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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Mettā (Lovingkindness)

The Big Idea for Thursday, January 23, 2014

In today's lesson, part of a new 7-part Big Think Mentor workshop, Robert Thurman, Professor of Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, explains that loving our enemies is really about making peace with ourselves. Instead of returning anger with anger, Thurman advocates the practice of lovingkindness, a translation of the Pali word mettā that is found in the original Buddhist texts. 

Thurman, along with the renowned Buddhist scholars and practitioner Sharon Salzberg, teaches how to manage both inner and outer enemies by way of love. 



  1. 1 How to Drive Your Enemies Crazy
    Big Think Editors Big Think Mentor
  2. 2 Sharon Salzberg: Kindness is No Weakness
    Sharon Salzberg
  3. 3 Good Guys Can Finish First
    Adam Grant In Their Own Words
  4. 4 Ai Weiwei: You Have To Look Your Enemy in the Face
    Ai Weiwei

Mettā (Lovingkindness)

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