Showing posts from August 25, 2019

Wendell Berry on Caretaking

"In 2018, Helena Norberg-Hodge sat down with Wendell Berry for a far-reaching discussion. The two are giants of the local economy movement. Berry is a poet and activist, an author of over forty books. Norberg-Hodge founded Local Futures, which works to renew ecological, social, and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift toward economic localization.Together they touch on human nature, technology, experiential knowledge, agriculture policy, happiness, wildness, and local food systems. Through their discussion, Berry and Norberg-Hodge offer a critique of our economic system and show how the caretaking of the natural world and local communities are one and the same."

A Wall that Brings People Together

"Memphis Rox is one of the only facilities like it in the country: a climbing gym aimed at introducing disadvantaged urban youth to a sport that its founders hope will challenge them physically and mentally -- and keep them in school and off the streets. To lower the barriers, Memphis Rox has a pay-as-you're-able model that differentiates it from the standard membership-only setup. Opened in March 2018 by Hollywood director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), and operated by a small corps of millennial climbing enthusiasts and neighborhood activists, Memphis Rox has quickly become more than a gym. It is a foothold in a private sector effort to help Memphis climb free of its reputation as one of the poorest large cities in America."

How to Beat Stereotypes by Seeing People as Individuals

We often judge people by their group membership—but research suggests other ways to see each other.

By Zaid Jilani

In 1983, a white man walked into an all-white music venue in Frederick, Maryland, and he noticed that a black man was playing in an otherwise all-white country band.

He approached the musician and told him, “I really like y’all’s music. This is the first time I ever heard a black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis.” The piano player, a musician named Daryl Davis, replied that Jerry Lee Lewis was inspired by black musicians.

The man didn’t believe Davis, but liked his music so much he was willing to have a drink with Davis and talk about their shared love of piano music. He told Davis he had never had a drink with a black man before. Davis wanted to know why, and that’s when the man admitted he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).

Despite being a Klansman, the man became a regular at Davis’s performances, because he learned to see him as a great individual piano player, ra…

Who Decides History's Future?

"The West is wrestling with its colonial heritage in the most literal sense: its museums teem with treasure taken on conquests abroad. Crowns and swords, books and bones. The breadth of culture ripped from its home is hard to comprehend, as is the sheer scale of it: ninety percent of Africas art is held on other continents. Imagine the Liberty Bell gone, Versailles stripped of its Hall of Mirrors, the Roman Forum empty of columns and stones. To see them, you would have to travel across seas, deserts, mountains; apply for visas and buy a ticket for a glance at your peoples history behind glass. Spread that theft to Asia, the Americas, and even other corners of Europe. The scope is unimaginable, as are the emotional scars left by the absence of national treasures." Alexandra Haven explores questions of ownership, ethics and the future of the world's art in this thoughtful essay.

Dear Christine: My Son Went Off to College and I Want to Cry

Christine Carter offers some advice to a mom who feels like her son outgrew her.

By Christine Carter

Dear Christine,

My oldest child is off to college. In the last few weeks, relatives have been offering him their sage “how to succeed in college” advice. Friends keep sending me an article from the New York Times offering advice to college freshmen: “Don’t take other people’s Adderall. Granola bars have a lot of sugar. The stamp goes in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope.” Really? All of this is entertaining, but isn’t it all too little too late? Isn’t the point that they’ve outgrown our advice?

Part of my grief about my son leaving home is that my advice no longer seems relevant. I want to help him as he makes this big transition to adulthood…and I also want to lay down and cry.

I’d love to know what you think.

Outgrown Mom

Dear Outgrown Mom,

Oh, how I feel your pain. Last weekend I dropped my daughter Fiona off for her first year at college. Here’s my advice to us both: Let yourself…

Gratitude Behind Bars

"Does gratefulness truly make us happy? How does gratefulness serve us during difficult times? What is your experience of gratitude as a person who is incarcerated and denied so many of the freedoms and privileges associated with happiness? These are some of the questions we explored through Grateful Anyhow, a recent project in partnership with Prisoner Express (PE) that engaged approximately 350 incarcerated men and women in an exploration of the transformative power of gratefulness." More from The Gratefulness Team here.

The Red Oak Tree that Tweets

Deep in a forest of central Massachusetts stands an average red oak tree. Nothing is special about it, except for the fact that it tweets, offering insight into climate change.

How to Bring More Meaning to Dying

Palliative care specialist BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger explain how to bring more meaning and less suffering to the end of life.

By BJ Miller, Shoshana Berger

Most of us don’t like to talk about our own death. And when we refer to other people’s deaths, we often say things like “Her health is failing” or “He failed treatment.” These common sentiments make it sound like death is an option or that we can prevent it somehow—if only we ate more kale or walked 10,000 steps a day.

But guess what? Death isn’t optional.

Death is as much a part of our life as birth. And, just like a birth, it goes better when we are prepared for it. Not that we can control all outcomes or make it pain-free—but there is a lot we can do to help make it easier and more meaningful.

In our new book, A Beginner’s Guide to the End, we talk about all of the ways people can prepare themselves and their family members for the inevitable. Some of our book focuses on basic practicalities—like how to talk to doctors if you h…

Chitrakoot's Tree Man: 11 Years, 40,000 Trees

The tragic death of his wife and three children led Bhaiyyaram to vow to live only for others. He began to plant trees on fallow land near his village. No water near, so four times each day he hauled two 20-kilo boxes with a rope slung over his shoulders. Living in a hut he built nearby to guard the trees from thieves, his eleven years of work has produced a plantation of 40,000 trees.

Joe Peace: A Peace Chain Reaction

"I was working at a friend's studio. I walked in and picked up these scraps of clay off the floor and made these pieces about softball size, maybe seven of them. For me they were small because I'd been making larger sculptural pieces. So I made these pieces and said to my friend, "It's a peace chain. I'm going to make it the rest of my life." The year was 1991, and true to his word Joe Murphy -- now known as Joe Peace -- has been making and gifting the world peace pendants ever since. He's made over half a million of them, each inscribed with the word 'peace' in one of 122 languages. More on this artist's unique journey here.