This photo of Desmond Tutu at the Goed Geld Gala had the On Being staff smiling today. For more joy, listen to our program with the sage, A God of Surprises.
(Photo by Olaf Kraak/AFP/Getty Images)
After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages. …
This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground.
But maybe worse than the fractious political tones my feed took on was how deeply stupid it became. — Mat Honan, in a fascinating (and discouraging) Wired article on how he liked everything in his Facebook feed for 48 hours.
The sun of the first day
Put the question
To the new manifestation of life —
Who are you?
There was no answer.
Years passed by.
The last sun of the last day
Uttered the question
on the shore of the western sea,
In the hush of evening —
Who are you!
No answer came.
Pistachios are way underrated.
Almonds are America’s most popular nut.
It is also one the few nuts that you can make milk out of.
While in India for a YouthAIDS trip with actress Ashley Judd, yoga teacher Seane Corn poses in the Eka Pada Koundiyanasana position in front of the Taj Mahal.
There are three things that are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension, so we must do what we can with the third. — Old Irish saying, as mentioned in Parker Palmer’s column on forgetfulness and memory
You might say that God made us in his own mysterious image — mysterious not like human riddles and conundrums, but in our capacity to energetically participate in the creative, existential mystery of whatever the world is up to with us. At the eye of the storm we can know peace, strength, and a faith that passes understanding, finding ourselves at home with true mystery.
— Paul Martin, from Revelation in the Whirlwind of Existence.
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Recently, I moved from Harvard to a place near Toronto called Daybreak. That is, from an institution for the best and brightest to a community where mentally handicapped people and their assistants try to live together in the spirit of the Beatitudes. In my house, 10 of us form a family. Gradually, I’m forgetting who is handicapped and who is not. We are simply John, Bill, Trevor, Raymond, Rose, Steve, Jane, Naomi, Henri, and Adam.
I want to tell you Adam’s story. After a month of working with Adam, something started to happen to me that had never happened before. This severely handicapped young man, whom outsiders sometimes describe with very hurtful words, started to become my dearest companion. As I carried him into his bath and made waves to let the water run fast around him and told him all sorts of stories, I knew that two friends were communicating far beyond the realm of thought.
Before this, I had come to believe that what makes us human is our mind. But Adam keeps showing me that what makes us human is our heart, the center of our being where God has hidden trust, hope, and love. Whoever sees in Adam merely a burden to society misses the sacred mystery that Adam is fully capable of receiving and giving love. He is fully human—not half human, not nearly human, but fully, completely human because he is all heart. The longer I stay with Adam, the more clearly I see him as a gentle teacher, teaching me what no book or professor ever could.
Once, when Adam’s parents came for a visit I asked, ‘Tell me, during all the years you had Adam in your house, what did he give you?’ His father smiled and said without hesitation, ‘He brought us peace.’ I know he is right. After months of being with Adam, I am discovering within myself an inner quiet that I did not know before. Adam is one of the most broken persons among us, but without doubt our strongest bond. Because of Adam there is always someone home. Because of Adam there is a quiet rhythm in the house. Because of Adam there are moments of silence. Because of Adam there are always words of affection and tenderness. Because of Adam there is patience and endurance. Because of Adam there are smiles and tears visible to all. Because of Adam there is always time and space for forgiveness and healing. Yes, because of Adam there is peace among us. — Henri Nouwen, quoted in this show on the L’Arche community.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities. — Maya Angelou
You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather. —
The architectural art of stacking bales. Admiring this farmer’s mastery.
Photo by Trent Gilliss.