Showing posts from March 3, 2019

We Contain Multitudes

"It's possible to be a person with all of a multitude of experiences all at the same time. You can be a kid barely removed from a trailer park with an illiterate grandfather and disruptive mental illness in your family and go to Duke and study Shakespeare and build a successful career and eventually go to New York City and take a company public as a CEO. I actually think we would be better served if we had more people in leadership positions in public and private life who have known what it's like to be broke, to see the tragedy of a grandfather reaching the end of his life not knowing how to read, to win admission to a fancy school and feel like you shouldn't be there at first but then dig deep and carve out your place there and in the world beyond. Any leader of any organization of sufficient size will work with a diverse group of people and having a diverse set of experiences can only help build empathy." Chad Dickerson the co-founder and former C…

Therapy Dogs Help Kids With Trauma Tell Their Stories

Companions for Courage in Orlando, Florida, is a community outreach program that provides therapy dogs for children who have experienced trauma and need to confront that trauma in court. The dogs provide a sense of security, creating a bond with child victims, giving them the courage and confidence to face the court situation. The dogs enable the children to stay calm and tell their stories. The children feel protected with a big dog at their side as they face the reason for their trauma. A dog truly can be their best friend in this challenging experience.

The lazy person’s guide to cybersecurity: minimum effort for maximum protection


Are you tired of that acquaintance who keeps bugging you with computer questions? Do you avoid visiting certain people because you know you will spend most of the evening cleaning up their machine?

My uncle Bob is one of those people. He’s a nice guy, but with computers, he’s not just an accident waiting to happen—he’s an accident waiting to become a catastrophe. To keep Uncle Bob’s computer safe without blowing up the Internet, we need to give him the simplest of instructions that result in protecting him against as much as possible. Uncle Bob needs a lazy person’s guide to cybersecurity.

It’s not that Uncle Bob is lazy. It’s that he’s overwhelmed by the amount of stuff he has to do to keep his data and devices secure. Multiple passwords, reading through EULAs, website cookies that he clicks “agree” to without really paying attention—they’re giving him a serious case of security fatigue. And as his helper, you’re probably pretty over it, too.

The funny thing is, with adeq…

Six Ways to Help Girls Become Strong Women in a Sexist World

A new book reviews some of the pressures girls face in today’s culture and what we can do to help them.

By Jill Suttie

In recent years, there have been alarming reports of increased anxiety among young people. Trends like the growing influence of social media, increased competition to get into college, and changing sexual norms put tremendous pressures on our kids.

But many of these pressures are exacerbated for girls—especially girls of color, argues psychologist Lisa Damour, author of the new book Under Pressure. Girls face headwinds that boys don’t, including a narrow standard of beauty, prejudice around their abilities, and pressures to be sexual before they are ready. Her book is a call to parents and mentors to both understand these forces and help equip girls to handle them, for the sake of their mental health.

Damour’s book is full of case studies that help illuminate the problems. For example, in one chapter she tells the story of Nicki, a ninth-grade girl suffering from extreme …

Seven Generations of Love

"The ranch, it turns out, is no ordinary ranch. It is a 13,000-acre property nestled next to Laramie Peak that Mark's grandfather bought in 1945. It is made up of hills and valleys, meadows and creeks, plains and buttes, caves and waterfalls. Sage and cheat grass cover the ground, and pine trees spring up near the hills. Giant granite boulders give way to cliffs and streams. All kinds of wildlife live there: bison, elk, whitetail deer, coyotes, pronghorn antelope, mountain lions, bears, foxes, ravens, magpies, bald eagles and more. It used to be a cattle ranch. But twenty years ago, they sold all the cattle, took down all the interior fences... and bought a herd of buffalo. The thing about buffalo is that they are so massive and powerful and un-tame-able that on a bison ranch, you just let them roam free. You just let the land be the land, and the animals be the animals." A visit to her boyfriend's beloved family ranch catalyzed Kim Morrow's inquiry …

Finding Awe in Every Step

How can we feel connected to the world around us? Singer Diana Gameros tries to cultivate a sense of awe in the most unlikely of places.


