The Common Good

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Can Mindfulness Be Tweeted?

I attended a basketball game this winter at the University of Maryland, accompanied by an intern at my workplace, a man in his twenties. For much of the game, we chatted about everything from politics to how North Carolina is far superior to Duke in all the ways that really matter (on the court, of course). During the conversation, between glances at the game, my colleague maintained steady eye contact … with his smart phone.

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His Name is Potlako

His name is Potlako. Potlako means "earlier than expected," I suppose he was named Potlako because he was either a premature baby or he followed soon -- too soon -- after his elder brother.
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Three Cups of Truth on the Greg Mortenson Controversy

I just watched a 60 Minutes expose on Greg Mortenson, co-author of Three Cups of Tea and co-founder of the nonprofit the Central Asia Institute. Watching this news story that accused Mortenson of fabricating key stories in his book, lacking organizational/financial transparency and effectiveness, and receiving "excessive" personal benefits from his organization felt like a punch in the gut, even if it's of the too familiar heroes-come-crashing-down variety.

It must have felt like a punch to many. None of us like to give our hard-earned pennies or dollars or peace prize money to someone who betrays our confidence.

I felt it in my gut, too, because Mortenson and I have a lot in common. We've both published two memoirs about our experiences and work for education in the developing world -- he in Afghanistan, and me in Haiti. We both travel to speak about our work -- albeit he on a much grander, best-selling-er scale than me. Once I stood for half an hour in a book line to talk with him for two minutes and he seemed touchingly humble and friendly.

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Remember Death -- It Can Help You Live

Watching the unfolding tragedy in Japan of course has me reflecting on the past fourteen months in Haiti since the earthquake there.
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How to Add Some More Green to Your Christmas

"Overcoming global warming is not a sprint. There is no quick fix. Rather, it is a marathon, something we will be doing for the rest of our lives.
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A Covenant for Civility

The political polarization of our society has now reached a new and dangerous level.
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The Balancing Act of a Successful Woman

Hollywood isn't real life, but when real life (mine and the lives of the actors) and Hollywood converge it is great fodder for thinking and conversation. Peter and I can't stop talking about a recent date night movie, Up in the Air, starring Vera Farmiga and George Clooney.
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The Little Voice of Self-Doubt Inside My Head

Right now my head is a bit stuffed up thanks to a cold, but the little voice inside my head usually takes no prisoners.
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