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White women at Concert

For most of her life Debby Irving was largely unaware of race. Then, when she was in her 40s, she enrolled in a course on race and cultural identity, and overnight became hyperaware of the privileges she'd been afforded throughout her life as a result of her white skin color.

Protest

Philosopher Naomi Zack believes that if your goal is to fight racism, a good first step is to stop talking about your own privilege. She says we should instead focus the conversation on violations of rights. 

shame sad face sign

Can shame also be used for public good?  There’s a judge in Texas who’s famous for his creative – and controversial – shame-based sentences.  To hear how they work, let’s go back to Thanksgiving evening, 1996. Houston, Texas. 

An offender  of prostitution exposed to public shame

Think there's a renaissance of public shaming online? You're right. There's something about the anonymity of social media has people who probably seem perfectly nice in person, posting vicious, scathing, humiliating comments online.

Giant inflatable rat in front of Wells Fargo

Maybe shame – painful as it is – has some value. Maybe it’s not just an emotion, but a social tool. Jennifer Jacquet thinks that there’s an upside to shame. 

Where do you turn to for inspiration on how to live a meaningful life? Religion? Family? Great books? Poet David Whyte finds inspiration in everyday words. In his book Consolations, Whyte examines the deeper, often surpising meanings of 52 ordinary words.

Historian Darrin McMahon traces ideas around happiness from classical antiquity to the modern age. He says the Founding Fathers equated happiness with virtue instead of pleasure.

Psychiatrist Michael Bennett and his daughter, comedy writer Sarah Bennett, say it's time we stopped thinking about our feelings and instead focused on our actions.

Playing a video game

After suffering a terrible concussion, game designer Jane McGonigal created a game to help her feel better. In the years since, it's helped nearly half a million other people overcome depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

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