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HumanMedia.org Podcasts



Public Radio programs featuring voices of vision, conscience and compassion. Free weekly broadcast at our website where you can listen online and order CDs and MP3s of our shows. Complete shows are available for download as MP3s.



 



Let There Be Peace on Earth

Tue, 1 Mar 2016 00:00:00 EST

Have you ever been inspired by a song to seek peace? What life experiences led Jill Jackson Miller to write "Let There be Peace on Earth?" What does it mean to "let peace begin with me" and how can individuals become messengers of peace? "And when I attempted suicide and I didn't succeed, I knew for the first time unconditional love--which God is. God is unconditional love. You are totally loved, totally accepted, just the way you are. In that moment I was not allowed to die, and something happened to me which is very difficult to explain. I had an eternal moment of truth, in which I knew I was loved, and knew I was here for a purpose." --Jill Jackson Miller, author of "Let There be Peace on Earth," describing events in her early life that developed her unique philosophy of Peace. The song "Let There be Peace on Earth" has become a global anthem for peace, and we'll meet the author on this episode of Humankind with David Freudberg. The late Jill Jackson Miller, an actress and songwriter, who wrote "Let There be Peace on Earth" in the summer of 1955, explains the history and background of the song. Since that time the song and its message has circulated around the globe. Special note: At the end of this program, listen for a performance by the Madrigal Chorus of Belmont High School in Massachusetts. The students also describe what the verses means to them. Miller movingly speaks of her early life--how she became an orphan as a young girl, and her difficult journey through foster care, that led her into despair and attempted suicide. She describes that it was then that she realized the presence of a higher power in her life and how she eventually came to write the song. It is a song that has rippled and spread around the world, taking on a life of its own and changing history as people began to live the message and share the song. Complete program length: 29 minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/35_peace_on_earth.mp3




Radioactive

Tue, 1 Mar 2016 00:00:00 EST

"From 1990 until 2010, I was telling people that we should have renewables, and we shouldn't have coal, or oil, but the bridge technology should be nuclear. If there was not enough renewable energy, we could bridge that gap with nuclear power. And then the [Fukushima] accident happened in 2011." -- Arnie Gundersen, long-time nuclear power executive, now industry critic "Back in 2008 we launched very publicly a very aggressive strategy around ramping down our dependence on nuclear energy, and ramping up our dependence on renewable energy but using nuclear strategically in the portfolio to help us keep it low carbon." -- Mary Powell, CEO, Green Mountain Power, largest electricity provider in Vermont "It's just an extraordinarily arrogant thing that we have done. I mean, we're talking about the need to protect the environment from this [nuclear waste] material for a half a million years. All of recorded human history goes back about six thousand years. And we say we're going to guarantee the future for a half a million years to come." -- Ira Helfand, MD The energy from one uranium molecule, used to fuel nuclear power, is a million times greater than that from one molecule of coal, commonly used in electricity generation. And because nuclear energy facilities emit less global warming pollution (although they do emit some), a debate has emerged over whether to expand nuclear power to counteract climate change. Nuclear critics maintain that a history of catastrophic accidents, including Fukushima, Japan in 2011, and near-catastrophes, including Detroit in 1966, make this technology too dangerous. And there's the unsolved problem of nuclear waste, which remains dangerously radioactive, in some cases for hundreds of thousands of years. In this documentary we hear nuclear experts pro and con, an emergency room physician, and a variety of voices telling the story of a controversial reactor in Vermont, which is perhaps America's greenest state. Top photo thanks to: thebmag Segment 1: 30 minutes Segment 2: 29 minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/




