KidSpirit Online is a free teen magazine & website for kids created by and for young people to tackle life’s big questions together. Teens share online writing, poetry, artwork, volunteer opportunities and examine their spiritual development in a non-affiliated and inclusive forum.

We invite you to delve into these PerSpectives, a concluding note on the theme of each magazine issue written by a spiritual elder.

Double Happiness: Wisdom from Two Buddhist Teachers

by Matthieu Ricard and Sylvia Boorstein

Buddhist teachers Matthieu Ricard and Sylvia Boorstein share two PerSpectives essays on KidSpirit’s summer theme. To imagine happiness as the achievement of all your wishes and passions is to confuse the legitimate aspiration to inner fulfillment with a utopia that inevitably leads to frustration. In affirming that “happiness is the satisfaction of our desires” in

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Exploring Fairy Tales: A Touch of Magic

by Dr. Maria Tatar

Fairy tales, like all stories with a touch of magic, have a high quotient of weirdness. These narratives take us out of our comfort zones, roughing us up in the process and sometimes even rewiring our brains. Beans that grow into sky-high beanstalks, a bloodthirsty giant who grinds bones to make his bread, a goose

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A Message to Youth

by Dr. Wade Davis

Let me tell you a story that begins on a ridge in Borneo, close to dusk, with thunder over the valley and the forest alive with the electrifying roar of black cicadas. I was sitting by a fire with an old friend, Asik Nyelit, headman of the Ubong River Penan, one of the last nomadic

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Harry Potter and the Magic to Remake the World

by Valarie Kaur

To the young people of the world: you don’t have to wait until you are older to make a difference. A special kind of magic is dancing within each of you. You just have to believe in your own bravery. Here’s how I know this is true. When I was 20 years old, I found

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Honoring the Stranger

by The Interfaith Amigos

From left to right: Imam Jamal Rahman, Pastor Don Mackenzie, and Rabbi Ted Falcon   The Stranger in Jewish Experience and Teachings by Rabbi Ted Falcon, Ph.D. Because my family moved to an outlying suburb of Cleveland, I began 9th grade at a new school. Our new neighborhood had very few Jewish people, and the

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Our Human Inheritance

by Bill McKibben

We all happen to be alive at an extremely interesting moment—the exact moment when human beings have grown so large that they’ve begun to affect everything around them. Human civilization—the period we have records for, when people lived lives somewhat like our own—stretches back about 10,000 years. Scientists call that period the “Holocene.” The earth’s

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Mother Tongues

by Gary Eberle

Human beings come into the world hard-wired to speak any human language. Each of us, at birth, is cap-able of making any sound humans can make, and any baby can potentially under-stand any human tongue. As we grow we learn a particular language — our “mother tongue” — and our ability to learn other languages

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The Mystery Is Out There

by Dr. Marcelo Gleiser

Here is a question you don’t think about everyday: where did the stuff you’re made of come from? We know we are made of cells, and cells are made of molecules, and molecules are made of different atoms. But where do the atoms come from? The ground? Food? Well, food is also made of living

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The Navel: Symbol or State of Mind?

by Paulo Coelho

Many languages of the world have the same expression to define a person centered only on the self: “navel-gazing.” Why? First, I looked up a definition, where navels are described in a very limited manner: a scar resulting from the natural dropping of the umbilical cord. Generally, in humans it has a round and deep

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Brainstorm: Understand Your Brain and Empower Yourself

by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

If you are like me when I was an adolescent, you may realize that some pretty big things have changed in your life. For example, when I was eight years old, I remember thinking about how simple everything was — enjoying a bike ride around the block, having time with a friend, or just watching

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