Common Ground

US & THEM

One Powerful Illustration Shows Exactly What’s Wrong With How the West Talks About Ebola
by Sophie Kleeman
.Mic


What is the difference between “us” and “them”? Offering a critique of Western media’s coverage of the Ebola epidemic, this article challenges us to reflect on our orientation to human suffering. Citing illustrator and cartoonist, Andre Carrilho, Kleeman notes: “‘In the Western media…there are First World diseases and Third World diseases, and the attention devoted to the latter depends on the threat they pose to us, not on a universal measure of human suffering.’” How might we cultivate a new perspective of suffering based on our shared humanity?  

DOWN & UP

How Meditation, Prayer, and Spiritual Communities Are Helping These College Students Thrive
by Antonia Blumberg
The Huffington Post


How do you cope when life knocks you down? What tools do you use to process and move through those challenges? This article highlights how “For many college students, personal spirituality and religious groups provide the necessary support to guide them through [such] challenging time[s].” By sharing several moving examples, Blumberg demonstrates the power of faith and community in learning how to get back up again. 

SELF & OTHER

Is Meditation Really Worth It?
by Markham Heid
TIME


This article offers a quick snapshot of the range and breadth of different meditative practices and their value. While somewhat counterintuitive, Heid reminds us that “meditation quiets the area of your brain that manages your sense of self and your relationship to others. That may sound like a bad thing, but this quieting may help you feel more connected to others and less isolated within yourself.” How might you deepen your connection to self and others by simply focusing your attention?

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