Solutions to Bullying

Tue, 1 Mar 2016 00:00:00 EST

"Reducing the risk of bullying is wonderful but it goes hand in hand with something you want to increase, which is a sense of responsibility for other people, a commitment to kindness, to putting the needs of other people first and a sense that a community -- a shared identity -- is as important as anything achieved by individuals within the community. And the reason I say that is because outlawing bullying or eradicating it would be much more meaningful and would be much more successful if it came in the context of these more positive attributes or commitments that a school could make. So for me the question is, what could schools do to be kind communities?" -- Susan Engel, Director, Williams College teaching program "I absolutely believe that you can teach kindness. And one of the biggest motivators is to have a peer group where that's the norm. And I actually think most children are kind. There's always going to be a few kids that seem very hard to reach and have very dark ideas about relationships and other people. But that's not most children. Most children are very compassionate and eager to spend time with each other and happy kids with pro-social ideas. I think one of the things that would make the most difference in terms of teaching kindness is for those kids to stand up a little bit more for those values that they already have." -- Marlene Sandstrom, Professor of Psychology, Williams College Although being teased and picked on are typical challenges for kids growing up, the effects can be traumatizing when a child is relentlessly bullied. The most common targets of bullying are young people who are perceived as gay, or who are disabled or overweight. But any kid who is singled out for harassment may feel overwhelmed, sometimes resorting to self-destructive behaviour. Surveys show that most young people feel that schools do a poor job of intervention when bullying occurs. In this program we hear the story of a disabled middle school student who was taunted for her limp and for having been born in another country. And two educators from Williams College, Susan Engle who directs the Teaching Program, and Marlene Sandstrom, professor of psychology, explore how "teaching kindness" and altering the school environment to promote community, may be the best preventive measure for school bullying. Complete program length: 29 Minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/154_bullying_solutions.mp3







After Effects of War with Christal Presley

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 00:00:00 EST

"I feel like I really became an adult for the first time, during these thirty days of conversations. I guess we all view our parents as these almost super-human people, and there's the expectation, so often, that they're supposed to be perfect, and they're supposed to know all the right answers, and do all the right things. And I was able to see my Dad as a scared kid. As somebody whose life was completely changed by an experience that he had no control over. And somebody who came back a very broken person, and was never truly able to reintegrate himself back into society." -Christal Presley, author of 'Thirty Days with my Father' At one time they called it "shell-shocked" or "soldier's heart". But today, medical science recognizes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a syndrome afflicting many people who've experienced the anguish, fear and pain of military violence. Millions of soldiers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and Vietnam before that. Some came home emotionally damaged by war. This is the story of Christal Presley, a Georgia woman whose father was drafted to Vietnam at age 18 and returned in 1970 with 100% emotional disability. Inevitably, this affected family dynamics of the home she grew up in, leading to a long estrangement from her father. Christal in turn experienced 'secondary trauma'. But in a gesture of healing, father and daughter reconnected for a month's worth of daily conversations, as movingly recounted in this episode. Complete program length: 29 Minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/189_after_effects_war.mp3




Unintended Consequences

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 00:00:00 EST

"One of the most powerful things I've learned in my recovery in Alateen, and later in life in Al-Anon, is something we refer to as the Three C's: I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it. And the day that that light bulb turned on for me, and I really realized that it had nothing to do with me, and my parents were sick and suffering, was one of the most liberating days of my life. Hurt people hurt people. You know, my parents weren't mean to me, or critical of me, or abusive towards me because I deserved it. That was a manifestation of their illness." --Aidan, both of whose parents were alcoholic The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates that in the United States more than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and over seven million children live in a household where at least one parent has abused alcohol. These "children of alcoholism" frequently bear emotional scars. The imprint of a drunk parent -- sometimes angry, sometimes neglectful -- can run deep. And that childhood pain often gets played out later in adult relationships. In this episode, we hear powerful stories from four people in their teens and twenties, who were raised by alcoholics. Support groups for individuals affected by the drinking of others have operated in many communities for more than sixty years. Attendance is free at Al-Anon (for adults -- it was established by a woman known as Lois W., whose husband founded AA), and at Alateen, its program for teenagers who've been raised in a home where alcoholism is present. Participants share their struggles, gain support from the experience and wisdom of others, and learn time-tested principles for how to handle this common problem. Complete program length: 29 Minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/170_unintended_consequences.mp3




