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On Being with Krista Tippett
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On Being with Krista Tippett

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Groundbreaking Peabody Award-winning conversation about the big questions of meaning — spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives. Hosted by Krista Tippett. New conversations every Thursday, with occasional extras.
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In Leanne O’Sullivan’s poem “Leaving Early,” the poet writes to her ill husband, entrusting him into the care of a nurse named Fionnuala. As the novel coronavirus sweeps the globe, many of us can’t physically be there for loved ones who are sick. Instead, it is the health care workers — and all involved in the health care system — who are tirelessly present, caring for others in spite of exhaustion and the risk it brings to their own well being.We offer this episode of Poetry Unbound in profound gratitude toward all who are working in health care right now.“Leaving Early” comes from Leanne O’Sullivan’s book A Quarter of an Hour. Thank you to the publisher, Bloodaxe Books, who gave us permission to use Leanne’s poem. Read it on our website at onbeing.org.Find the transcript for this episode at onbeing.org.The original music in this episode was composed by Gautam Srikishan.
Ai-jen Poo is a next-generation labor organizer who co-founded a beautiful and muscular movement with caregivers and those who employ them: The National Domestic Workers Alliance. For over two decades, she has been reinventing policy and engaging a deep conversation that has now met its civilizational moment. This conversation was recorded before “coronavirus” was a word we all knew. But the many dimensions of the crisis now upon us have revealed Ai-jen Poo and her world of wisdom and action as teachers for our life together, in and beyond it.Ai-jen Poo is executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the co-director of Caring Across Generations. Her book is The Age of Dignity. Her podcast, co-hosted with Alicia Garza, is Sunstorm.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
Ai-jen Poo is a next-generation labor organizer who co-founded a beautiful and muscular movement with caregivers and those who employ them: The National Domestic Workers Alliance. For over two decades, she has been reinventing policy and engaging a deep conversation that has now met its civilizational moment. This conversation was recorded before “coronavirus” was a word we all knew. But the many dimensions of the crisis now upon us have revealed Ai-jen Poo and her world of wisdom and action as teachers for our life together, in and beyond it. Ai-jen Poo is executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the co-director of Caring Across Generations. Her book is The Age of Dignity. Her podcast, co-hosted with Alicia Garza, is Sunstorm.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ai-jen Poo — This Is Our (Caring) Revolution." Find more at onbeing.org.
“If I believe that we are all inherently worthy just by being human, how can I feel that way when I feel I’m doing ‘nothing?’” — Anna Bondoc from Los AngelesSo many of us are raised to believe that hard work is what makes us valuable; many of our professions and even our identities as helpers are on hold. How does self-worth interact with just being when we feel we're doing nothing? Krista reflects on the problem with the phrase “just being” — and how settling inside ourselves right now, and kindness towards ourselves, are gifts to the world we want to make beyond this crisis.Living the Questions is an occasional On Being segment where Krista muses on questions from our listening community. Submit your own at ltq@onbeing.org.Krista Tippett created and leads the On Being Project, hosts the On Being radio show and podcast, and curates the Civil Conversations Project. She received the National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2014. She speaks widely and writes books including Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. Read her full bio here.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org
In this unsettled moment, we’re returning to the shows we’re longing to hear again. Among them is this 2019 conversation with writer Ross Gay. The ephemeral nature of our being allows him to find delight in all sorts of places (especially his community garden). To be with Gay is to train your gaze to see the wonderful alongside the terrible; to attend to and meditate on what you love, even in the midst of difficult realities and as part of working for justice.Ross Gay lives in Bloomington Indiana, where he’s a professor of English at Indiana University. His books include the poetry collection Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and a book of essays, The Book of Delights. He co-founded The Tenderness Project together with Shayla Lawson.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.orgThis show originally aired in July 2019. 
In this unsettled moment, we’re returning to the shows we’re longing to hear again. Among them is this 2019 conversation with writer Ross Gay. The ephemeral nature of our being allows him to find delight in all sorts of places (especially his community garden). To be with Gay is to train your gaze to see the wonderful alongside the terrible; to attend to and meditate on what you love, even in the midst of difficult realities and as part of working for justice.Ross Gay lives in Bloomington Indiana, where he’s a professor of English at Indiana University. His books include the poetry collection Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and a book of essays, The Book of Delights. He co-founded The Tenderness Project together with Shayla Lawson.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ross Gay — Tending Joy and Practicing Delight ." Find more at onbeing.org.
