Inspiration: Essays & Musings

Facts are Like Cows

Facts are Like Cows

We publish a series of classic fiction books that focus on particular peace & justice topics. Most are short stories, but End of the Line is an anthology of five short novels about the death penalty. As I re-read my introduction to the book -- about the impact...

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Feral Cats and Compassion

Feral Cats and Compassion

Cathy Rosenthal writes a column about animals for the San Antonio Express-News. Today she answered a compassionate question about the care and feeding of feral cats. Compassion moves us to feed them. Knowledge informs us that there is a better solution: Dear Cathy: My...

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Burnt Flower Soup

Burnt Flower Soup

Twice a month the peaceCENTER has an evening potluck/staff meeting/re-centering and Narjis brings a crockpot of homemade soup, often made with produce from her community garden. "What is it this time?" I asked her, greedily. "Burnt flower soup -- an old Swiss recipe,...

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Compassion And The Not-So-Middle Class

Compassion And The Not-So-Middle Class

NYT columnist / Princeton economist Paul Krugman recently wrote about the middle class in a way that has relevance to compassion. The vast majority of people in the US — 91% according to a Pew Research poll — identify themselves as being middle class, he wrote. The...

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My Heart Grew Three Sizes

My Heart Grew Three Sizes

Guest Post by Susan Smylie I attended a Compassion San Antonio event today, Musical Bridges Around the World Amal concert, a lovely performance by two concert pianists from Israel and Palestine, Bishara Haroni and Yaron Kohlberg. Before the concert began, the Charter...

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Pete and Re-Pete After Me

Pete and Re-Pete After Me

My hero, the folksinger and activist Pete Seeger, died yesterday at the age of 94. Here's an example of his subversive attraction: I first learned his songs at Girl Scout camp, when I was 10. Songs about peace, about civil rights, about the dignity of labor. Songs...

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Tube or telescope?

Tube or telescope?

These two quotations seem to go together somehow. Jane Goodall, the anthropologist, using the analogy of a rolled up newspaper, a tube, to explain the limitations of our vision. And then Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the Astrophysicist, whose world is expanded by looking...

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Moral Dilemma: Right, Wrong, and Trolleyology

Moral Dilemma: Right, Wrong, and Trolleyology

Let's assume we all want to do the right thing. We want to be fair, compassionate, honest ... I think that description fits most of my friends. But it's not always easy or clear-cut. Social scientists study things like that, and it even has a name: trolleyology....

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Let’s Go Eat

Let’s Go Eat

I look forward to my weekly e-mail from Interfaith Paths to Peace, in Louisville, Kentucky, which includes a three-minute weekly insight from Spirituality U. (And how cool is that? Three minutes. Spiritual insight. Spirituality U.) This week's insight from director...

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The Common Good

The Common Good

A few weeks ago I spoke to a couple of sessions of a sociology class at St. Mary's University. My assigned topic was "the common good," one of the underlying principles of the Charter for Compassion. St. Mary's is a Catholic University (but you guessed that, didn't...

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