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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.

The National Women’s Law Center published this clickable map that allows you to see:
The share of minimum wage workers who are women
The next scheduled increase in the minimum wage
Any recent action on the minimum wage in the state legislature
It looks like my home state of North Dakota has an even split of men and women as minimum wage earners.
~Trent Gilliss, executive editor

The National Women’s Law Center published this clickable map that allows you to see:

  • The share of minimum wage workers who are women
  • The next scheduled increase in the minimum wage
  • Any recent action on the minimum wage in the state legislature

It looks like my home state of North Dakota has an even split of men and women as minimum wage earners.

~Trent Gilliss, executive editor

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Hatred and non-hatred. Transforming our relationships with our own selves and those we’re at odds with. Most everybody thinks about these things during the day. But how do we do it? How do we work with our outer and inner enemies?

A few months back I picked up a book. The title, Love Our Enemies. It’s quite remarkable because of the friendship of the two authors, Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman. They ground each other in usefulness and big-picture thinking. 

So I pitched them for the podcast. But only as a pairing. It worked. Brilliantly. Listen in and I guarantee they’ll bring you joy and some solutions to breaking the cycle of hurt, anger, and revenge.

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A woodworker installs Doug fir frames in On Being’s new sound studio. Next pieces are car glass canted at off angles. Yay!
(via trentgilliss)

A woodworker installs Doug fir frames in On Being’s new sound studio. Next pieces are car glass canted at off angles. Yay!

(via trentgilliss)

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Wally is the electrician who has wired every square inch of On Being’s new offices on Loring Park. He’s always upbeat, never kvetches, and has a can-do attitude. Take this photo, for example. Here he is on a lift 17 feet in the air changing the location of an electrical box for the third time. (The HVAC installer ran his duct work right over the top of where a pendant light is supposed to hang.) Not a word. Just a slight smile and he forges ahead.
(at On Being on Loring Park)
(via trentgilliss)

Wally is the electrician who has wired every square inch of On Being’s new offices on Loring Park. He’s always upbeat, never kvetches, and has a can-do attitude. Take this photo, for example. Here he is on a lift 17 feet in the air changing the location of an electrical box for the third time. (The HVAC installer ran his duct work right over the top of where a pendant light is supposed to hang.) Not a word. Just a slight smile and he forges ahead.

(at On Being on Loring Park)

(via trentgilliss)

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Wally is the electrician who has wired every square inch of On Being's new offices on Loring Park. He's always upbeat, never kvetches, and has a can-do attitude.
Take this photo, for example. Here he is on a lift 17 feet in the air changing the location of an electrical box for the third time. (The HVAC installer ran his duct work right over the top of where a pendant light is supposed to hang.) Not a word. Just a slight smile and he forges ahead. Deep respect.

Wally is the electrician who has wired every square inch of On Being's new offices on Loring Park. He's always upbeat, never kvetches, and has a can-do attitude.

Take this photo, for example. Here he is on a lift 17 feet in the air changing the location of an electrical box for the third time. (The HVAC installer ran his duct work right over the top of where a pendant light is supposed to hang.) Not a word. Just a slight smile and he forges ahead. Deep respect.

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Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia is what you need on this Saturday morning. He says what so many others are saying nowadays: make mistakes, enjoy the journey, break the rules, make good art. But, he says it better than most, and I believe him.

Often I half-jokingly tell my friends, “Fake ‘til you make it.” So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite Gaiman nuggets parallels this line of thinking:

"Be wise, because the world needs more wisdom. And if you cannot be wise pretend to be someone who is wise — and then just behave like they would."

~Trent Gilliss

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"When you live in a city like Detroit, it’s not just buildings that have become ruins. It’s that a way of life, a way of thinking has died and something else has been born — a new culture, a new spirit. And I think that’s what you get in Detroit if you are able to look past the ruins. What an opportunity. What a time to be alive."

Here’s a different story about Detroit. With the recent news coverage of its declaration of bankruptcy, we travel to a city of vigor where joyful, passionate people are reimagining work, food, and the very meaning of humanity. Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American philosopher and civil rights legend, is the heart and soul of this largely hidden story, which holds lessons for us all.

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Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do

Gary James

During the course of a week, I read so many lovely letters and responses to our public radio program. Oftentimes people extend a simple “thank you” or a humble “this show caught me at the perfect time.” But, we also receive more devoted notes from folks who offer a piece of themselves.