“When all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up to become their brothers’ keepers,” Rebecca Solnit writes. “And that purposefulness and connectedness bring joy even amidst death, chaos, fear, and loss.” In this moment of global crisis, we’re returning to the conversations we’re longing to hear again and finding useful right now. A singular writer and thinker, Solnit celebrates the unpredictable and incalculable events that so often redeem our lives, both solitary and public. She searches for the hidden, transformative histories inside and after events we chronicle as disasters in places like post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.   Rebecca Solnit is a columnist at The Guardian and a regular contributor to Literary Hub. Her many books include Hope in the Dark, A Paradise Built in Hell, and her most recent, Recollections of My Nonexistence.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired in May 2016.
“When all the ordinary divides and patterns are shattered, people step up to become their brothers’ keepers,” Rebecca Solnit writes. “And that purposefulness and connectedness bring joy even amidst death, chaos, fear, and loss.” In this moment of global crisis, we’re returning to the conversations we’re longing to hear again and finding useful right now. A singular writer and thinker, Solnit celebrates the unpredictable and incalculable events that so often redeem our lives, both solitary and public. She searches for the hidden, transformative histories inside and after events we chronicle as disasters in places like post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.   Rebecca Solnit is a columnist at The Guardian and a regular contributor to Literary Hub. Her many books include Hope in the Dark, A Paradise Built in Hell, and her most recent, Recollections of My Nonexistence.This show originally aired in May 2016.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Rebecca Solnit — Falling Together" Find more at onbeing.org. 
Physicist Carlo Rovelli says humans don’t understand the world as made by things, “we understand the world made by kisses, or things like kisses — happenings.” This everyday truth is as scientific as it is philosophical and political, and it unfolds with unexpected nuance in his science. Rovelli is one of the founders of loop quantum gravity theory and author of the tiny, bestselling book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time. Seeing the world through his eyes, we understand that there is no such thing as “here” or “now.” Instead, he says, our senses convey a picture of reality that narrows our understanding of its fullness.Carlo Rovelli is a professor of physics at Aix-Marseille University, where he is director of the quantum gravity group in the Center for Theoretical Physics. He is also director of the Samy Maroun Research Center for Time, Space, and the Quantum. His books include Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and, most recently, The Order of Time.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired in March 2017.
Physicist Carlo Rovelli says humans don’t understand the world as made by things, “we understand the world made by kisses, or things like kisses — happenings.” This everyday truth is as scientific as it is philosophical and political, and it unfolds with unexpected nuance in his science. Rovelli is one of the founders of loop quantum gravity theory and author of the tiny, bestselling book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time. Seeing the world through his eyes, we understand that there is no such thing as “here” or “now.” Instead, he says, our senses convey a picture of reality that narrows our understanding of its fullness.Carlo Rovelli is professor of physics at Aix-Marseille University, where he is director of the quantum gravity group in the Center for Theoretical Physics. He is also director of the Samy Maroun Research Center for Time, Space, and the Quantum. His books include Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and, most recently, The Order of Time.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Carlo Rovelli — All Reality Is Interaction." Find more at onbeing.org.
Sociologist Nicholas Christakis says we come to social goodness as naturally as we come to our bloodier inclinations. Research out of his Human Nature Lab at Yale shows that capacities like friendship, love, teaching, and cooperation exert a tremendous and practical force on us — and yet we don’t think of those behaviors as grit for what’s helped humans evolve as a species. Christakis’ science — and the passion with which he shares and lives what he learns — put goodness in refreshing evolutionary perspective.Nicholas Christakis is Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University, where he’s also the director of the Human Nature Lab and co-director of the Institute for Network Science. He’s the author of Connected: How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do. His most recent book is Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
Sociologist Nicholas Christakis says we come to social goodness as naturally as we come to our bloodier inclinations. Research out of his Human Nature Lab at Yale shows that capacities like friendship, love, teaching, and cooperation exert a tremendous and practical force on us — and yet we don’t think of those behaviors as grit for what’s helped humans evolve as a species. Christakis’ science — and the passion with which he shares and lives what he learns — put goodness in refreshing evolutionary perspective.Nicholas Christakis is Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University, where he’s also the director of the Human Nature Lab and co-director of the Institute for Network Science. He’s the author of Connected: How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do. His most recent book is Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Nicholas Christakis — How We’re Wired for Goodness." Find more at onbeing.org.