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To The Best Of Our Knowledge
December 8, 2018
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Giving Is Complicated

giving gifts

One cold December night many years ago, a neighbor knocked at my door and presented me with a Santa-shaped plate of chocolate-studded, ginger-scented homemade Christmas cookies, beautifully decorated and wrapped in a bow. I was aghast. The cookies looked extraordinary, but I had nothing for her. I was new to the neighborhood, but not to the protocols of gift exchange. Accepting her kindness without offering anything in return felt awkward and embarrassing, to say the least.

The holiday season is a good time to remember that giving is one of our most complicated forms of social exchange, rife with pitfalls and fraught with moral, emotional, and political significance — even when it comes in the shape of a cookie. This week’s show unwraps a few of the complications involved in giving – and getting.


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In A Medical Crisis, Small Gestures Are Life-Changing

Ways to help Jay
In 2015, Jay Costello was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. His family couldn't handle it alone, so his daughter Megan started asking for help online, fundraising via a GoFundMe page.
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A Neuroscientist On Vanquishing Anger From Our Minds

Anger on the brain
Other than getting angry, is there a better way to respond to people who’ve treated you badly? A smarter way to deal with injustice? Richard Davidson thinks so. He says what we need is to learn how to love.
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You Can't Smash The Patriarchy Every Day, But You Can Try

Cristen and Caroline of "Unladylike"
Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin traced the history of feminist anger and power in their new book, “Unladylike: A Field Guide to Smashing the Patriarchy and Claiming Your Space.”
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