Archive for June, 2017

Gathering Joy

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Giving thanks is a way of gathering joy. Imagine yourself in a meadow chasing butterflies with a net. Though the meadow is full of spiders, you don’t notice these, neither are you concerned with weeds or scraps of litter. You aren’t collecting spiders or weeds or litter. You’re collecting butterflies, and your sole focus is on capturing those brightly colored flecks of beauty.

Joy requires single-mindedness. The world is full of reasons to be sad or distressed, but beauty and goodness also abound. Which to look at? What you see is what you get.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 49-50

Appreciation

Friday, June 16th, 2017

We do violence to ourselves when we focus on what we are missing or lacking rather than appreciating the gifts we have been given. You don’t have to follow a particular religion or even any religion at all to appreciate the marvels and mysteries of the world — they are there for all of us. By bringing more appreciation into your life, you can change your attitude and your perspective on the world.

— Arun Gandhi, The Gift of Anger, p. 220-221

An Unread Library

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.

— Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist, p. 20

Giving and Taking

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Teach her that to love is not only to give but also to take. This is important because we give girls subtle cues about their lives — we teach girls that a large component of their ability to love is their ability to sacrifice their selves. We do not teach this to boys. Teach her that to love she must give of herself emotionally but she must also expect to be given.

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, p. 56

Hope

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Cause-and-effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal, and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope. To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.

— Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark, p. 3-4