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — or SETI — goes beyond hunting for E.T. and habitable planets. Scientists in the field are using telescopes and satellites looking for signs of outright civilizational intelligence. One of the founding pioneers in this search is astronomer Jill Tarter. She is a cofounder of the SETI Institute and was an inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the movie Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan. To speak with Tarter is to begin to grasp the creative majesty of SETI and what’s relevant now in the ancient question: “Are we alone in the universe?”Jill Tarter is the cofounder and chair emeritus for SETI Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. She currently serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array. She has been awarded two Exceptional Public Service medals from NASA and the Women in Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — or SETI — goes beyond hunting for E.T. and habitable planets. Scientists in the field are using telescopes and satellites looking for signs of outright civilizational intelligence. One of the founding pioneers in this search is astronomer Jill Tarter. She is a cofounder of the SETI Institute and was an inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the movie Contact, based on the novel by Carl Sagan. To speak with Tarter is to begin to grasp the creative majesty of SETI and what’s relevant now in the ancient question: “Are we alone in the universe?”This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Jill Tarter — It Takes a Cosmos to Make a Human." Find more at onbeing.org.
The wise and beloved Vatican astronomer Father George Coyne died last week. Like most of the Vatican astronomers across history, he was a Jesuit. More than 30 objects on the moon are named after the Jesuits who mapped it, and ten Jesuits in history have had asteroids named after them. Father Coyne was one of the few with this distinction, alongside his friend and fellow Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno. In a conversation filled with laughter, we experience a spacious way to approach life, faith, and the universe.Father George Coyne was the Director of the Vatican Astronomical Observatory from 1978 to 2006 and author of the book Wayfarers in the Cosmos: The Human Quest for Meaning. He died on February 11, 2020, at the age of 87.Brother Guy Consolmagno was appointed Director of the Vatican Astronomical Observatory by Pope Francis in 2015. His books include Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-box at the Vatican Observatory.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org
The wise and beloved Vatican astronomer Father George Coyne died last week. Like most of the Vatican astronomers across history, he was a Jesuit. More than 30 objects on the moon are named after the Jesuits who mapped it, and ten Jesuits in history have had asteroids named after them. Father Coyne was one of the few with this distinction, alongside his friend and fellow Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno. In a conversation filled with laughter, we experience a spacious way to approach life, faith, and the universe.Father George Coyne was the Director of the Vatican Astronomical Observatory from 1978 to 2006 and author of the book Wayfarers in the Cosmos: The Human Quest for Meaning. He died on February 11, 2020, at the age of 87.Brother Guy Consolmagno was appointed Director of the Vatican Astronomical Observatory by Pope Francis in 2015. His books include Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-box at the Vatican Observatory.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Guy Consolmagno and George Coyne — Asteroids, Stars, and the Love of God" Find more at onbeing.org.
The House on Mango Street by Mexican American writer Sandra Cisneros has been taught in high schools across the U.S. for decades. A poetic writer of many genres, she’s received a MacArthur “genius grant,” a National Medal of Arts, and many other accolades. Cisneros grew up in an immigrant household where it was assumed she would marry as her primary destiny. In this warm and lively conversation with a room full of Latinx teens, she gives voice to the choice to be single — and, single or not, to know solitude as sacred.Sandra Cisneros is a writer and poet whose books include The House on Mango Street, Caramelo, and a memoir, A House of My Own. Her work has been lauded in many ways, including with a MacArthur “genius grant,” the Texas Medal of Arts, the National Medal of Arts, and the PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org
The House on Mango Street by Mexican American writer Sandra Cisneros has been taught in high schools across the U.S. for decades. A poetic writer of many genres, she’s received a MacArthur “genius grant,” a National Medal of Arts, and many other accolades. Cisneros grew up in an immigrant household where it was assumed she would marry as her primary destiny. In this warm and lively conversation with a room full of Latinx teens, she gives voice to the choice to be single — and, single or not, to know solitude as sacred.Sandra Cisneros is a writer and poet whose books include The House on Mango Street, Caramelo, and a memoir, A House of My Own. Her work has been lauded in many ways, including with a MacArthur “genius grant,” the Texas Medal of Arts, the National Medal of Arts, and the PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Sandra Cisneros — A House of Her Own." Find more at onbeing.org.
Journalist Ezra Klein has been widely interviewed about his new book, Why We're Polarized. In this conversation, he's frank and reflective about what's at stake in human terms in this political moment. And he describes how we all — Democrat and Republican, journalist and citizen alike — walked into this as a way to trace our steps out of it.Ezra Klein is the co-founder and editor-at-large of Vox Media and host of two podcasts: The Weeds and The Ezra Klein Show. His book is Why We’re Polarized.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org
Journalist Ezra Klein has been widely interviewed about his new book, Why We're Polarized. In this conversation, he's frank and reflective about what's at stake in human terms in this political moment. And he describes how we all — Democrat and Republican, journalist and citizen alike — walked into this as a way to trace our steps out of it.Ezra Klein is the co-founder and editor-at-large of Vox Media and host of two podcasts: The Weeds and The Ezra Klein Show. His book is Why We’re Polarized.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ezra Klein — How We Walked Into This and How We Can Walk Out." Find more at onbeing.org.
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Comments (27)

