Humankind on Public Radio-logo

Humankind on Public Radio


Weekly podcast from public radio’s award-winning program Humankind


Belmont, MA




Weekly podcast from public radio’s award-winning program Humankind




Human Media 68 Leonard Street, Second Floor Belmont, MA 02478-2522


Humor and Health

Because laughter is surely good medicine, we visit with professional comedians who are also cancer survivors, as well as a top surgeon at New York’s renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, to understand the role of humor and a positive attitude in surviving the disease. To view additional resources for this episode please visit: Follow “Humankind […]


Living on the Edge, Pt2

Most of us hold misconceptions about who is struggling to get by on low income, and whether the social safety net — intended to prevent vulnerable people from falling through the cracks — is actually adequate. The number of folks using these services has noticeably increased as the Covid-19 crisis has tapered off. At the […]


Meeting Hate with Love, Pt1

This public radio documentary explores the practice of nonviolence in the quest for justice and equality. You’ll hear archival sound from the U.S. civil rights movement, including interviews with associates of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: Dr. Vincent Harding, a King speechwriter and first director of the King Center in Atlanta; Dorothy Cotton, who served as Education Director […]


Living on the Edge, Pt1

Over a third of Americans lack sufficient savings to handle a $400 emergency. In this revealing public radio documentary, we consider the plight of tens of millions of Americans living on the edge of poverty. They may be among your family members or neighbors. To view additional resources for this episode please visit: Follow “Humankind […]


Meeting Hate with Love, Pt2

Dr. Arun Gandhi, as a troubled youth was tutored for an hour each day by his famous grandfather Mahatma Gandhi. The experience transformed Dr. Gandhi’s life. He was interviewed at the University of Rochester, where he led the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. In May 2023 Arun Gandhi passed away at age 89. To view […]


Avoiding Burnout

A core principle of David Allen’s approach to “getting things done”—his remarkable and hugely popular system for stress-free productivity—is to keep focused on the process of working through the items in our personal list of unfinished business. But Allen says taking care of business can’t be relentless. Human beings are constructed to need breaks, time […]


Upholding Human Rights

More than two decades have elapsed since the historic creation in 2002 of the UN’s International Criminal Court (ICC), headquartered in The Hague. The Court was intended to investigate allegations of the worst human rights crimes (including genocide and war crimes) and to be a forum where victims can tell their truths and obtain justice. […]


First Responders

From firefighters to police officers to the Red Cross and many others, First Responders play an essential role in protecting public safety and helping people cope with emergencies. In this documentary, we consider the work of providers of disaster spiritual care. These folks look after both survivors of tragedies and the responders, who are sometimes […]


The Way of Tao, Pt 2

To faithfully carry the meaning of Tao te Ching by Lao Tsu, Jonathan Star devoted 12 years to learning the ancient dialect in which the original Chinese text was written. The fruits of his labors have yielded perhaps the greatest-ever English version of a spiritual treasure. To view additional resources for this episode please visit: […]


The Way of Tao, Pt1

Tao te Ching by Lao Tsu is the masterwork of Chinese philosophy. Its reflections on maintaining life’s delicate balance are as relevant today as when first written some 2,000 years ago. Next to the Bible, no other book has been more widely translated. Yet the Taoist wisdom ideas and sayings are often subtle and hard […]


The Practice of Forgiveness, Pt 2

Robin Casarjian tells of the deep trauma she experienced earlier in life, and how she was forced to work through what it means to let go. She explains that the origin of the word “resent” is to have a repeated feeling, and that resentment of a bitter event causes us to experience it over and […]


The Practice of Forgiveness, Pt 1

Most people regard forgiveness of others to be a virtue worth striving for, even as many of us struggle to forgive, especially when we’ve been deeply hurt. In this remarkable program, we examine misconceptions about forgiveness (that it is a form of excusing bad behavior) and explore how forgiving someone for misconduct can release us […]


Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why does God allow suffering? This age-old question is considered by Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” who arrived at some soothing answers after facing his young son’s death.


Libraries Reimagined, Pt 4

Here we consider the constant imperative of distinguishing fact from falsehood online. How can we tell whether information is reliable? We’ll hear from the CEO who leads Wikipedia, which tests for valid information in the 50 million articles they’ve published online; a librarian who wrote the American Library Association poster, “How to Protect Yourself from […]


Libraries Reimagined, Pt 3

In this segment, we examine the importance of early literacy, starting with the simple act of reading aloud to a very young child. Librarians, pediatricians and others weigh in on how these bonding experiences demonstrate for children that reading can be a source of pleasure (just ask a toddler who requests to be read the […]


Libraries Reimagined, Pt 2

Sociologist Eric Klinenberg treats libraries as hallowed spaces. “We are sitting here today in an incredible public library solely because you and I have inherited from the generations that came before us an institution born of a principled commitment to advance the public good…because everyone should be able to make something better of themselves.”


A Brain Surgeon’s Journey

Dr. Rees Cosgrove, a gifted brain surgeon who has performed thousands of high-stakes operations, conducts operations on a variety of patients, including children. In this dialogue, he describes what it’s like to conduct such a procedure and what he has learned about that which skilled doctors can and cannot control. Find out more. Check out […]


Libraries Reimagined, Pt 1

In 2019, Americans visited the library more often than they went to a movie theater or attended a sporting event. In fact, Gallup found that going to the library was – by far – the most frequent cultural activity in the United States. A Pew survey reports that over ninety percent of Americans view libraries […]


The Medicine Garden, Pt 4

Many of our ancestors were far more in tune with the rhythms of nature, and family customs for using these healing plants were passed down through the generations. Now this understanding, updated by modern science, is again available to health care consumers.


The Power of Nonviolence, Pt 1

History proves over and over that violence breeds more violence. Victims are traumatized by brutality — as are perpetrators, and the cycle is uninterrupted. The Power of Nonviolence from Humankind, seeks deep solutions to this vexing problem. We turn to wisdom teachings across our great spiritual traditions for guidance — and inspiration — on how the lasting […]