Off-beat perceptions and life tips of the world and all its players.
Keep it clean, keep it honest and as a great friend told me, keep swimming!
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"How might we unlock hope in an expansive spirit of democracy for
present and future generations in this time of upheaval? This new
conversation series on "The State of American Democracy" invites us to
explore this question with some of our most creative thinkers and public
intellectuals. The first episode on September 17, 2020, focuses on the
moral foundations of democracy we can draw for guidance." The article
that follows is about the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and highlights the
early roots of democracy in the United States." Read Article
Experiencing wonder and awe in nature has many benefits, new studies
You might enjoy skiing or hiking. But do you feel at home in
the mountains? Do you feel connected to the wilderness? According to a new study, that sense of being “home” in nature could be linked to your life
satisfaction and personal growth, at least for young people. Another new study
of older people finds that a connection to nature seems to make them happier
and more willing to help others.
By Teja Pattabhiraman In the first study, a team of researchers in Norway followed a group of
college students who were training to lead wilderness expeditions in one of
two settings: either in a forest in the middle of a storm or across a
high-altitude plateau. The students agreed to complete a pre- and
post-adventure questionnaire, which assessed their life satisfaction and
A portion of these students also answered prompts
every evening of their five-day excursion. They were asked to…
What if the tension and conflict you experience with your loved ones or your co-workers could be explained in terms of time! Your perception of time may be entirely different than somebody else, but knowing how this works could leave you with a lot less conflict in your life. This simple test will help you get started!
Could the person next to you understand time completely differently? Could this be a reason you and someone you love find yourself having trouble communicating? If you’re an English speaker, there are two ways that you could perceive time, and the way to determine that starts with this statement: “Wednesday’s noon meeting has been moved forward by two hours.”
"Everyone has a deep story," says Arlie Hochschild. "Our job is to
respect and try to understand these stories." Hochschild is one of the
most distinguished sociologists of our time. Considered the founder of
the "sociology of emotion," she examines some of the most urgent
challenges our societies face: work-family balance, shifting gender
roles, alienation, globalization, and the ever-widening political
divide. Throughout these issues, she studies how we feel about things,
what we think we should feel, and why. Why do people choose what they
choose? What are the invisible forces behind our actions? What are the
emotional costs, if any? And most recently, why does it seem like people
vote against their own interests? What follows is an excerpt from her
book, "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American
A new report looks at how schools have been grappling with the
challenges imposed by COVID-19.
Starting in March, education
leaders have been working furiously to create a school experience that must
satisfy a dizzying list of public health, education, economic, and labor
concerns. Now that classes have begun, educators face the daunting task making
up lost ground from COVID-19-related learning loss, which hit low-income
students and students of color particularly hard, against the backdrop of
high-profile police violence and anti-Black racism. Students are being asked
to learn an atmosphere of prolonged stress and anxiety, often through a Zoom
call or a plexiglass partition. In a situation like the one we all face, how
can educators possibly meet students’ needs?
A novel changed the life of Francesca Lo Basso—and there’s scientific evidence
that she’s not alone.
I started college in the fall of 2003, when I
was seventeen years old. I’d spent the last year dissecting news articles with
my AP Government class on the U.S.’s escalating tensions with Iraq. War had
moved beyond theory and into inevitability—yet I didn’t know how to express my
horror and had even less of an idea of what to do with it. Then, six months
after the first time the U.S. invaded Fallujah, I read Tim O’Brien’s The
Things They Carried.
By Francesca Lo Basso In this award-winning novelization of his experiences as a soldier in the
Vietnam War, O’Brien tells the story of Rat Kiley and Curt Lemon. Rat and Curt
are best friends—inseparable—until the moment when, during a game of catch,
Curt steps on a hidden landmine and dies instantaneously. The abruptness of
the incident and its placement in the middle of a scene of languor tells one
kind of truth about th…
"It's been 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment
secured voting rights for womensort of. In She Votes: How U.S. Women Won
Suffrage, and What Happened Next, author Bridget Quinn and 100 female
artists survey the complex history of the struggle for women's rights,
including racial segregation and accommodation to White supremacy. They
celebrate the hitherto under-recognized efforts by women of color to
secure voting rights for all Americans, and BIPOC-led, diverse, and
intersectional movements for equality. In this excerpt, Quinn describes
how White leaders of the womens suffrage movement were influenced by
Indigenous political structures and culture..."
Could the TV shows you watched when you were younger influence who you are today? Researchers have been looking into this since a certain popular fictional character hit the mainstream and sparked a movement that changed the world of science forever!
We know that the media we watch has a knack for swaying what we buy, what we wear, and how we act, but how influential is it, really? Studies of the impact of one fictional character, in particular, give us a clue to how we can harness our TV habits for good!
"No one who met her [Vimala Thakar] could fail to be moved.For she was a
great spiritually enlightened revolutionary and activist; a notable
Indian figure of the 20th Century who boldly forged a radically
independent approach to spirituality and the search for truth. Freed
from all religious tradition, she brought the timeless wisdom of the
East to the modern egalitarian West without the baggage of religious
terminology, endeavoring to awaken people through deep rational inquiry.
