To change another to better fit our own ideals is not love; it is domination. Instead, to truly love is to engage joyfully in our differences and to bring out the best in our unique potential — in personal relationships, and in community.
Asking for help in hard times can be difficult, sometimes accompanied by shame. Our columnist offers practical tools for sharing and lifting the burdens of loved ones who have fallen on hard times.
In the midst of chaos and anxiety, a selected list of restorative words on death and love in the wake of a hurricane, on the art of risk-taking, and on stepping back and looking at our actions and reactions anew.
To make the world a better place is an intimidating challenge. But what if we focused on our immediate surroundings?
The questions of who matters and what’s really important run through each entry in this week’s edition of Letter from Loring Park.
Love and gratitude can be daring, disruptive acts in a world that insists on conflict and endless craving.
Inspired by the quiet eloquence of Hafez and Naomi Shihab Nye, Parker puts forth an appeal for the deliberate, loving care that public life requires of us in these times.
We often speak about how best to heal the world around us, but it’s also essential to nurture ourselves. A reflection on self-care as a crucial part of healing one another.
Literature has the unique power to make us feel less alone in the world by elevating our deepest stories and connecting us beyond the divides of time, space, and politics.
Our columnists’ vision for a brave future of masculine tenderness; a green-thumb approach to business; and a traveling reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”
A recent college graduate embarks on a 4,000-mile walking trek across the United States. His only goal is to listen. A powerful story of encounter and lending a kind and judgment-free ear, even when it frightens him.
Can we learn to be tender even if we can’t fix each other’s pain? How would our world be different if men had permission to be vulnerable in public?
Three wisdom keepers on the inner voice of compassion in the mystical and contemplative traditions
What does it take to do the messy work compassion through incredible obstacles? Rami Nashashibi, Naomi Tutu and Kevin Cosby on courage and living compassion.
With wisdom and humor, Karen Armstrong and a cadre of American mayors, grapple with the question of cultivating compassion in our cities. Join the live stream from the 2017 Festival of Faiths.
Is it enough to be tolerant of each other? Omid Safi yearns for more, and imagines a more loving embrace of our diversity.
Lovingkindness isn’t a sweet and soft thing. It’s a rigorous transformation of mind and spirit, and it’s the first step to cultivating a sense of connection to those around us.
Anger can be a powerful motivator. But we must also remember to build something bolder on the foundation of expansive love.
The aspirational ideals of our nation call us to embody compassion toward the stranger, and those whom others might cast out.
Witnessing the divorce of his friends, our columnist remembers the rituals of celebration. But, what would it be like to have similar rituals of support when things fall apart?
An immunologist thinks through the deeper sources of election stress, and offers up cognitive and spiritual solutions to the anxiety we feel.
Hope isn’t always soothing and soft. A pragmatic embrace of compassion, kindness, and truth-telling in the face of America’s rifts.
Our body politic suffers from deep wounds, seen and unseen, and all real. Wisdom gleaned from a beloved baseball team on resilience in the face of heartbreak, and the spirit of unity that will move us into a new age.
Compassion is a virtue, but do we direct it inward as much as outward? Parker Palmer gleans wisdom from Mary Oliver on mending ourselves so that we might be better companions to loved ones in need.
Independence is seen as a hallmark of success, but is it wise to deny our connection to one another? Sharon Salzberg on how unity and compassion can bolster individual strength.
Learning from our mistakes doesn’t mean we have to obsess over our failures. Parker Palmer and Mary Oliver on the space nature provides for catharsis, so that we can move on to self-forgiveness.
Guided by Naomi Shihab Nye’s beloved poem “Kindness,” Parker Palmer reflects on our capacity to emerge from the depth of suffering, into the fullness of compassion.
Collected counsel on forging meaning and joy from our suffering, and finding calm in times of tension.
Matthew Sanford, an innovator of adaptive yoga, on taking a new orientation to our physical change and pain, and the outward healing that can result.
Facing fear is easier said than done. Parker Palmer on having an empathetic imagination for the inner battles we’re all fighting, especially those we can’t see.
The rigors of medical school and practice weigh heavily on the inner lives of doctors. A pediatric doctor chronicles her journey with medicine and the challenge of compassion fatigue.
Homelessness is present on the streets of Denver each day. So are stories of resilience, compassion, and dignity even through life’s most difficult trials. A live-in volunteer at a Catholic Worker house realizes that we find home in those with whom we journey through our toughest moments.
The love that siblings share is complex, and something that perhaps only they can understand. Jane Gross with a note of appreciation, frustration, perplexity, and profound love for her little brother — and the wayward path they’ve walked together.
After an act of animal generosity by the imam of an Istanbul mosque, Omid Safi meditates on the meaning of true human kindness. A celebration of love extended beyond the borders of kinship, community, and species.
Pride for our identities and communities can be a source of strength. Pride can also lead us to forget empathy for those unlike us. A generous reminder that the reach of our compassion must stretch beyond the familiar.
Facing guns and mobs, Ukrainian priests offered a peaceful presence during last year’s protests in Kiev. Inspired by their willingness to be involed, an Anglican priest reflects on how we bridge the gap between contemplative practice and contemplative action.
In this culture of independence, the compassion of strangers can be surprising. After an unexpected fainting spell, our columnist finds that selflessness still abounds around us — even in the hearts of her fellow New Yorkers.
In periods of fear, the catalysts of panic can sometimes be ourselves. Courtney Martin on the importance of mitigating our own fight-or-flight response in order to retain our compassion and humanity toward one another.
The harmful cycle of guilt can devolve into cycles of self-hatred. Guiding words on the constructive work of remorse, which can be especially powerful when directed toward forgiving ourselves.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son’s loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
We desire to live in meaningful ways, but how do we do so in a rapidly moving modern world? A Benedictine oblate scribes seven principles to help live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.
It’s not easy to genuinely know who we are. The stories others tell about us and the labels society heaps upon us only add to that confusion. But, when we disentangle ourselves from these narratives, we may choose courage over fear and take new risks.
To celebrate the 80th birthday of the great spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg recounts her first encounter with him and the importance of his example — in words and in deed.
It’s all good this week. Stories of success, laughter, landscape, and renewed energy.
Violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering. But how do we turn the power of suffering toward new life? It depends on our willingness to exercise our hearts so that when suffering strikes, they are suppler and more able to break open to new life.
Our executive editor looks into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope, including an elegy for light, the lessons of hardship, and a piece in praise of chosen family.
With the ever-widening wealth gap between the rich and the poor, statistics abound. But they fail to animate the human spirit. Story is a way into history and “teaching our hearts how to live as choiceful human beings.”
Invoking the words of Heschel, a Muslim scholar hearkens back to the prophetic tradition and asks what it means to be morally responsible in a world of ISIS and American empire?
With the political season in full swing, a reminder that the great prophets were courageous, outrageous people who railed against the powers-that-be. And a poem by Mary Oliver.
How many of us are ready to step into the gaze of someone — including ourselves — who sees us as we really are?