Community Best Quotes

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The likelihood that your acts of resistance cannot stop the injustice does not exempt you from acting in what you sincerely and reflectively hold to be the best interests of your community.
Susan Sontag (At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches)
The best books, they don't talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you'd always thought about, but that you didn't think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you're a little bit less alone in the world. You're part of this cosmic community of people who've thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.
Tommy Wallach (We All Looked Up)
A great library doesn't have to be big or beautiful. It doesn't have to have the best facilities or the most efficient staff or the most users. A great library provides. It is enmeshed in the life of a community in a way that makes it indispensable. A great library is one nobody notices because it is always there, and always has what people need.
Vicki Myron (Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World)
I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.
John Wesley (How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer (VALUE BOOKS))
Who gets to be best-liked in any community? Who is the most trusted? Why, the man who does the dirty job, of course, and does it with a smile. The man who does the job you couldn't bring yourself to do.
Stephen King (The Stand)
Our power as individuals is multiplied when we gather together as families, teams, and communities with common goals.
Susan Scott (Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst "Best" Practices of Business Today)
Because you live to love and love to live/ And because of what your heardrum will give/ Now we might love to live and live to love.
Janet Goodfriend (For the Love of Art)
Libraries are a force for good. They wear capes. They fight evil. They don’t get upset when you don’t send them a card on their birthdays. (Though they will charge you if you’re late returning a book.) They serve communities. The town without a library is a town without a soul. The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of ALL human beings, and it is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance. Libraries are the torch of the world, illuminating the path when it feels too dark to see. We mustn’t allow that torch to be extinguished.
Libba Bray
The best prize life has to offer is not a chance to work hard and be something in the community. It is the perfume of God that resides within you.
Enock Maregesi
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy Book 2))
For introverts, the best associations start with ideas. If you don’t feel a part of your neighborhood association or the happy hour regulars after work, don’t force it. The community that surrounds you may not be your community.
Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
When we accept dismissive judgments of our community we stop having generous hope for it. We cease to be capable of serving its best interests.
Marilynne Robinson (When I Was a Child I Read Books)
To think better, to think like the best humans, we are probably going to have to learn again to judge a person's intelligence, not by the ability to recite facts, but by the good order or harmoniousness of his or her surroundings. We must suspect that any statistical justification of ugliness and violence is a revelation of stupidity. (pg.192-193, People, Land, and Community)
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Those of us who write, who sing, who paint, must remember that to a child a song may glow like a nightlight in a scary bedroom. It may be the only thing holding back the monsters. That story may be the only beautiful, true thing that makes it through all the ugliness of a little girl’s world to rest in her secret heart. May we take that seriously. It is our job, it is our ministry, it is the sword we swing in the Kingdom, to remind children that the good guys win, that the stories are true, and that a fool’s hope may be the best kind.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
Some communities don't permit open, honest inquiry about the things that matter most. Lots of people have voiced a concern, expressed a doubt, or raised a question, only to be told by their family, church, friends, or tribe: "We don't discuss those things here." I believe the discussion itself is divine. Abraham does his best to bargain with God, most of the book of Job consists of arguments by Job and his friends about the deepest questions of human suffering, God is practically on trial in the book of Lamentations, and Jesus responds to almost every question he's asked with...a question.
Rob Bell (Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived)
If God’s purpose for your job is that you serve the human community, then the way to serve God best is to do the job as well as it can be done.
Timothy J. Keller (Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work)
Most communities just happen; the best are planned.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
There are two visions of America a half century from now. One is of a society more divided between the haves and the have-nots, a country in which the rich live in gated communities, send their children to expensive schools, and have access to first-rate medical care. Meanwhile, the rest live in a world marked by insecurity, at best mediocre education, and in effect rationed health care―they hope and pray they don't get seriously sick. At the bottom are millions of young people alienated and without hope. I have seen that picture in many developing countries; economists have given it a name, a dual economy, two societies living side by side, but hardly knowing each other, hardly imagining what life is like for the other. Whether we will fall to the depths of some countries, where the gates grow higher and the societies split farther and farther apart, I do not know. It is, however, the nightmare towards which we are slowly marching.
