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Cultivating our capacity for gratitude is one of the core spiritual traits advocated across all the great traditions. Being grateful can restore our perspective when the slings and arrows of life temporarily bend us out of shape. To reinforce this focus, some people maintain a “gratitude journal” in which they record various things they are thankfu…
 
Would you invite homeless men into your apartment? One woman did just that. On this episode of Humankind, you’ll hear a story of commitment and service to the poor in which Kathy McKenna founded Haley House, a homeless shelter in downtown Boston. McKenna was inspired by Dorothy Day, the Catholic Worker Movement, and the belief that to serve the poo…
 
After entering World War One in 1917, the US government established a military draft to call up young men to serve as soldiers. 65,000 of them applied to be excused from combat and to be recognized as Conscientious Objectors (COs) by their local draft board. They opposed the war either on religious grounds (some traditions, like Quakers and Mennoni…
 
George Mumford has trained superstar athletes, including basketball greats Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, in how mental focus can enhance athletic performance. In this conversation for Humankind, he describes the experience of being in “the zone,” a state of relaxed receptivity. Mumford also discusses how paying conscious attenti…
 
Within a decade, America will be looking different. In addition to other demographic changes, 70 million Baby Boomers are now entering their retirement years. For the first time in our history, there will be more older adults than children. This huge societal change will affect how families provide eldercare, how older Americans access transportati…
 
Within a decade, America will be looking different. In addition to other demographic changes, 70 million Baby Boomers are now entering their retirement years. For the first time in our history, there will be more older adults than children. This huge societal change will affect how families provide eldercare, how older Americans access transportati…
 
The Constitution specifies that once federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, they can hold their office “during good behavior,” in other words for life — unless they’ve misbehaved, that is. But the average American today lives a lot longer today than in 1789, when President George Washington signed the Judiciary A…
 
The Republican party has not won the majority of votes in six of the last seven presidential elections. And yet vacancies on the Supreme Court have allowed Republican presidents to appoint six of the last ten justices. Does this skew the Court in a way that’s out of step with public opinion? Here we explore the history of “court-packing” as well as…
 
Have our courts – intended by America’s founders to be an independent arbiter of justice – turned into another political battlefield? Are today’s judges mere “politicians in robes”? This public radio documentary series looks at crucial flashpoints in recent decades. In this divisive climate, will the frequency of 5-4 decisions by the Supreme Court …
 
Have our courts – intended by America’s founders to be an independent arbiter of justice – turned into another political battlefield? Are today’s judges mere “politicians in robes”? This public radio documentary series looks at crucial flashpoints in recent decades. Because federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed the U.S. Senate…
 
This episode considers the need to carve out an experience of silence in our own lives – as a basis for attentively listening to others. But actually setting aside quiet time can be hard can be hard for many of us. It may feel uncomfortable at times and we’re susceptible to distractions, especially amid all the electronic communication coming at us…
 
There’s a kind of mystery in sitting calmly, patiently, attentively and tuning into someone else’s personal story – their experience and life journey. In this segment, we hear the insights of people who, in a sense, listen for a living: physicians, counselors, clergy and others. What does it mean to set aside one’s own agenda and truly focus on ano…
 
Health care chaplaincy has increasingly been a subject of evidence-based research in recent years: What do spiritual care providers do? How do patients and their families respond to a chaplain’s services? Does chaplain care affect levels of anxiety and other forms of distress? To what extent do people facing illness also experience spiritual strugg…
 
From firefighters to police officers to the Red Cross and many others, First Responders play an essential role in protecting public safety and helping people cope with emergencies. In this segment, we consider the work of providers of disaster spiritual care. These folks look after both survivors of tragedies and the responders, who are sometimes r…
 
Perhaps more than any other trait in a spiritual caregiver, the recipients of care yearn for the attention of an open-hearted person who can bear witness to their challenges. But what does it mean to bring that presence into an encounter with someone who may be up against adversity? We explore this powerful realm in a remarkable dialogue with Frank…
 
At the typical nursing station of today’s hospitals, it can sometimes seem like high-tech medical machinery supersedes a personal connection formed between the patient and nurse or other health care professional. But for many caregivers, that one-to-one relationship forms the essence of their service. This episode considers how connections can upli…
 
This episode of ‘Humankind on Public Radio’ is part of a special series, ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’. For more episodes exploring the role of spiritual caregivers helping those in need, look for ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’ on your preferred podcast platform. Rev. Chris Antal, a Unitarian Universalist minister in the town of Rock Tavern, New York,…
 
We explore the duties and challenges of military chaplains from two nations: Britain and Canada. Ian Wheatley, recorded at the Defence Ministry in Westminster, London, serves as Chaplain of the Fleet of the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. Sailors bring to chaplains concerns regarding family back home, as well as moral questions about warfare. We …
 
This episode of ‘Humankind on Public Radio’ is part of a special series, ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’. For more episodes exploring the role of spiritual caregivers helping those in need, look for ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’ on your preferred podcast platform. We hear from chaplains and students on a college campus (Vanderbilt University in Nashvil…
 
This episode of ‘Humankind on Public Radio’ is part of a special series, ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’. For more episodes exploring the role of spiritual caregivers helping those in need, look for ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’ on your preferred podcast platform. The United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world. Federal an…
 
This episode of ‘Humankind on Public Radio’ is part of a special series, ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’. For more episodes exploring the role of spiritual caregivers helping those in need, look for ‘The Spiritual Care Podcast’ on your preferred podcast platform. We visit a shelter at Seattle’s Mission for a rich exchange with a formerly homeless man …
 
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