If you want to lead others, learn to be alone with your thoughts. A penetrating contemplation of what great leadership requires: a steady independence of mind that only comes with solitude.
To learn the transgressions of men we admire feels like betrayal. But is forsaking them the only way forward? On redemption and taking up a more nuanced understanding of why people with power do bad things.
Kindred in mind and spirit, the legendary Christian and Jewish theologians shared a little-known companionship that was as deeply thoughtful as it was affectionate. Ursula Niebuhr commemorates the bond her husband shared with Rabbi Heschel — only preserved now in two letters and fond memory.
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.
Hand-picked by our editor-in-chief, perspectives on reimagining loved ones, the workplace, and the shape of community — from Ali Schultz on the false shine of office perks to what unity looks like, on the football field and off.
When it feels like our life has been turned upside-down, sometimes the greatest comfort isn’t advice or a solution, but having someone to simply endure alongside us.
An unexpected letter landed on our columnist’s doorstep the other day. It contains a surprising lesson on the meaning of community — and an opportunity to open up to a fellow flawed and striving human being.
A modern-day tragedy has befallen Omid: His iPhone has died. But there’s a deep lesson in this, too — on ensuring that our memories are stored in a deeper and more enduring place.
A woman’s evolving understanding of mortality, identity, and letting go — through a poem that has accompanied her through life and loss.
Acknowledging the limits of our own experience, and the spiritual challenge of building deep relationships with those outside our cultural comfort zones.
Listeners challenge all of us to grow after listening to our interview with Glenn Beck. A writer contemplates her preoccupation with death after he mother’s passing. How men can live longer if they nurture deep friendships. And how humor helps us survive — a preview of the new season of our Creating Our Own Lives podcast.
A lack of intimate friendships doesn’t just lead to loneliness; it can negatively impact your health, too. Courtney Martin on the particular importance of meaningful relationships between men — and how it can add a few years to men’s lives, to boot.
What if our relationship with God were more long, tender, even humorous?
Courtney shares the practical insight of a wise elder — on the tumultuous history we’ve lived through, and the work we must do to shape our future differently.
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.
A reflection on reimagining American identity, which may require us to break down our most basic assumptions about the society we live in in uncomfortable ways.
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.
How can we be more present to daily joys? What does it look like to engage with each other in our fullest capacity? Questions and meditations on community and identity from voices on our radar.
A true friendship doesn’t only bring support and joy, but also challenges us to grow. Omid Safi reflects on the importance of nurturing relationships that acknowledge our imperfections, and nourish the best in us.
After his childhood friend enlists in the IDF, a journalist of Lebanese heritage reflects on the journey of understanding he’s traveled with someone on the “other side” of the conflict.
From Game of Thrones to a biological time capsule in Norway, fascinating reads on what’s happening in our collective culture with wise meditations on mutual trust in our individual power to rise and thrive.
A mentor-mentee relationship, like any good one, requires commitment, openness, and honesty. Courtney Martin gives counsel on building relationships of mutual joy and learning with those in our lives whom we admire.
The catharsis of living up to challenge, in all walks of life — essays on powering through the hardest miles in a marathon to facing a crowd of unfamiliar strangers, to reckoning with one’s best and worst selves while reflecting in the solitude of the woods.
The most romantic relationships just may be our platonic friendships. But, as we age, it gets more difficult to establish new friendships with those of the same sex. Our columnist celebrates the inimitable joy of platonic courtship and female attachment.
Unexpected relationships can lead to deep and lasting learning and growth.
An unexpected exchange catalyzes a conversation about the essential truths of aphorisms and paring the excess without violating the mystery.
In response to Courtney Martin’s letter, Parker Palmer corresponds with his dear friend about the uncertainty of life. A contemplation on the value of being vulnerable and open to supportive friends.
What person or story comes to mind when you think of middle school? An open invitation to reflect and respond about your experience of early adolescence, in middle school or junior high.
When asked about love, people frequently use the word “need.” Sharon Salzberg analyzes this intermingling and why we should find a way to disentangle them to better understanding of real need, and real love.
The once thick, black line between personal and professional connections appears to be fading. Its replacement is a new kind of network rooted in our relatedness and built on the generosity authentic friendships.
For the end of Suicide Awareness Month, an elegy for a vibrant but fragile life unraveled by mental health — and one woman’s challenge to recognize love in the presence of desperation.
Forgiveness is not easily granted. But, summoning the deepest compassion for ourselves and others may allow both parties to move on without bitterness. Through the bittersweet story of her friend, Sharon Salzberg imparts a lesson about the shifting course of relationships and a path to peace.
Dogs and humans have lived alongside each other for thousands of years. Could it be that each species has impacted the evolution of the other? And could dogs be an essential element in human self-actualization?
In a culture of accumulation and hoarding, many are experiencing a growing exasperation with owning things that, as it turns out, aren’t necessary. Could the “sharing economy” help restore spiritual calm?
The Magic Hedge is an oasis on the outskirts of Chicago renowned for its excellent birdwatching. With the hopes of sighting of a rare bird, two friends venture forth to encounter small miracles, the warmth of unexpected community, and the blessings of stillness.
While eavesdropping, our columnist witnesses the intimacy of two strangers generously listening to one another — without an intent to save, fix, or advise. A lesson in witnessing over chicken wings.
Holidays like Passover create occasions for encounter, however strange they may be. And those encounters may lead to friendships that create new possibilities.
Some of the best things of the week: on quiet nobility, thin places, the fist of fate, severed friendships, and Malcolm X.
Closure may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Courtney Martin on the death of a friendship and the insatiable, sometimes unsatisfying, need to create silver linings where none exist.
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.
We don’t choose our family, as the old saying goes, but we do choose our friends. An encouragement to discover people to surround ourselves with and scout friends who beget our culture.
Our executive editor’s weekly missive: a season of autumn invitations, a thoughtful essay on male friendship, confessions of an accidental feminist, a joyful contemplation on being Mormon in the modern world, and an unexpected moment of generosity.
Men’s ability to maintain sustained, intimate friendships with other men may be the key to unlocking a revolution of a new type of connection — and redefining what it means to be a man in the 21st century.
Inspired by the simplicity and power of Naomi Shihab Nye’s story, here’s a list of five simple things we can do to help with healing the heart of democracy.
When a millennial woman hears about Buddhist teachings on overcoming anger through love, she decides to try out a meditation practice experiment on her own social media feeds.
“Even if you like living alone, that doesn’t always mean you want to be alone.” ~Lisa Napoli
Each Friday night, the author and journalist opens her door and throws a “party” in her LA abode. Anybody can come and socialize. It’s such a lovely idea and seems like a great way to build relationships and foster community in one’s own way. Great idea!
A poem inspired by our Civil Conversations Project dialogue on the future of marriage — written in Newark airport by Pádraig Ó Tuama.