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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.
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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If I can’t tell people why we are doing this, how can I expect others to share their stories?— Nathan Manske

Nathan Manske is the founder of I’m From Driftwood, which collects the stories of members of the LGBTQ community. This is his story of how collecting these stories changed him, from our Your Audio Selfie series.

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A woman and a girl wash at a tap at a temporary displacement camp set up next to a Kurdish checkpoint on June 13, 2014 in Kalak, Iraq. Found this photo while editing Jeffrey Kaplan’s piece on the Sunni-Shi’itie showdown, "The Iraqi Fall of Saigon?"
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A woman and a girl wash at a tap at a temporary displacement camp set up next to a Kurdish checkpoint on June 13, 2014 in Kalak, Iraq. Found this photo while editing Jeffrey Kaplan’s piece on the Sunni-Shi’itie showdown, "The Iraqi Fall of Saigon?"

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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The Native American triad of corn, beans, and squash together, produce more than they ever could alone. The beauty of this truth can be applied to human communities as well. As I’ve been learning in my Permaculture Design Course, we can create people guilds too. We all have different strengths to contribute, and by carefully building our communities so every individual is able to both give and receive what they need to thrive, we create more than we ever could alone.
- Heather Christensen, from this prompting essay on permaculture and polarization.
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In one way or another, every wisdom tradition I know says that what we need is here. It’s just a matter of opening our eyes and appreciating what I call ‘secrets hidden in plain sight.’ But we can’t do that when we’re obsessing about the past or the future, or about what we don’t have, or allowing a thousand distractions to prevent us from noticing the gift of ‘here and now.’
- Parker Palmer, from "What We Need Is Here"
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Geologist Bill Simpson cleans Sue, a 67-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois with a pink feather duster. Sue is the largest, most complete, and best preserved T. Rex ever discovered
A little humor for your Wednesday, found in preparation for this week’s show on the evolution of the science-religion debate.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Geologist Bill Simpson cleans Sue, a 67-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois with a pink feather duster. Sue is the largest, most complete, and best preserved T. Rex ever discovered

A little humor for your Wednesday, found in preparation for this week’s show on the evolution of the science-religion debate.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Happened upon this utterly joyful photograph by Fabiana Zonca while looking for a lead image for Parker Palmer’s post "What You Need Is Here." The photographer’s caption is quite endearing too:

"You are my hero!!!
This little girl was lovely and full of life: she could not help herself but laughing and running around. She was happy as only a kid can be! And when her father hugged her she made this fantastic gesture as to hold in her hands not only his face but her love for him. Irresistibly sweet!!”

Happened upon this utterly joyful photograph by Fabiana Zonca while looking for a lead image for Parker Palmer’s post "What You Need Is Here." The photographer’s caption is quite endearing too:

"You are my hero!!!

This little girl was lovely and full of life: she could not help herself but laughing and running around. She was happy as only a kid can be! And when her father hugged her she made this fantastic gesture as to hold in her hands not only his face but her love for him. Irresistibly sweet!!”

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Having some fun this morning with our senior producer who sent around this video of the baby-faced Jerry Rivera singing “Cara De Niño” performing on Sabado Gigante. Ah, the early 90s were awesome.

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Sir Ian McKellan holds up his hand during a photocall for the documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So, a film that told the story of Bishop Gene Robinson.
By all accounts, this image depicts a very ordinary moment. Yet there’s something about it that is so evocative of the tension between the inner struggle and the public life of Gene Robinson, who in 2003, became the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.
(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Sir Ian McKellan holds up his hand during a photocall for the documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So, a film that told the story of Bishop Gene Robinson.

By all accounts, this image depicts a very ordinary moment. Yet there’s something about it that is so evocative of the tension between the inner struggle and the public life of Gene Robinson, who in 2003, became the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

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