Mindful Health And The Power Of Possibility
In the 1970s my colleague Judith Rodin and I conducted an experiment with nursing home residents.1 We encouraged one group of participants to find ways to make more decisions for themselves. For example, they were allowed to choose where to receive visitors, and if and when to watch the movies that were shown at the home. Each also chose a houseplant to care for, and they were to decide where to place the plant in their room, as well as when and how much to water it. Our intent was to make the nursing home residents more mindful, to help them engage with the world and live their lives more fully.
A second, control group received no such instructions to make their own decisions; they were given houseplants but told that the nursing staff would care for them. A year and a half later, we found that members of the first group were more cheerful, active, and alert, based on a variety of tests we had administered both before and after the experiment. Allowing for the fact that they were all elderly and quite frail at the start, we were pleased that they were also much healthier: we were surprised, however, that less than half as many of the more engaged group had died than had those in the control group.
Over the next several years, I spent a lot of time thinking about what had happened. READ MORE + AUDIO
We wanted to hear more about the good, the bad and the funny of being an LGBT parent, so today, we’ve called upon Dan Bucatinsky. He and his husband are the dads of two, a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son. His new book is “Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? Confessions of a Gay Dad.” He’s also written and produced shows for HBO, Showtime and NBC.
We’re also joined today by Marcus Mabry. You probably know that name if you are a regular reader of the New York Times. He is editor-at-large for the New York Times based in London and he and his partner are the dads of two-year-old twins.
Welcome to you both. Happy belated Father’s Day to you both, by the way. READ MORE + AUDIO
Paul Revere Williams began designing homes and commercial buildings in the early 1920s. By the time he died in 1980, he had created some 2,500 buildings, most of them in and around Los Angeles, but also around the globe. And he did it as a pioneer: Paul Williams was African-American. He was the first black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923, and in 1957 he was inducted as the AIA’s first black fellow. READ MORE + LISTEN
Many religious parents use the line, “spare the rod, spoil the child” to defend corporal punishment. That rationale was put in the spotlight when televangelist Creflo Dollar was arrested for allegedly assaulting his daughter. Host Michel Martin asks three prominent faith leaders — and dads — whether the saying still rings true in churches.
Joining us to help unpack this, Elder Harold Bennett is the president and dean of the Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Pastor Rudy Rasmus is with us. He’s senior pastor of St. John’s Downtown Church in Houston, Texas. And from Los Angeles, Reverend Nirvana Gayle, senior minister at Guidance Church in Los Angeles, California. READ MORE + LISTEN
Joan Rivers doesn’t hold anything back.
Over the course of her 50-year career, Rivers has made fun of her bankruptcy, her many facelifts, her husband’s suicide and the sacrifices she made over the years as a female standup performer.
Now the salty 79-year-old comedian is turning her observational eye even further inward. Her new book I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me details the things Rivers can’t stand, from her appearance to obituaries to younger comedians who steal her gigs.
Why things she hates? READ MORE + AUDIO