Through the intimacy of chosen mother-daughterhood, a woman navigates the fraught territory of craving Chinese identity as a white American — and recognizes that some identities cannot be earned or learned, but are gifts passed on.
Be the first to try out our new On Being discovery tool for exploring hundreds of conversations in our archives! And, excellent writings on privilege, solitude, and productivity to accompany your listening.
Can being lost be productive? Our columnist on lingering in the mystery of our purpose — and surrendering to the paths that choose us.
Our Letter from Loring Park opens our application process for the inaugural On Being Gathering. And, articles on the complexities of family and love, giving up on the myth of perfection, grappling with inherited prejudice and being recognized for who we are, and words from Dorothy Day on a revolution that starts within.
How our tech is distorting our attention; wisely examining places where we might grow, rather than scrutinizing our strengths; acknowledging each other’s full identities structurally and spiritually; and revisiting the visionary work of theologian and sociologist Peter Berger.
How can we nurture our identity and faith if we don’t feel recognized for who we are? A reflection on yearning for a community that truly sees us.
Do we second-guess ourselves to the point of poisoning the trust in our own abilities?
Omid Safi on the experience of being institutionally invisible — and how our structures and spirits might change to acknowledge each other’s entire being.
Our editor in chief turns to other sources for understanding and pondering: brain science on why our brains are wired for hate, African-American spirituals as a monument to our nation’s history and resilience, and focusing our attention on what really matters.
In the wake of the attacks in Manchester, an artist’s impassioned appeal to the West to cast off the scourge of collective responsibility for terrorism — and embrace the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims as partners not adversaries in the battle against extreme violence.
The personal growth that comes from activities we do for joy, rather than status or reward — whether it’s painting murals or sprucing up cars, pick-up basketball or beekeeping.
Our stories hold power no matter the circumstances of our lives. A Hmong-American woman looks on her father’s modest life, and her own — through refugee camps in Thailand to their new life in the American Midwest — and reveals lessons from the powerless on our inherent dignity, even through our most vulnerable times.
Reflections on the gravity of our words, online and off; taking a stand for our own well being; and the debut of Gen Z — summoning a new generation into the working world.
Challenging the notion of the “Muslim world,” what dedication to peace looks like, and the weight words — and actions — carry.
A young man becomes a listening nomad; a missing violin brings a musician closer to herself; a community of Detroiters meditates with Sylvia Boorstein; Courtney Martin mourns the freedoms of childlessness. Reflections on the unexpected places where we find deep truth in ourselves and each other.
Is it enough to be tolerant of each other? Omid Safi yearns for more, and imagines a more loving embrace of our diversity.
How your personality changes over a lifetime; a tribute to the unbreakable spirit of a legendary poet; the virtue of not getting exactly what you want; and hiring not just minds, but hearts, too.
A Greek Orthodox woman’s meditation on loss, redemption, and finding belonging in the Easter season.
Creating a false division between life and work has its own pitfalls.
The human soul is a thing to name and celebrate, no matter how we understand its fickle, mysterious nature.
College rejection and acceptance letters are in the post this time of year. Our columnist drops truth on how rejection can teach us to find value in ourselves, and not in the affirmation of the decision-making process of an admissions department.
A tribute to Maya Angelou for her birthday — with a reflection on her poem “Still I Rise,” a fiery assertion of self.
Wisdom on mortality from Ira Byock; a young woman’s reflection on magic and memory; Sharon Salzberg on recalibrating brain bias; and Krista’s five approaches to a wise life.
A young woman on growing up half-Chinese and half-Irish in Southern California’s largest Asian enclave, and the journey to understanding her “hapa” identity not as incoherent parts, but as a perfect whole.
The elemental closeness of a mother to her children, and to her own body.
In the resonant voice of Valarie Kaur, Omid Safi finds hope for the painful but fruitful path that we must take forward as a nation.
There’s a profound solitude in asking the challenging, radical question. A Muslim reformer finds a deep and consoling truth in the face of this reality in the voice of a poet.
A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.
Courtney offers up a fear- and judgment-free space, and draws forth the perspectives of women who don’t have kids, by choice or otherwise.
On the approach to his 78th birthday, Parker offers up a gift: six learnings that prove that our personal evolution spans the whole length of life, and continues in the generations we nurture forward.
Whether to have children is one of the most life-defining decisions we will make. And there is joy and meaning to be found on either path — as well as endless challenges and frustration. Courtney Martin on why the best place to turn for guidance is inward.
The stories we tell about love and life are the root of dreams and frustration, alike. Sharon Salzberg on how “unstitching and reweaving” the narratives we hold can lead to a more generous understanding of our relationships, and ourselves.
Prescient words from Parker Palmer, Omid Safi, Courtney E. Martin, Broderick Greer, and recommended listens/reads from Tim Ferriss and The Economist.
A Muslim man reflects on the pain of citizenship in this moment and the fragile hope he holds from the nation he and his loved ones call home.
Our dreams can be great motivators. But what if what we aspire to is already within our grasp? A poem on letting go of the stress of ambition and embracing our innate potential.
On finding love, teaching our children, and having gratitude for the simple things — words and music to help us seek out the best in ourselves and our neighbors.
At its best learning can also be a spiritual quest. A community of millennials is forging new networks for lifelong learning — that take the soul into account.
From the mysterious alchemy of place to gut feelings and nature’s enveloping soundtrack — investigations into the scenery that colors our inner and outer lives.
A lesson on trusting on trusting our gut about the lives we’re called to lead, and the unexpected ways that might manifest.
Should we reframe the American narrative? Is there an art to conversation? Can sports refs teach us a thing or two about democracy? Questions and conversations that are pointing us north from all the niches of life.
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.
From celebrations of Leonard and Leon to the good and the bad in the Electoral College — reflections to challenge our relationships with technology, with busyness, with history, and with each other.
We cast ballots for the candidates who stand for our values. But is our political instinct also a quest for identity? An exploration of the desire for belonging at the heart of our voting drive.
t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…
The final week of this presidential election season calls for a poem from Mary Oliver, Parker Palmer on building lives of meaning, and insightful words on “perennials,” the anatomy of an apology, and flourishing at home again.
A life doesn’t have to be extraordinary to have an impact in the world. A reminder that we can build lives that have meaning, no matter what cards we’re dealt.
The human experience is rife with messiness and frustration, especially in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Trent Gilliss shares thoughts on embracing the turmoil and finding ways to grow from it.
We spend lifetimes answering that universal (and universally vexing) question: “What am I for?” From patron saints to superhero alter egos, Angie Thurston explores the diverse ways people are discovering, creating, and boldly asserting their own identities.
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.
We bring different aspects of ourselves to each interaction, to each unique circumstance. But where do we find space to be true to ourselves? Courtney Martin on the radical, courageous act of embracing ourselves in all our flaws.