Category Archives: Life

Cultivating a sense of wonder

Anelise Chen writes: When the marine biologist Rachel Carson was a young girl, she discovered a fossilized shell while hiking around her family’s hillside property in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Those who knew her then would later contend that this relic sparked such intense reverie in her that she instantly felt a tug toward the sea. What… Read More »

The interdependence of all things

Nicholas Cannariato writes: The nature of time. Black holes. Ancient philosophers. The struggle for democracy. Climate change. Buddhist philosophy. In his new collection of essays and articles, Carlo Rovelli, one of the world’s most renowned physicists, broadens his writing to include questions of politics, justice and how we live now. “I look at myself as… Read More »

Ten practical ways to improve happiness

Arthur C. Brooks writes: Here’s some very bad happiness advice based on very solid happiness research: Feel important. Be happily married. Be Danish. Depending on how happiness is measured, all of these things really are associated with a happier life. But they’re unhelpful because they are not actionable in any practical way. Very few people… Read More »

The courage to speak the truth

Timothy Snyder writes: Once, after a debate in 2009 in Bratislava, I looked over at the notes that the Czech thinker (and by then former president) Václav Havel had been keeping for himself. He had written “love and truth” on a sheet of paper, and then doodled flowers around it. Havel was the author of… Read More »

The beauty of life

Joshua Hicks and Frank Martela write: When we think about lives filled with meaning, we often focus on people whose grand contributions benefited humanity. Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela surely felt they had a worthwhile life. But how about us ordinary people, toiling away in a typical existence? Many scholars agree… Read More »

The impatience of Job

Abraham Riesman writes: No one has ever known quite what to make of Job. The title character of the Book of Job is a confounding figure for Christians, Muslims, Jews, and those of any faith who have tried to incorporate the story over millennia. The tale goes like this: Job is a perfectly righteous and… Read More »

Peptides on stardust may have provided a shortcut to life

Yasemin Saplakoglu writes: Billions of years ago, some unknown location on the sterile, primordial Earth became a cauldron of complex organic molecules from which the first cells emerged. Origin-of-life researchers have proposed countless imaginative ideas about how that occurred and where the necessary raw ingredients came from. Some of the most difficult to account for… Read More »

Lessons my terminal cancer has taught me about the mind

David J. Linden writes: When a routine echocardiogram revealed a large mass next to my heart, the radiologist thought it might be a hiatal hernia—a portion of my stomach poking up through my diaphragm to press against the sac containing my heart. “Chug this can of Diet Dr. Pepper and then hop up on the… Read More »

Desmond Tutu 1931-2021

On June 24, 2021, His Holiness the Dalai Lama reunited online with Archbishop Desmond Tutu from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India, on the occasion of the release of their new movie “Mission: Joy – Finding Happiness in Troubled Times.”   The New York Times reports: As leader of the South African Council of Churches… Read More »