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Holding A 200 Year Present

"In last week’s On Being show, peacemaker John Paul Lederach tells a story of his mentor Elise Boulding, who often encouraged her students to engage in the following thought experiment:

Recall the oldest person who held you when you were a baby. Note their birth year. (For example, John Paul Lederach’s was his great-grandmother, who was born in the 1850s and lived through the Civil War.)

Now think about the youngest member of your extended family and note their birth year. (For John Paul Lederach, this was a 2-month-old newborn — and he was in conversation with Krista and America Ferrera, who was 7 months pregnant at the time.)

Quoting Elise Boulding, he encourages us to remember:

“You were held and touched, and you will touch the lives, of people that cover a 200-year present.” [Listen here].



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