on May 20, 2017 in Welch, West Virginia. The popular food bank has a monthly distribution which helps hundreds of local families, many working in the coal industry, make ends meet. West Virginia, a state where President Donald Trump won in a landslide by defeating Hillary Clinton 67.9 percent to 26.2 percent, is also one of the nations poorest states where nearly one in five West Virginians struggled to afford basic necessities in 2015. The state has continued to see a surge in male unemployment and an epidemic of opioid use among its population. 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But, how do we avoid the narrowness of this emotion and not let it consume us?","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":36001,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","urlMeta":{"origin":36368,"position":2},"title":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases","date":"October 17, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?"},{"property":"og:title","content":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-how-might-we-face-our-own-hubris-better/"},{"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 Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Trent Gilliss with his curated column: on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one's hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Trent Gilliss with his curated column: on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one's hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Trent Gilliss with his curated column: on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one's hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/686059254.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/686059254.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better? | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"36858":{"id":36858,"date":"2017-11-18T09:00:40","modified":"2017-11-21T13:12:14","slug":"trent-gilliss-chances-to-do-better-are-all-around-us","author":2,"title":"Chances to Do Better Are All Around Us","content":"\

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

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Amy Morris\ / Flickr ) \\\
\
\n\

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

\n\
\

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

\
\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Koichi Ito\ / Flickr / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

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

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Charlotte Gonzalez\ / Flickr / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

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

\n\
\

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

\
\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Paulette Wooten\ / Unsplash / Public Domain Dedication (CC0)) \\\
\
\n\

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

\n\
\

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

\
\n\

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

\n\

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

\n\

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

\n\

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

\n\
\\\"\"\\
\\\\ (\Just Not Sports\ / YouTube ) \\\
\
\n\

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

\n\

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

\n","excerpt":"\

A video of men reading #MoreThanMean tweets to female sports journalists is difficult, but important to watch. 119 science haiku form a poetic periodic table. Ali Schultz on reclaiming what’s in shadow for the better. And more ideas worth pondering from Parker Palmer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Omid Safi, and Ministry of Ideas, curated by Trent Gilliss.\

\n","terms":[2,5410,5362,314,2339,366,523,46,26,7,607,2067,102,22],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":2,"slug":"trent-gilliss","description":"\

was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

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is a monthly columnist for \On Being\. She is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of many books, including \Love Your Enemies\, \Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation\, and \Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace\. Her most recent work is \\Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection\\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the co-author of \Love Your Enemies\. Her other books include \Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness\, \Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation\, and \Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace\.\

\n","name":"Sharon Salzberg","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SharonSalzbergHeadshot2015-1.jpeg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.sharonsalzberg.com/about/","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/sharon-salzberg/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@SharonSalzberg","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":36841,"slug":"parker-palmer-the-finest-gifts-are-intangible","title":"The Finest Gifts Are Intangible","date":"2017-11-21 13:02:21","path":"/blog/parker-palmer-the-finest-gifts-are-intangible/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-the-finest-gifts-are-intangible/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/3599597595_4542f11554_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\\\.\\

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is the founder and director of the Spirit House Project. She is one of 50 African Americans to be spotlighted in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.\

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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.\

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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.\

\n","slug":"parker-j-palmer","name":"Parker J. Palmer","profileImage":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/•Parker-J.-Palmer-Photo—Sept.-2017.jpg","positionTitle":"columnist","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","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"@ParkerJPalmer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1038":{"id":1038,"description":"\

Born in Germany during the same year that construction began on the Berlin Wall, Miguel Clark Mallet grew up as an Army brat on military bases across the United States and in Latin America. Early in life, he became fascinated with both spirituality and language, a connection fed by his years as an altar boy, and cemented by the nun in his 8th grade year of Catholic school who taught both his English and religion classes. Mallet originally studied journalism in college (he particularly enjoyed copy editing), eventually earning a bachelor's degree in English and then an MFA in fiction.\

\n\

He spent the bulk of the next 20 years as a college-level writing teacher and writing program administrator in North Carolina, Iowa, and Arizona, where he earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition; he also had a short stint as a technical editor. Mallet's current interests center on the intersection of the personal, the social (especially involving race), and the spiritual, and on writing — its ambiguity and fluidity — as a means to explore that intersection. He believes in writing as a tool for both reflection, disruption, and transformation. Currently at work on both a speculative fiction novel and a long work blending verse, memoir, polemic, and fiction, he writes, runs, and lives in the Twin Cities.\

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