How best to live with grit and grace

Leland Melvin: Grace is a way that you live your life. We all go through life and we have these different journeys and we meander in different ways in and out and ebb and flow, but grace is a way of appreciating the people that are around you, the things that are around you and how you interact with them in a way that's meaningful, that's purposeful, that's intentional. You live it in an intentional way you don't just hey write someone off and just keep moving, everyone has a purpose on this planet and we can learn something from everyone. I mean I learn something every day from my dog. I learned patience. I learn things from people that I would have never of expected to learn something the janitor or whomever it is. And so moving through life in this graceful way of embracing everything around you so.

Before I could read my mother read to me every night two books: The Little Engine That Could, I think I can, I think I can, and Curious George looking up curiosity. And I'll never forget I was this little kid on the football team, the smallest kid probably. I could run fast but no one ever expected me to play in the NFL and I never imagined to play in the NFL because I was just this small little kid. But having this never give up I think I can, I think I can mentality is a gritty way of ensuring that you're going to reach the dreams and goals that you have.

Sometimes people don't have expectations for you because they see you are from a certain neighborhood or a certain ZIP Code or whatever and you're looked at as this kid, "Well you're never going to be an astronaut because you're from that ZIP Code." And college, the SATs to get you in college only predict the first and second year success, it doesn't predict if you're going to graduate or how well you're going to do past the first and second year. So if we're going to try to build this civilization, future civilization, Mars, moon, wherever we're going to go we want to do it with as many people as we can that have these creative ideas and our diversity. And that means that we've got to make sure that we educate everyone. And I have a graphic that says you have three little boys all standing on a box, they're trying to look at the game. The little boy in the blue shirt he can't see the game because he's too short, that's equality. But justice is when you have what you need. When he gets two boxes he can see the game. One of the kids doesn't even need a box, but he gets a box anyway. So let's not be equal, let's give justice and give you what you need so that you can see the game.

  • Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin is the only person to catch a pass in the NFL and in space.
  • Here, he shares his thoughts on living in a state of grace and advocating for justice.
  • Humanity's future is among the stars and to get there, we'll need everyone's diverse talents.


Big Think Edge
  • In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
  • Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
  • This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
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Big Think Edge
  • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
  • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
  • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.