Joseph E. Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future)
There are so many things we can’t do anything about if we think about generalities. Things won’t go well because there is a huge gap between the generalities and the particulars. If we see generalities from the top of a mountain or from a plane, we feel it’s hopeless, but if we go down, there is a nice road running about fifty meters, we feel this is a nice road, and if the weather is fine and shining, we feel we can go on… Since the people in the community are cleaning up the river in my neighborhood, I join them when I have the time. A human can often be satisfied with the particulars. That’s what I like best these days.
Hayao Miyazaki
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
At their best, religious and spiritual communities help us discover this pure and naked spiritual encounter. At their worst, they simply make us more ashamed, pressuring us to cover up more, pushing us to further enhance our image with the best designer labels and latest spiritual fads, weighing us down with layer upon layer of heavy, uncomfortable, pretentious, well-starched religiosity.
Brian D. McLaren
One of the newest figures to emerge on the world stage in recent years is the social entrepreneur. This is usually someone who burns with desire to make a positive social impact on the world, but believes that the best way of doing it is, as the saying goes, not by giving poor people a fish and feeding them for a day, but by teaching them to fish, in hopes of feeding them for a lifetime. I have come to know several social entrepreneurs in recent years, and most combine a business school brain with a social worker's heart. The triple convergence and the flattening of the world have been a godsend for them. Those who get it and are adapting to it have begun launching some very innovative projects.
Thomas L. Friedman (The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century)
Even with the very best of intentions, even with the ambition of making the world a better place, when we cast judgment upon people whose lifestyles, beliefs, or predilections we dislike, we add to the emotional filth of hostility and make the world feel a little less safe for the folks we’re genuinely trying to help.
Agnostic Zetetic
Were these boys in their right minds? Here were two boys with good intellect, one eighteen and one nineteen. They had all the prospects that life could hold out for any of the young; one a graduate of Chicago and another of Ann Arbor; one who had passed his examination for the Harvard Law School and was about to take a trip in Europe,--another who had passed at Ann Arbor, the youngest in his class, with three thousand dollars in the bank. Boys who never knew what it was to want a dollar; boys who could reach any position that was to boys of that kind to reach; boys of distinguished and honorable families, families of wealth and position, with all the world before them. And they gave it all up for nothing, for nothing! They took a little companion of one of them, on a crowded street, and killed him, for nothing, and sacrificed everything that could be of value in human life upon the crazy scheme of a couple of immature lads. Now, your Honor, you have been a boy; I have been a boy. And we have known other boys. The best way to understand somebody else is to put yourself in his place. Is it within the realm of your imagination that a boy who was right, with all the prospects of life before him, who could choose what he wanted, without the slightest reason in the world would lure a young companion to his death, and take his place in the shadow of the gallows? ...No one who has the process of reasoning could doubt that a boy who would do that is not right. How insane they are I care not, whether medically or legally. They did not reason; they could not reason; they committed the most foolish, most unprovoked, most purposeless, most causeless act that any two boys ever committed, and they put themselves where the rope is dangling above their heads.... Why did they kill little Bobby Franks? Not for money, not for spite; not for hate. They killed him as they might kill a spider or a fly, for the experience. They killed him because they were made that way. Because somewhere in the infinite processes that go to the making up of the boy or the man something slipped, and those unfortunate lads sit here hated, despised, outcasts, with the community shouting for their blood. . . . I know, Your Honor, that every atom of life in all this universe is bound up together. I know that a pebble cannot be thrown into the ocean without disturbing every drop of water in the sea. I know that every life is inextricably mixed and woven with every other life. I know that every influence, conscious and unconscious, acts and reacts on every living organism, and that no one can fix the blame. I know that all life is a series of infinite chances, which sometimes result one way and sometimes another. I have not the infinite wisdom that can fathom it, neither has any other human brain
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
The keys to health and weight-loss: stress reduction, sleep, deep breathing, clean water, complete nutrition, sunshine, walking, stretching, meditation, love, community, laughter, dreams, perseverance, purpose, humility, action.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi. But isn't that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
Drug cartels have taken the driver’s seat, training our young men and women on how best to self destruct, while the larger community watches on helplessly as these bands of renegades lead our people towards the path of self annihilation
Oche Otorkpa (The Unseen Terrorist)
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles. This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear. But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God. ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
call the game the “Wall Street Game,” and people become less cooperative. Calling it the “Community Game” does the opposite. Similarly,
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Cooking is all about connection, I've learned, between us and other species, other times, other cultures (human and microbial both), but, most important, other people. Cooking is one of the more beautiful forms that human generosity takes; that much I sort of knew. But the very best cooking, I discovered, is also a form of intimacy.
