by Shannon Ashley This is something I wager we just don’t talk about enough because it’s frequently considered “in poor taste” to speak badly of one’s own parents. In some ways, parents are revered to the point where we flippantly make blanket statements like “all parents want the best for their children” or “they did the best they could. Sometimes, it’s true that the parents in question really did try their best or want the best for their kids. That’s not enough, however, to protect their children or give them the mental and emotional care they need. And sadly, lots of parents can fall into toxic habits with their kids without ever realizing there’s a problem. As … Continue reading 6 Characteristics Of Highly Toxic Parents
In an excerpt from his new book The Comfort Crisis, journalist Michael Easter travels to Bhutan to learn about how confronting death head-on can lead to a more fulfilled life by Michael Easter In his new book, The Comfort Crisis, Michael Easter investigates the connection between modern comforts and conveniences and some of our most pressing problems, like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and a sense of purposelessness. Turns out, engaging with a handful of evolutionary discomforts can dramatically improve our mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. One of those fruitful discomforts? Thinking about dying. Death has always been the most uncomfortable … Continue reading The Secret to Happiness? Thinking About Death.
by Editors Our work consumes us. But does it have to? Anthropologist James Suzman has spent decades living in the Kalahari Desert with one of the world’s last hunter-gatherer societies, and he’s concluded that our modern attitudes about work don’t mesh with the views held by our ancestors. For 95 percent of human history, we spent the bulk of our time doing… nothing. So what changed? Today on the Next Big Idea podcast, James sits down with Next Big Idea Club curator Adam Grant to advocate for spending less time toiling away at labor we loathe, and more time working at things we love. Listen to … Continue reading An Anthropologist’s Case for Working Less and Relaxing More
From monks to existentialists and hipsters, the search for a true self has been a centuries-long project. Should we give it up? by Alexander Stern is a writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the LA Review of Books, among others. Edited by Sam Dresser ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.’ This popular quip, often misattributed to Oscar Wilde, appears without any apparent irony in self-help books and blog posts celebrating authenticity. Understandably, they take the dictum to ‘be oneself’ as a worthy, nearly unassailable goal. Our culture is saturated with authenticity: we’re forever ‘finding ourselves’, … Continue reading Authenticity is a sham
by Daniel Kolitz It’s a nice day, you’re strolling along, music’s queued up, prospects looking good, your sweater’s matching your pants, the person you’re seeing just sent you a cute text, no one you know is actively sick or angry at you, your dreams are, if not on the brink of actualization, not impossibly far from it, and yet here you are, suddenly bowled over by the memory of some dumb thing you said a decade ago. That’s the power of embarrassment. Doesn’t matter how long it’s been. Doesn’t matter how thoroughly you’ve attempted to remake yourself. Embarrassment doesn’t care … Continue reading Why Am I Still Embarrassed About Things That Happened 10 Years Ago?
Getting to the core of today’s social acrimony. BY MARK MACNAMARA In a polarized nation, victimhood is a badge of honor. It gives people strength. “The victim has become among the most important identity positions in American politics,” wrote Robert B. Horwitz, a communications professor at the University of California, San Diego. Horwitz published his study, “Politics as Victimhood, Victimhood as Politics,” in 2018.1 He focused on social currents that drove victimhood to the fore of American political life, arguing it “emerged from the contentious politics of the 1960s, specifically the civil rights movement and its aftermath.” What lodges victimhood in … Continue reading Why People Feel Like Victims
Overcoming the last great obstacle to awakening: the conceit of self By Christina Feldman When news of the impending death of a beloved and esteemed teacher swept through the village, well-wishers gathered to pay their last respects and honor him. Standing around the master’s bedside, one by one they sang his praises and extolled his virtues as he listened and smiled weakly. “Such kindness you have shown us,” said one devotee. Another extolled his depth of knowledge, another lamented that never again would they find a teacher with such eloquence. The tributes to his wisdom, compassion, and nobility continued until the … Continue reading Long Journey to a Bow
by Gary Z McGee, Self-inflicted Philosophy Waking Times “Someone once asked me, “What’s at the core of every human being? ‘Bullshit,’ I replied.” ~Gary John Bishop We are all full of shit to some degree or another. Knowing it sets us free. But why stop there? Sometimes, awareness isn’t enough. There must be action. Rather than wallow in the muck and mire of our bullshit, why not attempt to be become less full of shit? Rather than be driven by the bullshit of your past, why not allow yourself to be pulled up by the bullhorns of the future? You just need … Continue reading HOW TO BE LESS FULL OF SH!T
Americans dump 12 million tons of furniture into landfills annually. What if we kept these pieces circulating in the economy? BY ELIZABETH SEGRAN Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve bought furniture on impulse or out of desperation without thinking about its environmental impact. That rickety $150 Ikea bed I used for only two years in grad school. The $99 Target bar cart I picked up while shopping for a party. The $75 Wayfair lamp that completed my living room. I’m not alone. Since the 1990s, the American market has been awash with inexpensive home goods made in low-wage overseas factories, designed to … Continue reading Used furniture is about to become a $16.6 billion business. Even Ikea is getting in on it
If you’re brave enough to try it, taking cold showers can change your life for the better. BY JOHN ANDERER FACT CHECKED BY WILLIAM MAYLE Given the choice, 99 out of 100 people would choose an inviting warm shower over an ice-cold one. But like in so many other areas of life, there’s something to be gained by jumping out of one’s comfort zone. The truth is, a cold shower can induce a number of changes and positive reactions in the human body that are beneficial across your physical, cognitive, and mental health. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Water … Continue reading What Happens to Your Body When You Take a Cold Shower, Says Science