Michael's Favorite Reads of the Week: The Week of January 5

Each and every week, I will share some of my favorite articles and columns from the previous week. I hope you enjoy this regular feature, and that you'll be introduced to some great writing and ideas. If you find an article that you think is perfect for this feature, leave it in the comments or email me at michael (at) michaelrwear (dot) com. Read last week's favorite reads here.

BBC: Aitzaz Hasan: Tributes to Pakistan teenager killed when he stopped a bomber

An amazing story of a 15-year-old Pakistani boy who sacrificed himself stopping a suicide-bomber outside of his school.  The father of the boy is quoted in the article: "My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children."

Ezra Klein for The Washington Post: The Depressing Psychological Theory That Explains Washington 

Klein explores how tribalism infects our politics, turning what seems like reasoned debates into rationalizations to defend our party. An important read, and an encouragement to be aware of who or what we count as an authority. 

Alexis Madrigal for The Atlantic: What Niagara Falls Looks Like Without Water

In the summer of 1969, engineers stopped the flow of water to the American and Bridal Veil Falls. As a Buffalo-boy, I've known this history for a while, but it was fun to see it in The Atlantic. 

TOP READ: Julie Beck for The Atlantic: Where Life Has Meaning: Poor, Religious Countries

One of the best paragraphs I've read recently: “'Instead of relying on religion to give life meaning, people in wealthy societies today try to create their own meaning via their identity and self-knowledge,' the study reads. It then quotes Roy F. Baumeister’s book Meanings of Life, saying, 'creating the meaning of your own life sounds very nice as an ideal, but in reality it may be impossible.' Maybe that’s what the proliferation of happiness literature, as well as the study of happiness is, at least in part: an attempt to create the meaning of our own lives."