Here are words worth pondering from the recent funeral service for Czech president Václav Havel. "Truth, seen in a narrow, self-centered way as the one and only truth, is the cause of discord and intolerance. That is why he took “Truth and Love” as his motto, as only love can make us listen to the truth of another person, to the truth of others. Such love teaches us to be humble, and Václav Havel had more humility than we all do. This is the deep meaning of the motto “Truth and Love," a motto for which he was sometimes ridiculed and so much criticized. And yet, it expresses the very substance of human struggle."
Ben Breedlove died on Christmas. The Austin teen suffered from a heart condition that brought him to the verge of death multiple times over his eighteen years. He described his near-death experiences in this two-part video, posted a week before the heart attack that killed him. In the video he doesn't speak, but tells his story with note cards, from time to time flashing a smile that hints at the things his scribbled words leave out. In Ben's telling, what he felt as he drew close to death was an overwhelming feeling of peace. "I had no worries at all, like nothing else in the world mattered," he wrote of a near-death experience when he was four. "I can't even describe the peace, how peaceful it was."
How I learned to walk away.
Best of In The Fray 2012.
Around the world, protesters decry the inequality and excess of free-market capitalism’s “race to the bottom.” But in East Africa, social entrepreneurs are planting the young roots of a new, cause-minded capitalism.
Big John plays chess for a three-dollar donation. C bets customers five bucks they can’t beat him. John plays days. C works the chessboard until 5 a.m. John has a family, an apartment, a job. C hustles to survive. These are New York’s street players.
Welcome to the new In The Fray.
We've been on hiatus for a while, and we've used that time to update the site, our editorial approach, and our nonprofit organization. We hope you'll enjoy reading the new magazine. Ever since we founded ITF ten years ago, we've published stories that help readers understand other people and empathize with their struggles and triumphs. This will continue, but we've streamlined both the look and content of the magazine in ways that make our mission clearer and our work more compelling.