Separating Violence from Masculinity

More than twenty years after the war in the Balkans, generations of young men & women are still thick in struggle. Desperation, anger & frustration have led to increased violence by many young men and ideas about what masculinity entails have fueled the fire. According to Aleksandar Slijepsveic, youth coordinator…

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Our Final Moments & Things That Matter When Dying

A poignant, moving, and beyond insightful presentation, Executive Director at Zen Hospice Project & palliative care physician, BJ Miller, offers a clear-eyed view of mortality & things that matter to us all when dying:  grace, dignity, respect, existential peace, wonder, comfort, feeling unburdened (and unburdening), enlightenment and love…those spaces in…

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Empathy v. Sympathy

Merlin | Empathy v. Sympathy

On a recent ‘Little Philosopher’s Walk’, one of our fun ‘Merlin Meanderings’ that we held here at Merlin Nature Preserve, we discussed & explored the importance and value of imagination.  In the course of our conversation, the work of Dr. Brené Brown, Research Professor at the University of Houston Graduate…

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Staying Afloat Amidst Heartbreak & The Loss of a Child

Losing a child is one of the most heartbreaking experiences a parent can face.  How we navigate the pain, sadness, anger & despair of grief is critical.  It can also be excruciating.  Comedian, storyteller, actor, and philanthropist, Anthony Griffith, shares his story about the loss of his daughter and his…

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Caregiving in the New Era

America is facing a new reality.  Americans are living longer than ever.  Soon, elders will outnumber the young.  What does this mean in terms of how we care for our loved ones (and ourselves)?  How we manage our finances & juggle work and personal obligations?  How we structure our healthcare,…

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My Mom the Magician Superhero: Showing Up & Being There

Growing up without a father can be difficult & painful.  Comedian, storyteller, actor, and philanthropist, Anthony Griffith, shares his story about life without a dad, the superpowers of his mom (his magician superhero), and the kinds of thinking you have to “put away” when growing up.  Listen to his moving…

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Grief vs Depression

Merlin MCC | Grief vs. Depression

Grief & depression are not the same thing.  You can grieve without being depressed and without your grief leading to depression.  However, the distinction is a sticky one and can walk a fine line.  For these reasons and more…therapists and medical professionals have avoided categorizing those who have just lost…

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Does Kindness Matter?

Merlin MCC | Does Kindness Matter?

Does kindness matter?  Can it really that make much of a difference in your life?  What about the lives of others?  What does it even mean to be kind?  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, for example, speaks of kindness & compassion in conjunction with happiness; he also…

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