Resilience, Masks, & Patriotism

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INSPIRING RESILIENCE 
‘Homeless to Harvard:’ Child of Addicts Counsels Youth in Spirituality

by Susan Donaldson James
ABC News

What tools or practices do you use to navigate life’s many challenges? How have you discovered strength and resilience in difficult moments? This article highlights the powerful work of Liz Murray and others accompanying inner-city youth in spiritual formation. Grounded in her own experiences of reconciliation and love despite difficult external circumstances, Murray “…is using storytelling as a tool to help abandoned youth tap into their inner spirit and to help them actualize their dreams.” This work is our work. Together we are elevating effective programs and initiatives that demonstrate how “[i]f a person’s spirituality is supported, it can be a robust form of resilience.”

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UNVEILING MASKS
Do You Know Who You Really Are?

by Ed and Deb Shapiro
The Huffington Post

What costumes or personas do you find yourself drawn to? As we approach the Halloween holiday, this article prompts us to reflect on the masks we might wear in our lives. “We tend to identify with the content of our lives, yet beneath all the labels is our essence, that which we truly are.” The Shapiros ask, “Can you find who is there without the masks or the façade, without all the many images of yourself?” Read more for some guiding questions and exercises to help you connect with your deeper being.

REDEFINING PATRIOTISM 
Love and Politics

by Stanley Fish
The New York Times

 
Have you ever wondered why politics are wrought with distrust, divisiveness, and contempt? Or contemplated if it would be possible to replace those underlying emotions with love, empathy, and compassion? Citing the American philosopher and author Martha Nussbaum, this article affirms that possibility and outlines steps for such a change. The challenge, however, is that “…we must unlearn our erotic investment in our own team, our own love, our own children, our own life,” so that me may learn “to love the nation as a whole, and thus all of its people…” How might you expand your empathy and compassion to all those around you? 

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