Inspiring People


Insights on Bruce Jenner: Embrace Your Reality

Once tabloids and gossip sites breathlessly started publishing pictures of Bruce Jenner in a dress, it seemed only a matter of time before our national conversation would acknowledge a kind of “transgender moment.” When the former Olympic great and Kardashian reality show patriarch agreed to be interviewed by Diane Sawyer, many were concerned that the broadcast would be a showcase for the sensational – or otherwise belittle the lives of people whose gender differs from the one generally assumed for them at birth. This fear is rooted, in part, in a history......

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A Minimalist Interprets Holy Stories

Whether you’re an atheist or devout in your faith, whether you’re conservative or liberal, here is a bible that will make everyone think! With his Minimum Bible, Joseph Novak – a Presbyterian pastor, graphic designer and father of two in Michigan – has created a masterful collection of contemporary graphic images inspired by each of the 66 books of the Jewish and Christian Bible. Check out the variety of these pieces, seen on the Minimum Bible Facebook page, to see how each biblical section is distilled into one thought-provoking image. Here are......

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'Normal' Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

Here in the U.S., April is National Autism Awareness Month. I’m reminded of a day not very long ago when I found myself googling the word “faith” – as I do from time to time, to see what undiscovered things I might learn or find inspiring – and the following amazing video came up in the results. Faith Jegede Cole is a Washington, D.C., resident (by way of London), who advocates for causes including free speech, civil rights and women’s equality. But what she’s most known for is raising awareness about the......

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An Inspiring Voice

The human spirit is remarkable. Take Musharf “Mushy” Asghar, a high school student who gained fame on the British reality TV series Educating Yorkshire. With a serious speech obstacle to overcome, Mushy exhibits a powerful combination of courage and will. Add a teacher, Matthew Burton, who simply won’t give up on his student, who is open to sources outside the typical curriculum for inspiration (in this case, the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech), and who is committed to educating in the purest form – i.e., raising up and bringing forth the......

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Mesmerized by Kate Tempest

Every so often you see an artist’s performance that is truly mind-blowing. A tour de force so mesmerizing and breathtaking, you know you’ll never forget it. This was my experience when I first heard 29-year-old poet and raconteur Kate Tempest perform her widely acclaimed spoken-word work,?Brand New Ancients. Since taking London by storm with it, she’s also written plays (Wasted and Hopelessly Devoted) and recorded rap lyrics (Everybody Down). Listen to the kinetic wordsmith offer up a portion of her Brand New Ancients masterpiece here: With her turbulent, tragic, violent, passionate, beautiful......

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Devon and Leah Still's Thrilling Moment of Victory

I love this photo of NFL star Devon Still and his daughter Leah! How can you not? Both their faces are filled with love and joy, their body language projecting strength and fearlessness. It’s moving on so many levels – and that’s before you factor in their circumstances. Leah was diagnosed last year with stage 4 neuroblastoma. And now, initial testing indicates that the four-year-old has no active cancer in her body. If that isn’t cause for celebration, what is?! You can understand why I – and hundreds of thousands of others......

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Take Your Next Steps at Your Own Pace

Besides breathing, there may be no more common activity than walking. The movie Journey to the West (based loosely on a classic Chinese tale) first arrived in our country with an acclaimed Tribeca Film Festival premiere, and it’s an extraordinarily unique film – well, actually, it’s not a film as we typically think of scripted movies, but more a meditation on walking as a spiritual practice. And I’ve never seen anything like it. Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang filmed an exquisite series of 14 long takes that follow Lee Kang-sheng, donning a bright......

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An Exchange with a Hero

There’s much about social media that degrades conversation and exacerbates polarization. But, like every technology, it also empowers us and offers opportunities to speak across boundaries and borders. Tim Byrd, a veteran of the war in Iraq who fought in Mosul, is a juvenile corrections officer in Washington state, a husband and a father of five. I met him on Facebook, where we connected after he heard my guest spot on Glenn Beck’s show. Tim and I have very different politics, and live in very different communities, and we continue to learn......

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Some People Need to 'Stay Weird' to Stay Alive

When I was 16, I tried to kill myself.” As one who lost a beloved relative to suicide almost exactly one year ago to the day, I was moved more than I can say by those words, uttered so gently and so sincerely by The Imitation Game screenwriter Graham Moore as he accepted his Academy Award. Moore’s words touched hearts and minds across the nation, and around the world. How could they not? Coupled with his advice, for anyone who feels so odd or out of place that life seems unlivable, to......

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Finding the Joy in Your Job

How excited are you about your job? Watch this recent clip of Boston weather reporter Jim Cantore experiencing repeated strikes of “thundersnow” and you’ll see an adult expressing childlike zeal about his job assignment in a way that can’t help but make you smile. How often does a Weather Channel segment go viral like this one has? I’d never even heard of “thundersnow,” and I know nothing about being a meteorologist, but I sure want to have whatever this man is having. While it’s possible that all the white powder falling around......

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