Diana Gameros: I moved to the United States when I was 13 years old to live with my family in Michigan, and then I spent two years here and then went back to Mexico and then decided to return in 2003.

When I moved to the United States I found inspiration or I found this motivation o write about the things that I was feeling about being away and I think, you know, I was inspired by folk music to create these songs.

For me it’s very humbling to know that, you know, some of the stories and the messages I give, or that I sing about, are resonating with other people whose stories are similar to mine. And, you know, I’ve I began to notice that they became a source of inspiration and of empowerment to them. And so I also see it as a as a responsibility to to use my platform. I …

Why You Should Prioritize Meaning in Your Everyday Life

Can simple, everyday actions make life more meaningful?

By Pninit Russo-Netzer

Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl suggested that the search for meaning is the primary motivation in human beings. It is an essential part of our existence, from young children asking “why” questions to make sense of the world to adults seeking more meaning at work or amid a midlife crisis.

Throughout history and across cultures, other social scientists, philosophers, religious scholars, poets, and laypeople alike have grappled with the all-important issue of meaning. Today, more and more research underscores that experiencing meaning may improve our well-being and help us cope and thrive. And the modern explosion of knowledge, abundance of choice, and fast pace of technology only make existential questions about meaning and purpose more pressing.

But meaning is hard to put our fingers on. The meaning of life—or even the meaning of our life—can feel like a big abstract question without any clea…

Three Minutes and a Pair of Socks

Our daily interactions have great potential: to shape our futures, our families, our life's work, or simply to brighten someone's day. We often don't know where a brief exchange with the checkout clerk might lead or how our kind words will impact a stranger. Yet sometimes we are given the gift of witnessing a single conversation's journey, gaining glimpses into the lives it touches along the way. In this heartwarming piece, writer Emily Barr shares how lending an ear to those in need can have profound results, and that no matter our circumstances, we each have the capacity to give and to receive.

Three Ways You Can Help Your Kid Be More Honest

It’s common for children as young as three to lie or cheat. Recent research suggests ways parents can cultivate honesty.

By Maryam Abdullah

When I leave birthday cakes to cool on the counter, I often come back to find craters in the layers—and my preschooler standing nearby with an ear-to-ear grin and crumbs around his mouth. I don’t need to ask him what happened, but I can’t help myself. “I don’t know! What in the world!,” he replies. 

Dishonesty is common among children (and adults) and begins as early as age three. Apart from lying to cover up a misdeed, children also commonly tell lies to be polite. In some ways, lie-telling is evidence that kids have reached important developmental milestones because it requires both cognitive and social maturity—understanding that others can have different beliefs from your own, being able to flexibly maneuver conflicting information in the mind, and recognizing societal expectations of when to be truthful and when to tell a lie.

While my son’s st…

Breaking Out of Our Resistance Bubble

Explore the intersection of spiritual journey and social change with this riveting interview from Sounds True and Van Jones, NY times best selling author, public speaker and host of the Van Jones show on CNN. He calls on our collective soulfulness, grounded into life, and our strong sense of self, joy and dignity. Van challenges us to work with others that are unlike ourselves, to be in the chaos and the pain of life and not run away.

What Is the True Cost of Polarization in America?

If Americans don’t learn to build bridges with each other, we may see more government shutdowns, lying, segregation—and even violence.

By Zaid Jilani, Jeremy Adam Smith

The longest government shutdown in history ended in late January. Once rare, government shutdowns have become more frequent, as the major parties fail to compromise enough to even keep the federal government funded and open.

The shutdowns are one consequence of rising social and political polarization in the United States. Polarization is not the same as disagreement about how to solve public policy problems, which is healthy and natural in a democracy. Polarization is about more than just having a different opinion than your neighbor about certain issues. Polarization occurs when we refuse to live next to a neighbor who doesn’t share our politics, or when we won’t send our children to a racially integrated school. The force that empowers polarization is tribalism: clustering ourselves into groups that compete against …