Fiercely independent, beholden only to her own burning passion for
liberation, she crisscrossed the world for many years, traveling to 35
countries through the sixties, seventies and eighties, exhorting all who
would listen to wake up to what she would term the 'totality of Life.'"
Chris Parish shares more in this tribute, that also includes an excerpt
from Vimala Thakar's book 'Spirituality and Social Action: A Holistic
Making friends isn’t necessary for solving political polarization.
Amid two crises—the pandemic and the national reckoning sparked by the killing
of George Floyd—there have been anguished calls for Americans to come together
across lines of race and partisanship. Change would come, a
USA Today contributor wrote, only “when we become sensitized to the distress of our neighbors.”
Empathy born of intimacy was the prepandemic solution to the
nation’s fractured political landscape.
If Americans could simply get to know one another, to share stories and appreciate each other’s struggles, civic leaders
argued, we would develop a sense of understanding and empathy that would
extend beyond the single encounter.
But after studying how Americans cooperate, both in moments of political upheaval and in ordinary times, I am convinced
that tackling America’s political divide demands more than intimacy—and less
than it. Ordinary people, talking
What if there were a new place to look for a sense of security in these times of turmoil and uncertainty, and it did not involve inventing something new or forcing ourselves forward? Instead, what if the answer to our thriving, right now, lies with remembering how our ancestors thrived!? Here’s how they’re doing it in Hawaii.
Blending into the ocean floor is a predator hunting for their dinner. She looks a lot like you and me, because, well, she is! This huntress is just one of many in Hawaii who are finding a new way forward to protect themselves and their communities by looking into the history of their home. Their way of life has a lot for any of us to learn from and may have you looking at your own skills with a bit more love!
"Watching the sun rise over the wetlands, the mist fading, even here in
the midst of nature there is the strange stillness of a world in
lockdown waiting, wondering, anxiety, and fear its companions. I am
writing these words in the time of the great pandemic, when for a few
brief months our world slowed down and almost stopped; when as the
stillness grew around us there was a moment to hear another song, not
one of cars and commerce, but belonging to the seed of a future our
hearts need to hear.This song comes from a place where the angels are
present, where light is born, where the future is written." Sufi teacher
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee shares more in this timely offering.
These five adolescents are finding a sense of purpose in helping
Many people in the media and government have painted an
uninspiring portrait of adolescents facing COVID-19. Young people, we are
told, are either indiscriminately spreading the virus by failing to follow
public health guidelines, or are at risk of stifled social and emotional
growth because of restrictive social-distancing guidelines that hamper key
tasks of adolescent development, such as developing a clear and coherent sense
Michael T. Warren
Pathologizing adolescence in the West stems from deeper historical roots.
Inaugurating its scientific study in 1904,
G. Stanley Hall
characterized adolescence as a period of inevitable “storm and stress,” a time
of upheaval when young people transition from inhumane childhood to civilized
adulthood. Fifty years later, Anna Freud remarked that “to be normal in
adolescence is abnormal” and advised parents that if their teen was doing well,
Turn your utility bill into a swooshing supply of endless fun! John Collins, a man who flew one of his folded paper creations hundreds of feet through the air, smashing the world record, shows us the world of wonder we can all find in a few simple creases.
When was the last time you actually had fun with your phone bill? I’m guessing approximately never. But it turns out, there’s good old-fashioned fun waiting for us in the most simple, yet overlooked places. So, settle in, dear reader, because that bummer phone bill could not only be the source of hours of fun, but it could also be a world record-breaker!
Mark Redding survived a devastating traumatic brain injury in an auto
accident when he was in his early 20s. Almost 30 years later, Mark met
Doug Kline through the PALS (Providing a Link for Survivors) program at
Brain Injury Services, a program that enables clients and community
volunteers to connect in a mutually enriching friendship to build skills
and combat isolation through community integration. The two became
instant "bros." In this video, Doug reflects on the beautiful friendship
they shared together for 6 years.
"Every time some new evidence of plant-based intelligence intrudes on my
awareness, it confronts perspectives about the world that I inherited
from my culture or my family or my schooling, and some portion of that
received worldview crumbles, and something new takes its place. The
world is a great deal different than we have been led to believe. In
fact, we know very little about what goes on here. The ancient Athenians
had a word for that moment when some intangible part of ourselves
leaves our bodies and touches a living intelligence in the world:
aisthesis. There is an exchange of soul essence accompanied by a gasp of
recognition, a deep breath, an inspiration." In this compelling
interview Stephen Harrod Buhner shares profound insights into the spirit
and science behind plant intelligence and natural healing. Read Article
"The journey from self-hatred to self-love involves learning to meet,
accept, and open to the being that you are. This begins with letting
yourself have your experience. Genuine self-acceptance is not possible
as long as you are resisting, avoiding, judging, or trying to manipulate
and control what you experience. Whenever you judge the experience
you're having, you're not letting yourself be as you are. And this puts
you at odds with yourself, creating inner division and conflict. The way
yourself from shame and self-blame is through making friends with your
experience, no matter what experience you're having." John Welwood
shares how a process of acknowledging, allowing, opening and entering
can bring us into our own unconditional presence. Read Article