Ruba Ali Al-Hassani

What if there is, in fact, intelligent life out there, but doesn't define intelligence the way Earthlings do? What if "they" know better than we do, live without technology that would destroy their planet; their part of the cosmos? Why define intelligent life by technology, despite realizing that our technology has contributed to the destruction of our planet?

Mar 1st
Reply

Shannon Compton

I cant help but wonder how far this extends. I am thinking in particular to our insecurities. Can we decide to change our minds about an insecurity and manifest a different paradigm that changes even how others perceive us?

Feb 24th
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Em

So "Hello!" would be meaningful. Exactly!

Sep 29th
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Buddy Whisler

d GB a FCC 0i de facto a

Aug 18th
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Em

love on being and Krista but this interview is a mess. it feels like the whole show is the guest asking Krista to repeat the question again and again

Aug 3rd
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Suzanne Dicker

Great interview! It was a revelation for me when after talking about how her husband knew that a person was improving after being tortured or imprisoned in solitary confinement, he told her, "when you can once again take risks". Fascinating!

Aug 2nd
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Ollie

@1:55

Jul 8th
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Cristian Concha

Can't believe how much you can learn in 9 minutes. I think I'll never forget courage comes before all other virtues. Thank you very much Ms Tippett.

Jun 4th
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Rachel Galea-Baker

My mother recently died after a long battle with Cancer. She was only 65. All our lives she sang spirituals to us (her 5 children) her internal sadness through a difficult life was released through these songs. She was a living example of the hopeful message the spirituals gave her. This was a wonderful interview thank you xxx

Apr 26th
Reply

Trentyn Botello

Wow, this really carries wisdom through to me. thank you💚

Apr 12th
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Eljay Ure

what an interesting and tricky interview.

Feb 5th
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Mark Pearson

So much 'gold' in this conversation. Stay curious... 90% of the best stuff is boring! Gold!

Dec 19th
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Catherine Morel

Hard work

Nov 12th
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Charles Gonsalves

Rediscovered this program this week and have the feeling of having found lost treasure. Booker episode was a great way to start today. What an insightful man. Also so grateful for how deftly and gently you ask questions—good questions feel hard to find. Won't be forgetting about this show again.

Jul 27th
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MB Knapp

Thank you for this "shot in the arm"of hope from Cory Booker. He is easy to love. Onward now to love those that are much harder to love.

Jul 26th
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roger humphrey

go

Jul 10th
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Yvette Yu

AMAZING!!!

May 31st
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Sean Down

This is the first "On Being" I've listened to and while it was good, it's also probably the last. It's unnecessary and irritating to repeatedly remind the listener what they're listening to, who hosts it, who the guest is, what they've done, what the conversation is about and where it was recorded. Surely once is enough?

Apr 19th
Reply (2)

Spencer Moseley

This is such a great podcast. I wish I had more time to soak it up

Mar 31st
Reply

Julie Solomon

suggestion, allow a sort that puts all the podcasts already listened to at the bottom of the list.

Feb 23rd
Reply
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