Income Inequality

Tue, 16 Feb 2016 00:00:00 EST

"One of the most important effects of inequality is its effect on social cohesion. And that intuition I think people have had for centuries that inequality is divisive and socially corrosive is profoundly true. If you look at how much people trust each other in different societies, involvement in community life, all that is weaker in more unequal societies. People have less to do with each other." -- Richard Wilkinson, co-author, The Spirit Level Professor Emeritus, University of Nottingham Medical School, U.K. "If you think about a society in which you have relative equality, if somehow you fall out of the top, you don't fall that far into the bottom. But if you have this big gulf between the very rich, on the one side, and everybody else on the other, if you fall out of the top, you fall quite a distance. And what does that mean? People will do a lot of very extraordinary things to stay in the top. Some of that is, you know, like Madoff, and what he did to try and stay in the very top. Some of it is cutting corners wherever you can. For many people it is just working as hard as you can to stay in the top, which has its wear and tear on you." -- Barry Bluestone, co-author, Growing Prosperity Dean, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern Univ. Inequality of income has dramatically increased in the United States over recent decades. A major study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office attributed the trend to tax policies, soaring executive compensation, sky-high salaries for sports stars and entertainers, and the growing role of the financial services industry. The concentration of wealth has grown so extreme that now the most affluent one percent of Americans possess more assets than the bottom ninety-percent combined. For some, this poses a question of social justice. But in this segment, we consider other effects of income inequality as well: its impact on health -- upon both the wealthier and poorer populations, and how inquality can weaken the bonds that hold our society together. But is the solution as simple as economic growth, in an era where increased consumption of resources also has impact on our climate? Two experts on this trend, Richard Wilkinson and Barry Bluestone, offer their perspectives. Complete program length: 29 Minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/171_income_inequality.mp3




Reversal of Fortune with John Robbins

Tue, 9 Feb 2016 00:00:00 EST

"We have a sickness in our society. If you say that somebody is a 'success', isn't it that usually what you mean is that they've made a lot of money, or have a lot of money?...Whereas I would define a successful human being -- if you think twice about it, and question that assumption, you know, wouldn't that actually be somebody who brings out the best in other people? Someone who gives -- adds beauty to the lives of others, in some way?" -- John Robbins, author of "The New Good Life" As a bright young man, John Robbins was the heir apparent to the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire. But in his early twenties, he and his wife Deo struck out on their own, turning away from the family wealth and choosing instead a subsistence lifestyle of deliberately simple living that included growing their own food. John eventually began writing books about his journey, his advocacy for the environment, and his commitment to a healthier and more sustainable food system. His books sold in the millions (including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated 'Diet for a New America'), accruing a small fortune, this one earned on his own. But in 2008, he suddenly learned that he had lost almost everything to the scam-artist Bernard Madoff. It set off an unexpected family crisis, which nearly cost the Robbins their home and the secure future they tried to build for their special-needs grandchildren. This led to a fresh appraisal- discussed in this program- of what true wealth really means, and how in hard times it is still possible to achieve "an overflowing life, a generous life, and a joyful life." Complete program length: 29 Minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/175_reversal_fortune.mp3




Second Chances

Tue, 9 Feb 2016 00:00:00 EST

What do two women of very divergent backgrounds have to teach each other? How can training in parenthood help a family to heal? "I'm a good person. I just made bad choices and I think there's a lot of good women that made bad choices and this program can help them make good choices. " -- Tina Cruz, shared family care mentee This is the fascinating story of two people from sharply different backgrounds who came together for a powerful purpose. In a living arrangement known as "shared family care," a woman with a troubled past moved in for six months with her young child to the Antioch, California home of a mentor and her children, for what amounted to a round-the-clock course in parenting. They sought to break the tenacious cycle of addiction, abuse and dysfunction that can enslave families for generations. In this case, both mentor and mentee were the same age and learned much from each other. Children who complete the program are only half as likely to re-renter the child welfare system as kids who've been through traditional foster care. For the mother, shared family care offered a second chance at life. Complete program length: 29 minutes


Media Files:
http://www.humanmedia.org/catalog/excerpts/81_second_chances.mp3