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Posts Tagged ‘Generosity’

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living (Book Review)

Monday, May 16th, 2016

tippettPeabody Award-winning broadcaster, Krista Tippett, has spent years interviewing some of the most fascinating voices of humanity. Her style is one of asking deep spiritual questions and then creating space for deep listening. Tippett’s work on her national public radio program and podcast, On Being, has been share a conversation with people who inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity. Tippett has spent her career interviewing scientists, theologians from several faiths, poets, activists, philosophers, historians, artists, and many more. Within moments of listening to the podcast, it becomes clear that these are more than interviews – they are moments of deep intimacy through the mastery of genuine conversation.

In Becoming Wise, Tippett distills many of the insights she has learned to appreciate from her numerous conversations. Throughout the pages, it becomes clear that the book is a deep meditation and journey on meaning. The chapters are organized around the themes of language, love, faith and hope. Through her years of conversations, Tippett and her conversation partners advocate mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, humility and cooperation.

Tippett’s book embodies the open question – the deep desire for connection, conversation, and belonging. The wisdom we seek emerges from the everyday experiences. Real connections with one another happen in the ordinary moments of acts of kindness and generosity. Becoming Wise is our journey of asking the powerful questions of who we are to each other.

“I’m a person who listens for a living. I listen for wisdom, and beauty, and for voices not shouting to be heard. ”

This book offers a fiercely hopeful vision of humanity. Tippett sees hope as a force and a resource. For Tippett, “hope” sees and experiences the darkness, and the possibility for good, and makes a choice. Hope is something you put into practice through actions. Tippett reminds us that choosing to be hopeful is far more courageous than being cynical. Hope insists on the possibility of a life of resilience and redemption.

One powerful theme that Tippett reminds us is the gift of presence. Presence is the engagement with life and one another. Becoming Wise reminds us that presence does not mean passivity or acceptance of the status quo. In a world of sound bites, Becoming Wise is a reminder of the longer and deeper conversations needed for change. This book is a practical guide about life’s spiritual beauty through deep reflections. Tippett sheds a light on what it means to be human.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


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Make More Art

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Each week there are many vendors and artists at the NYC Union Square Farmers Market. I recognize many of the artists as they are there every week.  I walked over to a table I had not seen before and saw some beautiful Buddha’s painted onto wood. The woman told me the cost of a small wooden Buddha painting. I knew I wasn’t carrying much cash with me and asked her if she would be around again. She said she would sell it for a little less. I reached into my pocket and realized I was still short a few dollars. I explained I would come back another day. She picked up the painting, put it in a bag, and told me I could have it for that amount of money.

I brought the painted wood home and put it on my bookshelf. All weekend it would catch my eye and I smiled. I love the bold colors, the three candles, and the shadows. I realize how important it is to make and share art. Art takes many forms and lives on in ways that we cannot possibly imagine. Seth Godin says his definition of art must have three elements:

“Art is made by a human being.
Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.”

Ms. Solomon is the writer in the “Questions For” column in The NY Times Magazine. She was interviewed this weekend in the Book Review and asked, Is there an art to asking questions?” Solomon replied, “No, definitely not. There’s a tendency to call everything an art form, so we read about “the art of Twittering” or “the art of mixing a perfect mojito.” The word “art” should be reserved for activities that stand a chance of adding at least one beautiful object to the world.”

We need more art that has a chance to add at least one beautiful object or idea into the world. Yes, we need to make and share more art.

What art will you make that will change at least one person?

Mary Anne

The photo in this blog of the Buddha is designed by Anothai Hansen.
Visit her website: http://www.anothaiart.us/

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Listening to My Father’s Wisdom

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Growing up, my father had many expressions: “Take your time, but don’t be long”; “You can always replace money, but you can’t replace a person”; “It takes a lot longer to fill out an accident report than it does to take your time on the road” and on and on. He also had his way of imparting values of how his daughters ought to be in the world. If I had to sum up the four cornerstones of how to live life through my father’s expressions, it would be this:

Tell the Truth.
It’s a lot easier to remember the truth and own up if you have done something. It’s a lot harder to remember the lies or stories and the truth always gets revealed.

Say Please/Thank You.
Manners say a lot about a person. There is such respect in an exchange that includes a please or thank you. In the end, people feel connected and want to help when they hear polite words.

Never Hate (Disliking Is OK).
You don’t have to like everybody, but hating serves no purpose and is only draining. Plus, the cost to hate is more hurtful to the one hating. Do we really need more enemies?

Quiet Please Rather Than Shut Up.
There is nothing worse than being stifled or put down. We can be kinder and gentler with one another. Asking for quiet brings peace back to us.

Think about the wisdom your family has shared with you and how it has shown up in your life and the values you teach others. I am grateful that my parents demonstrated generosity, service, and strong work values.

Thank you, Dad.
Mary Anne

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