Gary James, a bartender who was born and raised in Jamaica, sent us this lovely essay in response to our interview with poet Christian Wiman:

"I was on the job today getting upset at all that has to be done and trying to find a good station on the radio. Being frustrated with the numerous commercials, I switched to NPR radio where I heard the subject of poetry being discussed.

It got my immediate attention, because I have missed poetry in more ways than I care to admit. I have tried a lot of other ways to generate my inner thoughts in order to inspire myself but, in most cases, I failed miserably. Staying away from poetry was something I did deliberately because I got frustrated with the competitive nature that the genre seems to take on when too many poets are gathered in one room.

But something hit me today here on the job. I guess you could say that my creative juices were flowing. A title came to my mind which read, “Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do.”

The title seems to sum up how I was feeling and it led me to think back on my days of intense writing. I had to ask myself a question, “Do you love writing?” Of course the answer was a resounding yes!

Then the next obvious questions would be, “What is it about writing that I love so much?” I found the answer to not be as obvious as I thought it would be. Poetry has always been my escape.

It came very natural for me and there are those who say when it comes that easy it is not you who manifests the talent but rather it is a gift that is given to you. I have heard stories where people said that they were many gifted people who did not take advantage of their gift and end up losing it. I guess that statement was always in the back of my mind, which I believe held me back somewhat.

Sometimes it takes being away from something to truly appreciate its value, and I am finding this truth to be very pronounced at this point in my life.

As I have stated above that my reason for not getting deeper into poetry was because of the competition. Now that I think about it, that statement may not be entirely true. I have to bear some of the blame. Every artist wants to be recognized for his work, and I am no different. But in trying to please everyone else, I have gone away from the very thing that I truly love.

I miss what this art form meant to me, how the words would magically appear in my head, how I would force myself to come up with the next rhyme, not wanting to move onto the next sentence until the present line matches the previous.

I blame myself for allowing my mind to be distracted from what was important and what gave me the most joy. Writing gives me the power to open closets that I have no business opening. It allows me to tell the stories that were not meant to be heard, and it provides me the ability to do this in a creative way. For that, I am very grateful.

With all this in mind, I have answered my own question, which is to get back to what I love, because that is where true happiness lives.”

This note makes it all worth the doing.

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"We’ve separated the idea of vocation from the fullness of life, and narrowed it to career. This impoverishes women and men.”
~Krista Tippett. Wisdom seeps out of Krista — even through her Twitter feed.
(Photo by Chris JL / Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0)

"We’ve separated the idea of vocation from the fullness of life, and narrowed it to career. This impoverishes women and men.”

~Krista Tippett. Wisdom seeps out of Krista — even through her Twitter feed.

(Photo by Chris JL / Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0)

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Never Give Up Doing What You Love
by Karen Albert, guest contributor
This is my dad’s canola field. At 82 he is doing what he loves, taking pride in growing healthy bountiful crops.
All his life he worked a demanding full-time job and farmed at the same time. He is retired from his job now, and some people say he should give up farming too. I say what does age have to do with it? Never quit doing what you love.

Never Give Up Doing What You Love

by Karen Albert, guest contributor

This is my dad’s canola field. At 82 he is doing what he loves, taking pride in growing healthy bountiful crops.

All his life he worked a demanding full-time job and farmed at the same time. He is retired from his job now, and some people say he should give up farming too. I say what does age have to do with it? Never quit doing what you love.

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For the marketer, the freelancer and the entrepreneur, the challenge is to level set, to be comfortable with the undone, with the cycle of never-ending. We were trained to finish our homework, our peas and our chores. Today, we’re never finished, and that’s okay.

It’s a dance, not an endless grind.

-

Seth Godin, from his blog entry "Dancing on the edge of finished"

~Krista Tippett, host

Tagged: #work
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"Your hands are sliced up from twisting wires together, handling junction boxes made out of stamped sheet metal, and cutting metal conduit with a hacksaw. But none of this damage touches the best part of yourself." —Matthew Crawford, from Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
Photo by Jeremy Kunz (distributed with instagram)

"Your hands are sliced up from twisting wires together, handling junction boxes made out of stamped sheet metal, and cutting metal conduit with a hacksaw. But none of this damage touches the best part of yourself."
Matthew Crawford, from Shop Class As Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

Photo by Jeremy Kunz (distributed with instagram)

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Michigan State University surveyed more than 700 employers seeking to hire recent college graduates. Nearly one-third said parents had submitted resumes on their child’s behalf, some without even informing the child. One-quarter reported hearing from parents urging the employer to hire their son or daughter for a position. Four percent of respondents reported that a parent actually showed up for the candidate’s job interview.
-

I don’t even know what to say about these finding. I see parents negotiating on the playground, but in the workplace for a 22-year-old college graduate? Oy.

