Showing posts from August 18, 2019

Dean Spade: On Normal Life

Dean Spade is an Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law, a founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people who are low-income and/or people of color.) In this thoughtful 2014 interview he discusses the subject of his book "Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law."

Tinkering with Intent

Delightful, creative and completely engaging, Blair Somerville's work defies description, and evokes a sense of magic. He lives in the remote town of Papatowai, on the South Island of New Zealand, and uses found materials and other curious objects to re-purpose into moving artworks. Blair realized early in life that he didn't need a lot to live, and that money and material possessions were not important. Instead he has chosen to value happiness, creativity, and well-being. He shares those values through his public gallery, where there is the chance to be irrevocably changed.

Conscience and Resistance

At 20 Scott Russell Sanders was faced with whether to join the Vietnam conflict or find "a refuge from the pressures of a society obsessed with buying stuff, having fun, and waging war." Influenced by Thomas Merton's essay, "Rain and the Rhinoceros" to make a critical choice which you can read about here, he goes on to explain in this beautiful essay how he has found a life for himself beyond violence, even as he recognizes that "we are in the world and part of it, and we are destroying everything because we are destroying ourselves spiritually, morally, and in every way."

Does a Meaningful Job Need to Burn You Out?

It's a gift when work is so meaningful that you'd do it for free. And that's also a problem.

By Michael F. Steger

I think of myself as a champion for meaningful work. I strive for it in my life, I try to help my children figure out what kind of work would be meaningful for them, and I support my partner in developing her work the way that makes her feel most fulfilled. As a researcher, I study meaning and I’ve written dozens of papers on the subject. I’ve found that work becomes meaningful when you are using the best of yourself to strive toward a purpose, which creates both a sense of personal fulfillment and positive outcomes in the world around you.

Indeed, studies show that people are happier, healthier, more engaged, more committed, and better-performing when their work is meaningful to them. These results seem to hold true whether you are working as a nurse or a custodian, whether you lead an international charity or Fortune 500 company, or whether you work in a wareho…

What Shapes Our Idea of Who Can Be American?

A new study finds that people in more diverse places have a broader view of what it is to be "American"

By Zaid Jilani

Are Asian-Americans really American?

Consciously and unconsciously, many people don’t think so. Despite being on track to become America’s largest immigrant group, research has shown that Asian-Americans are often unconsciously seen as less American than those of European descent, more so than other minorities. This implicit relationship between being white and being American is particularly challenging in an increasingly diverse country.

What factors are at work in shaping perceptions of how much Asian-Americans belong in the United States? In a paper published this past spring, two San Diego State University psychologists—Thierry Devos and Melody Sadler—delved into this question. Their key finding should actually give us hope that our definition of American is expanding to include many different kinds of people—but so far this change is concentrated only in ce…

Empowering the World One Bicycle at a Time

Knowledge@Wharton and Michale Useem interview Dave Neiswander, CEO of World Bicycle Relief on their unique business model. The desire to help in a world crisis and providing disaster relief has led to this non-profit that designs for purpose. They are creatively combining philanthropy with social enterprise to achieve results.They now provide their Buffalo bicycles, over 450,000 in 19 countries, to non-profits like Unicef, World Vision and Care Internaional. There number one advice for business - is to know your customer, and know your environment. Listening to the people who will be using your product and creating models of partnership.

Four Ways to Support Teens’ Social-Emotional Development at School

We need to appeal to teens’ need for status and respect for SEL to work in high schools.

By Amy L. Eva

According to a 2018 survey, many high school students don’t believe their schools have done enough to help them deal with stress (51 percent), understand their emotions (49 percent), and solve disagreements (46 percent), and fewer than half of graduates surveyed feel prepared for life after high school.

We’re learning that some social and emotional learning approaches simply aren’t as effective with teens as they are with children. When teaching relationship skills, teens can sometimes find direct teaching (in the form of lectures, videos, and homework) to be patronizing and heavy-handed.

Why? Teens need more opportunities to dig deeper—to actively explore who they are, what drives them, and who they want to be in the world. So how can we better address teens’ developmental needs?

Researcher David Yeager and his colleagues argue that it’s important to address teens’ needs for status (“Ho…

It Could Be Worse

In this engaging TED talk, Michael Eselun, an oncology chaplain at UCLA, explores compassion through the lens of a common coping perspective used nearly universally when the going gets tough--"it could be worse."

25 things about getting old that I wish I had known by 25

I turn 38 today. That’s just one too many to make a list as long as my age. Plus, I want to talk specifically about the house of mirrors that is aging. That’s a slightly smaller house than the house of mirrors that is life itself.

by David Kadavy

You will get older. This seems obvious, but it never feels like it will happen. Learn this before it’s too late.You will realize you used to be an idiot. That may be a harsh way of putting it, but if you don’t think you were wrong x years ago, you’re missing out on growth.So, your priorities and concerns will change.Long-term planning is hard, because you don’t expect the future to happen, and you want something different now than what you’ll want in the future.Look back on what you used to think (journals are good for this), to help yourself imagine how you might change in the future. Plan accordingly.People you love will die. This is hard to grasp until it happens. Hopefully this happens with your pet turtle before your grandmother, and your …

The Power of MLK's Anger

Unlike many who struggle to channel their anger into positive action, Martin Luther King Jr. learned from an early age how he could transform this emotion into something greater. In this compelling article from NPR, King's complex relationship with anger and injustice is explored. "Looking at how King dealt with anger reveals its dual nature--how it can be a motivating force for change, while also containing the potential for destruction." While he was not immune to angry outbursts, King sought to resolve tensions through forgiveness, redemption, and love. As he grew older, he realized that non-violent resistance offered a way to channel anger through peaceful protest. Keep reading to learn more about how King's early experiences shaped his relationship with anger.