Don’t Complain

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
― Maya Angelou

Tyranny

“Tyranny does not begin with violence; it begins with the first gesture of collaboration. Its most enduring crime is drawing decent men and women into its siege of truth.”

– Evan Osnos, When Tyranny Takes Hold

(via Caterina Fake)

Calm

“We should spare ourselves the burden of loneliness. We are far from the only ones with this problem. Everyone is more anxious than they are inclined to tell us. Even the tycoon and the couple in love are suffering. We’ve collectively failed to admit to ourselves what we are truly like.”

A long and interesting read: Calm by Alan de Botton

Build A New Model

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
— R. Buckminster Fuller

Let there be Spaces in Your Togetherness

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

– Kahlil Gibran

The Difficult Balance of Intimacy and Independence: Beloved Philosopher and Poet Kahlil Gibran on the Secret to a Loving and Lasting Relationship

Give it Away

“The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The work of life is to develop it.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”
– David Viscott

From the book: “Finding Your Strength in Difficult Times: A Book of Meditations

Thoughtfulness

“If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one’s entire life, perhaps it would be thoughtfulness.”
– Confucius

Belonging

“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.”
– Brene Brown

A Man Without Ethics

‘A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.’
– Albert Camus

(via)

Hopes

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
– Nelson Mandela

(via)

Hope

Hope is a state of mind, not a state of the world
Either we have hope within us or we don’t.
Hope is not a prognostication—it’s an orientation of the spirit.
You can’t delegate that to anyone else.

Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy
when things are going well,
or the willingness to invest in enterprises
that are obviously headed for early success,
but rather an ability to work for something to succeed.

Hope is definitely NOT the same as optimism.
It’s not the conviction that something will turn out well,
but the certainty that something makes sense,
regardless of how it turns out.

It is hope, above all, that gives us strength to live
and to continually try new things,
even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.
In the face of this absurdity, life is too precious a thing
to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly, emptily,
without meaning, without love, and, finally, without hope.

– Vaclav Havel

(via a commenter in this post)

Affirm and Lift Up

“People are complicated… Societies and cultures are really complicated… These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding.”
– Barack Obama

From this New Yorker piece by David Remnik.

(via)

No Place for Self-Pity

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom. Like art.”

– Toni Morrison

No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: Toni Morrison on the Artist’s Task in Troubled Times

Life

“Life is best thought of as service.”
– W.R. Lethaby

(via)

Time

“Time heals what reason cannot!”
– Seneca

Creativity

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou

Skepticism and Wonder

“Both skepticism and wonder are skills that need honing and practice. Their harmonious marriage within the mind of every schoolchild ought to be a principal goal of public education. I’d love to see such a domestic felicity portrayed in the media, television especially: a community of people really working the mix — full of wonder, generously open to every notion, dismissing nothing except for good reason, but at the same time, and as second nature, demanding stringent standards of evidence — and these standards applied with at least as much rigor to what they hold dear as to what they are tempted to reject with impunity.”
Carl Sagan

Believe Them

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
– Maya Angelou

Present

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”
– Albert Camus

(via)

Success

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
– Maya Angelou

Doubt

“I don’t think there’s an artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.”
– Francis Ford Coppola

(via)

Legacy

“Your legacy is every life you have ever touched.”
– Maya Angelou

Negative Emotions and The Creative Process

“Rigor is the key to overcoming obstacles and completing tasks—and good mood doesn’t improve problem-solving, which involves judgments that almost by necessity won’t feel good: critique and evaluation, experimentation and failure. The stress that arises from problems may be unpleasant but it also motivates us to complete tasks, Davis says. In other words, negative emotions are actually beneficial to the creative process.”

Scientists explain how happiness makes us less creative

Calder on Fan Mail

“My fan mail is enormous – everybody is under six.”
– Alexander Calder

From the book Art is the highest form of hope