The Story of Demeter and Persephone Taught Me the True Work of Motherhood

The Ancient Greek Myth Is a Reminder of the Necessary Pain of Letting a Child Go

When I was young, my mother used to tell me the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone at bedtime. Now that I am a mother myself, the story has come to haunt me in more ways than one—informing my own experience of motherhood as the continuous interplay between separation and reunification, breaking apart to come together again, and all the grief and joy in between.

As a popular retelling of the myth goes, Persephone is picking flowers with her friends near a lake when suddenly the earth splits open …

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It’s Time to Embrace the Vaccine Passport | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

It’s Time to Embrace the Vaccine Passport

There Shouldn’t Be Any Controversy Around This Crucial Public Good

Vaccine passports, and the questions of whether governments or private businesses can or should require people to show them, have recently inspired controversy, and much misinformation, in many countries.

Some …

The Swedish Concept of ‘Lagom’ Could Tame America’s Urban Supremacism | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Swedish Concept of ‘Lagom’ Could Tame America’s Urban Supremacism

The U.S. Can Learn From Sweden's Policies That Spread Growth, Development, and Opportunity Into Smaller Cities and Rural Regions

Lagom—pronounced “LAW-goohm”—is a Swedish word for which there is no direct English translation. Some dictionaries translate it as “moderate” or “modest” or “suitable” or “sufficient.” The “just right” of Goldilocks …

To End the Stigma Around America’s Poverty Crisis, Teach It in the Classroom | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

To End the Stigma Around America’s Poverty Crisis, Teach It in the Classroom

Instruction on the Nature, Extent, and Causes of Poverty Will Challenge Entrenched Narratives Around It—And Open the Door for Policy Change

Just as our ignorance of science puts us at risk from disease or environmental disaster, our ignorance of poverty creates real dangers for people and societies. Which is why, just …

Humanity Might Have Been Born to Live in Cities | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Humanity Might Have Been Born to Live in Cities

Paleo-Style Sensibilities Aside, Earth's Future Hinges on the Success of Our Urban Spaces

Sometimes it feels like we made a wrong turn a long way back.

Perhaps it was the shift to fossil fuels and scientific medicine that led us to this place, …