How do we navigate today’s mixed-up world in ways that help us become not more angry, fearful, and divided but better, wiser, kinder human beings?

Equally important: How do we help our children, if we’re parents, and young people more generally rise to the challenges they will face–while celebrating and nurturing their hopeful, happy, creative minds and hearts?

In some ways, they are the questions I’ve always been asking as a writer, a mother, and someone who has worked in several social change movements, including most recently climate action: a topic I have written extensively about from the perspective of what our responses to climate change teach us about human nature and what we need to know about human nature to address an issue as big and complex as this one. (See articles.)

But today, these questions have taken on a new importance. Indeed, I find them essential questions for Americans of all perspectives. We are, after all, united by our desire for happiness and our love of children.

Fortunately, there are many good, wise, kind people who are providing answers and insights. Sharing some of these, along with my own discoveries, is my focus now.

Lisa Bennett is co-author with the psychologist and emotional and social intelligence expert, Daniel Goleman, of Ecoliterate. She is a contributor to books including The Compassionate Instinct, A Place at the Table, The Creation of the Future, and Smart by Nature. A former Harvard University fellow and Ashoka Changemakers thought leader, she has published hundreds of articles, some of them for The New York Times, Forbes.com, The Daily Beast, Vox, and elsewhere.