Being Present in a World of Screens

This is a guest post by Ryan Snow. Screens are everywhere. You can’t make a call or even make your coffee without looking at a screen. After reading Kevin Kelly’s book, The Inevitable, where he writes about the future of screening, I decided to examine my own use of screens.…

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Smartphone Distraction & Etiquette

In the past, I wrote about Being Present in a Smartphone World. On a related note, I read a piece in the New York Times where they reported on these survey results, which might not be very shocking: We check our phone an average of 47 times a day. Eighty-two…

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Being Present in a Smartphone World

I bought my first iPhone in 2011. I never had a Blackberry, a Palm Pilot, or anything similar—so that iPhone 3G was my first foray into the world of smartphones.  I've upgraded it twice since, and now use an iPhone 6. I love my iPhone—just as so many people do.…

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We Are All the Same

I do not attend many religious services over the course of a typical year. There is one service I love attending more than the others. It's an Interfaith Thanksgiving service, held on a rotating basis, in one of a group of participating houses of worship from the towns surrounding where…

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Listening Well

One of my friends participates in a program as a mentor to moms. She gave me one of the handouts from the training sessions she attended prior to beginning her volunteering. Its author is unknown and it's easy to find on the Internet. It's about listening, something most of us…

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Signs You Are Not Listening Well

One of my friends participated in a training program and told me what he heard in a lesson on listening reminded him of some of what I said in my book, in “Be Nice,” the second of my Six Simple Rules for a Better Life. Listening is an important "Be…

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Being Present by Leaving Your Smartphone Behind

Like so many people, my smartphone has become a seemingly indispensable part of my life. I love much about it. I love looking up stuff on google, checking the weather, and accessing various social media. It's gotten me back into taking pictures, which I hadn't done (other than pics of…

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Learning About Yourself While Helping Others

This is a guest post by Julie Singer. Julie is a college sophomore. This past summer, I was a counselor for a dozen ten-year-old girls at a sleep-away camp in Pennsylvania. It's the same camp that I have attended for 10 summers before this one (the first eight as a…

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“You Know, Papa, Hiccup’s Papa?” — Listening

Listening well is an important skill in our lives—personally and professionally. In this guest post by Kevin Clarke, we hear about a dad and the hard work of really hearing what his son is saying to him. Kevin is a writer for America Magazine and this piece is reprinted with…

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