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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.
For the simplicity that lies this side of complexity, I would not give a fig, but for the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity, I would give my life.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, from this week’s column from Parker Palmer.
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Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.
- Henry David Thoreau
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A little violin music for your Tuesday evening melody.

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Do you accept previously published pieces? I frequently submit to Huffington Post and I think some of my pieces would be a great fit for On Being too.

Hello. I’d more than willing to take a look and see what might fit. I’m open to publishing provocative pieces that are thoughtful and prompt our readers’ aspirational selves. I publish articles and big thought pieces that deal with the grittiest of issues from a unique narrative lens to photo essays and videos that help our audiences wrestle with our deepest questions of what it means to be human.

Warm regards,

Trent

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Don’t turn your head.
Keep looking
at the bandaged place.
That’s where
the Light enters you.
- Rumi
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Time is, of course, doing its steady work on every object ever made. This complex relationship between the maker, an emotionally invested object, and the growing distance between them is not new, only rediscovered each generation, whether by an artist, a mourner, a mother, or a soldier…

We let go with the hope others will grab hold. These objects ask very human, moral questions: What right do we have to forget? What do we owe to each other’s memories?

- Dario Robleto on memory, forgetting, and time.
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"You run like a girl." "You throw like a girl."

These are two phrases I was brought up with. And, ashamedly, I find myself slipping into using them every so often, even though I have an athletic sister and a heady wife who defy these stereotypes every day. This ad from Always is something I’ll show my boys and remind myself of the power of language — and when not to use it.

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Stars and blossoming fruit-trees: utter permanence and extreme fragility give an equal sense of eternity.
- Simone Weil, from Gravity and Grace
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When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.
- Fred Rogers
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The story of Paul Revere from the perspective of his horse. A little humor for your fourth of July from Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. 

More hidden history in this week’s show — The Long Experiment of American Democracy.

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Brian Jones’ powerful oration of Frederick Douglass’ “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.”

A needed voice in the celebration of American Independence.

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You don’t read or overhear the voice in the poem, you are the voice in the poem.
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Two sisters smile outside of a mosque in Brooklyn on Eid al-Fitr. There are so many varied and unique stories of Ramadan, it’s hard not to be joyful. 
(Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Two sisters smile outside of a mosque in Brooklyn on Eid al-Fitr.

There are so many varied and unique stories of Ramadan, it’s hard not to be joyful. 

(Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

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The perfect conversation for summer on the value of play throughout our lives.

What’s so fascinating is how Dr. Stuart Brown first come to study play — by studying mass murderer Charles Whitman:

"In 1966 when I was just beginning to take over and office as an assistant professor of psychiatry, a young man by the name of Charles Whitman went up to the Texas Tower in Austin, Texas, after killing his wife and mother. He perpetrated what was then the largest mass murder in the history of the United States, killing 17 additional people and wounding 41. And because I had done some studies of violence in the course of my residency in neurology and psychiatry, and because in August in Texas most people who are important are elsewhere, I was put in charge of the behavioral aspect of trying to figure out why Charles Whitman did this horrendous crime. And we brought in the world’s experts to try to figure out the motivation of Charles Whitman, even though he had been killed by vigilante crossfire at the top of the tower.

And so for a very intense period of time, in addition to doing very detailed toxicologic and — studies of his body, we retrieved as much information as possible from his prenatal area all the way up to the last hours before he died. And without going through that entire story, one of the major conclusions, which struck me and has certainly stuck with me since, was that a remarkably systematic suppression of any free play — which was largely the result of his father’s overbearing and intense personality — prevented Charles Whitman from engaging in normal play at virtually any era of his life, including his early infancy.

We thought at the end of the Whitman study that this was such a bizarre aberration in human behavior that it probably was not something one could generalize from. So as a result of the funding available and the availability of research subjects in the prison system in Texas, a team of us then studied all the young murderers whose crime was essentially homicide without their being career criminals, and we did an in-depth study of them, their families, and compared them to as well-matched a control and comparison population as we could. And, lo and behold, we discovered that the majority of them — in fact 90% level — had really bizarre, absent, deficient, seriously deviant play histories.”

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