There is an ancient (I believe) Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." And so here we are. Climate change. ISIS/ISIL/DASH/WTC (Whatever They're Called). Boko Haram. Economic upheaval. Neo-Nazis. Racism. Bigotry. Mexican Drug Cartels. Trump and Cruz. The crises and the loud mouths get our attention. They sell more advertising dollars than whatever little positive news might be out there. And given how little attention is paid by the media to positive news (other than cat videos), it would be understandable to simply duck, cover and despair.
However, there are voices talking (not shouting); there are conversations taking place in peace; there is constructive dialogue going on that speaks to a different tune than the one blaring out of our speakers every day. These conversations affirm that there is constructive work being done. One of the voices serving as a focal beacon for this good news is that of Krista Tippett.
Via her books and her radio program/podcast called "On Being", she is spreading a different message that is a soothing balm for the ears and mind. Last nite, it was a treat to see her in person and hear her speak in the incredible space that is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
A friend asked how did I learn of her. It was by total accident - no surprise since even an institution like NPR tends to bury these types of programs on the fringe. But I awoke earlier than usual one Sunday morning, turned to WNYC and there she was. Now, I tune in as regularly as I can and if I miss a broadcast there is always the podcast. She seeks out and conducts interviews with an incredibly wide array of people from around the world: religious leaders of all faiths, physicists, poets, philosophers, what have you. All people with particularly inspiring insights and experiences to relate which leave one feeling "maybe things aren't quite so bad after all." It is NOT all touchy-feely-goody-goody. Serious and challenging issues of living life in today's complicated world are addressed. But they are tackled with calm and intelligence and are enlivened by wise experience.
So, if you're looking for an alternative to all of the sturm and drang out there, I encourage you to check out her work. If you want a particulary good example to start with, the latest program, an interview with poet/philosopher David Whyte, would be an outstanding place to start. Then, as she says, join in on the conversation.