How Do You Find Peace When You Need It?

In an increasingly fast-paced world where we are constantly surrounded by an uncountable number of distractions, it would help our minds to find peace and calm. But how?

Our phones light up, ding, and send us messages constantly. Cable news channels quickly scroll one scoop after another while talking heads yell more than report. Personal and work emails demand immediate attention, or else they’ll clog up our mailboxes. And our competitive ways plague adults and children alike.

But these issues are mundane when compared to other matters. For instance, today’s children practice active shooter drills.  And we’re living on a planet that’s becoming less hospitable with every passing year.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’


We live in a high-stress world, and thus, many of us are highly-stressed people. While anyone, at any age, may excusably be on edge, others experience diagnosable anxiety. Nearly one-fifth of the population suffers from this mood disorder each year, and roughly a third will experience it in their lifetime.

It would do us a world of good to experience peace. So, what do you do to escape it all?

Do you meditate or practice yoga? Do you find peace in a place of worship? Perhaps a nature hike calms you down. Or listening to music relaxes your mind and body. Possibly, like me, you head out to your garden to weed or just take in your surroundings.

How do you find peace when you need it?

Related questions: What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Peace or discomfort? How do you perform self-care? Is our attention fractured?

Why Are We So Divided?

No matter which metric you use, it seems like there is a yawning gap between people. We are more divided than ever. What is fueling this growing difference?

Short of an escalation into violence, it’s difficult to imagine a more divided population than exists in the United States and the world.

Income inequality means more families are struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, wealth is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.

There are more people leaving organized religion with each passing year. Those that remain feel persecuted.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


But by far, the most intense division is political. Individuals in different political parties can’t even seem to have a civil conversation. Each side believes the other one is destroying the country. As a result, we are self-selecting into opposing neighborhoods, cities, and states. Nuance, complexity, and compromise are forgotten or ignored.

How did we get here? What is the cause of this division? Is it a media that is chasing advertising money? Or political leaders looking to consolidate power and influence? Are the wealthy looking to collect even more money? Are the poor lazy and shiftless? Alternately, are social media outlets — a new technology — spreading misinformation in the interest of attracting viewers?

In your opinion, who is to blame for our current state of disunity? And more importantly, perhaps, how can we reverse that trend and see our commonalities rather than our differences? Why are we so divided?

Related questions: What do we have in common? How can we encourage meaningful conversation? Why do we hate? How do we know we are right?

What Social Media App Do You Wish You Knew More About?

Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter have been around or quite a while. Others are newer, and you might not know as much about them. Are there any that you wish you knew more about?

Share why if you wish.

What Are You Mad About?

Of all the things in your life, or in the news, what makes you the most angry? What are you mad about?

Emotions are complicated. It might be difficult to separate feelings of, say, sadness from feelings of anger. Sorting through those issues might make you evaluate what, exactly, anger is.

We seem to have an excess of anger these days. People are mad about nearly everything, as politicians and media outlets use anger as a tool to manipulate voters or viewers. If you can convince someone to be angry, you might be able to convince them to vote the way you want, or to stick around through a commercial break.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘How much of our thoughts are our own?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How much is enough?’


Not all anger, however, is manufactured or unjustified. In some cases, people are right to be outraged over some injustice or bad behavior on the part of someone else.

How can you tell the difference? Is the difference between legitimate and manufactured anger emotional, logical, or is there any difference at all? By examining where your anger comes from, and who stands to benefit from your being angry, can you protect against being manipulated by someone else?

What makes you mad? What does your anger make you do? How can you tell what  you actually should be mad about, as opposed to what other people want?

Related questions: Angry or afraid? What is the right amount of emotion? How does media manipulate you?

Can An Internet Friend Be A True Companion?

As we spend more time online, we are bound to make friends there. But can an Internet friend be as good a friend — or even better — as one you meet in person?

In some ways, it makes sense that you could find a connection with someone online. After all, without geography limiting the people you can interact with, you are bound to meet people that share your interests — like an obscure band, a niche artist, or a cult movie — that you might not meet otherwise.

In addition, we have a multitude of ways to communicate over long distances. Everything from hand-written letters to phone calls, from text messages to video conferencing. As a result, if the motivation to stay in touch with someone exists, there are several different ways to do it.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’


However, each one of us has a physical presence. We evolved to be attuned to the physical presence of someone else. This might include unspoken communication like body language, pheromones, and body heat. There is something about the touch of another human being that produces a chemical reaction inside your body. And it is not just limited to intimacy.

So what do you think? Can a friendly relationship between two people be sustained solely through e-mail messages, Zoom calls, and social media posts? Or is a true, deep, thoughtful friendship dependent on physical proximity? Can an Internet friend be a true companion?

Related questions: What makes a friendship? What do you get out of social media? How can we engage in meaningful conversation? What makes a community?