“Curiosity is the engine of civilisation”
– Peter Cundill
“I’m a writer, and everything I write is both a confession and a struggle to understand things about myself and this world in which I live. This is what everyone’s work should be…whether you dance or paint or sing. It is a confession, a baring of your soul, your faults, those things you simply cannot or will not understand or accept. You stumble forward, confused, and you share. If you’re lucky, you learn something.”
– Arthur Miller
“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
– Aldous Huxley
Kevin Kelly turned 70 last week and he gave us a gift: For the past few years, he’s jotted down bits of unsolicited advice each year and shared it with us. Some of my favorites are:
– Dont ever work for someone you dont want to become.
– Your growth as a conscious being is measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.
– Courtesy costs nothing. Lower the toilet seat after use. Let the people in the elevator exit before you enter. Return shopping carts to their designated areas. When you borrow something, return it better shape (filled up, cleaned) than when you got it.
This one made me laugh:
– To keep young kids behaving on a car road trip, have a bag of their favorite candy and throw a piece out the window each time they misbehave.
“This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don’t get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can’t do anything, don’t get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it’s ready to come undone. You have to realize it’s going to be a long process and that you’ll work on things slowly, one at a time.”
– Haruki Murakami
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
― G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
― Howard Zinn
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case.
Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
– Mary Oliver
“Love is friendship that has caught fire.”
– Ann Landers
Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
– Lao Tzu
Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’
– Robin Williams
“The shadow of privilege is this: You don’t learn to take care of yourself inside. You don’t learn to value your internal life. You get so fixated on your external life that you forget your internal life is much, much bigger, much deeper, and much more rewarding.”
– Larry Ward
I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”
– Danusha Laméris
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly… Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them…throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you…trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly…on tiptoes and no luggage…completely unencumbered.”
– Aldous Huxley
“There’s nothing wrong with lurkers. Lurkers are potential action-takers.For now, though, our focus, our energy and our gratitude is for the people who are already showing up.”
“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
“The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning.”
– Albert Camus