From nprfreshair

Bring Your Parent To Work Day: So-called helicopter parents have hit the workplace, phoning employers to advocate on behalf of their adult children. Human resource managers say more parents are trying to negotiate salary and benefits and are even sitting in on job interviews. 

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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Becoming Detroit: Reimagining Work, Food, and the Very Meaning of Humanity

by Krista Tippett, host

Grace Lee Boggs During an Interview with Krista TippettThis trip to Detroit came about because of technological failure. It was a tremendous gift, and a revelation.

The technological failure was the connection between my voice and Grace Boggs. Her ears, after all, are 96. And when we weren’t able to have a real, fluid conversation between St. Paul and Detroit, I immediately decided we would fly to interview her in her home. This was a relief, really, as preparing for the interview had made me long to meet her.

Ever since my conversation with Vincent Harding last year, her name kept coming up. Her identity is full of unlikely conjunctions: Chinese-American and an icon of African-American civil rights, philosopher and activist, elder and change agent. She was born Grace Lee above her father’s Chinese restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. She received a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1940. She had a heady life in intellectual, revolutionary circles of the early twentieth century, from Europe to Africa. Wall of Photos at Grace Lee Boggs' HomeShe moved to Detroit when she married the legendary African-American autoworker, organizer, and civil rights thinker Jimmy Boggs. Together they were the heart and soul of civil rights in the Motor City.

Jimmy Boggs died in 1993. Already by then, years ahead of what most of us are experiencing as the new global economic crisis, the post-industrial future had begun to show itself in Detroit. In this emerging world, Grace Boggs is at the heart of reimagining, renewing, and “re-spiriting” this city — seeing the possibilities amidst the ruins of abandoned storefronts, houses, and industrial plants that have defined our cultural vision of Detroit in recent years. She learned, she says, to “make a way out of no way” from Jimmy Boggs. She draws on everyone from Hegel to Dr. King to Margaret Wheatley when she speaks of our capacity to “create the world anew.” With all she knows, and all the change she’s seen, the sheer magnitude of years she carries, you can’t help but listen when Grace Boggs describes the tumult of our time as a rare and precious opportunity: “What a time to be alive.”

This sweeping statement might be less infectious if it were not planted in a world of engagement that both affirms and continually informs Grace Boggs’ thinking. You walk into Grace Boggs’ living room — which is also the ground floor of the James and Grace Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership — and you are surrounded by joyful, passionate people who are literally recreating their corners of the world. She points them out as we speak. Gloria Lowe in front of her home in East DetroitAfter our interview, we are taken on a tour that is like a trip into a parallel universe to the Detroit we’ve seen in the news.

We meet Gloria Lowe, who is not merely putting formerly incarcerated and injured vets to work, but making houses livable and beautiful while creating urban models that are affordable and green. We meet Wayne Curtis and Myrtle Thompson, a couple who are tending one of Detroit’s 1,600 urban gardens. They’re not merely growing food, as they tell us, they are growing culture. Their way of talking about “food sovereignty,” about the necessity of flavor, about “nutrient density” reminds me of the chef Dan Barber.They are a living response to the question he’s often asked, of whether the local food movement is just for pampered elites. 

Wayne Curtis' public art work asking people to "Eat Local."

Detroit’s urban agricultural movement began as a matter of survival and became a matter of consciousness, and of reimagining the essence of human identity and community.

So many of my conversations are ultimately about the vast, seismic changes of our time. No city could be held up more easily as a symbol of the destructive side of this change than Detroit. But nowhere have I encountered people as animated by change, as “privileged” to experience it, as in Detroit.

In recent decades, Grace Boggs has become ever more attentive to the word “evolution” wrapped inside the word “revolution.” The identity politics and rights focus of the rebellions of the 1960’s, she says, paved a way for a more enlightened and slower revolution now — a new and deeper sense of a common human identity, from how we work to how we eat to how we govern ourselves. Ever the philosopher, she reminds us that “we’re not only being, but we’re non-being and becoming.” In Grace Boggs’ living room, and in the Detroit of hope which she helps inspire, these lofty words become something to live by.

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The Rules of a Creator’s Life

A fine list of rules from creativesomething to consider and contemplate on this gorgeous Saturday winter morning. Non?

Rules of a Creators Life

Click to view a tad‒bit larger. And share with your friends, co‒workers, and creative icons.

~reblogged by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

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