Empathy -- our ability to feel for others -- is what allows us to care for each other, to form communities and friendships, to imagine each other's feelings, to commiserate over each other's pain and share in each other's joy.
Last week I experienced my first racist incident in the eight years I have been living in the U.S. I have seen and heard of racism happening to others, but this time it hit close to home. It was an attack against the core of who I am.
The human mind is built to self-correct when fault is not placed on external events or circumstances. It might look otherwise, but you create your experience from inside to out -- 100 percent of the time.
Today, I am a proud and purposed Sikh-American, providing leadership in key national and international interreligious organizations. At an earlier point in my journey, things could have gone quite differently.
Interrupting the daily routine with a getaway isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. And for us and many others, these breaks have meant the difference between having a thriving relationship and getting a divorce.
In these formative years, students are like sponges, constantly absorbing clues from their superiors on how medicine should be practiced. Can we really expect medical students to retain their empathy if we don't show them how?
How might we be blocking the kind of cooperation that would bring those to us? Attitude is one big factor. When we are in a state of cooperation, our attitude is one of joy. If we are asked to do something, we do it -- and then some.
This past year at Princeton was a rather humbling and enriching one in general. One particularly important experience was gaining an incredibly inspirational and supportive friend -- someone who became my best friend by the end of the year.
Although forgiving someone (or ourselves) can happen in an instant, my experience is that it is usually a much more lengthy process requiring great patience, trust, persistence and prayer -- more like peeling an onion or a lotus blossoming than a lightning bolt.
What follows is not a trick question: Would you rather feel exhilarated, grateful, humble, inspired, resolute, compassionate, and content -- or fearful, sad, worthless, jealous, angry, overwhelmed, and bored?
I won't pretend to sit here and know exactly how you should go about seizing the day and loving your sparkling, precious life. Only you know what thrills and depresses you, and so much of this comes from tapping the seriously-wise voice inside.
In the wake of Sandy, I've been reflecting on the relatively upbeat and supportive mood around here and what it can teach us: Specifically, these questions: How come we can't pull together like this all the time?
The nature of your thinking (free and easy vs. bound up) creates your feelings. Your feelings create your mood. Your mood then perpetuates the nature of your thinking, forming a closed loop that is immune to the circumstances of the outside world.
The question truly at the heart of the book is how to encourage people en masse to go around the interfaith triangle in the right direction. The absence of movement could lead to indifference or even mutual suspicion.