Michael Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation)
There have been numerous studies suggesting that one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty is through the education of women and girls. It’s one of the best returns on investment in the developing world, but sixty-six million girls worldwide are not enrolled in school. Educated women spread what they’ve learned to their families and villages and children. Educated girls get pregnant later, have fewer children, and have a far lower infant mortality rate. Educated women and girls have greater power to determine their own fate; earn more; live a rich, fulfilled life; and give back to their communities at a greater level.
Rainn Wilson (The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy)
My spirit gets nourished in faraway places. Sometimes I wonder if it's a biological need, perhaps a biological flaw, that compels me to seek the excitement and challenge that comes of being in a place where nobody knows me. Other times I think that my compulsion to settle into communities that are different from the ones I know is related to my passion for experiential learning. I learn best and most happily by doing, touching, sharing, tasting. When I'm somewhere I've never been before, learning goes on all day, every day.
Rita Golden Gelman (Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World)
Happiness is a house with many rooms, but at its core is a hearth around which we gather with family, friends, the community, and sometimes even strangers to find the best part of ourselves.
Charles Montgomery (Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design)
If ever there were a true “just as I am” church, if ever there were a community where everybody could bring all their baggage and brokenness with them without neat and tidy happy endings quite yet, if ever there was a group where everyone was loved and no one pretended — we could not make enough room inside the building.
John Ortberg (The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You)
Enjoyable social interaction, community and laughter has a healing effect on the mind and body.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
People are living books. The real library of life is community.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
This is why the Enemy wants you to think you have no song to write, no story to tell, no painting to paint. He wants to quiet you. So sing. Let the Word by which the Creator made you fill your imagination, guide your pen, lead you from note to note until a melody is strung together like a glimmering constellation in the clear sky. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers. Let your homesickness keep you always from spiritual slumber. Remember that it is in the fellowship of saints, of friends and family, that your gift will grow best, and will find its best expression. And until the Kingdom comes in its fullness, bend your will to the joyful, tearful telling of its coming. Write about that. Write about that, and never stop.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they've ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself. Out in the real world there exist detailed plans, visionary projects for peaceable realms, all conflicts resolved, happiness for everyone, for ever – mirages for which people are prepared to die and kill. Christ's kingdom on earth, the workers' paradise, the ideal Islamic state. But only in music, and only on rare occasions, does the curtain actually lift on this dream of community, and it's tantalisingly conjured, before fading away with the last notes.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
The best part about being a nerd within a community of nerds is the insularity – it’s cozy, familial, come as you are. In a discussion board on the Web site Slashdot.org about Rushmore, a film with a nerdy teen protagonist, one anonymous participant pinpointed the value of taking part in detail-oriented zealotry: Geeks tend to be focused on very narrow fields of endeavor. The modern geek has been generally dismissed by society because their passions are viewed as trivial by those people who ‘see the big picture.’ Geeks understand that the big picture is pixilated and their high level of contribution in small areas grows the picture. They don’t need to see what everyone else is doing to make their part better. Being a nerd, which is to say going to far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know. For me, the spark that turns an acquaintance into a friend has usually been kindled by some shared enthusiasm like detective novels or Ulysses S. Grant.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
The highest result of education is tolerance. Long ago men fought and died for their faith; but it took ages to teach them the other kind of courage,—the courage to recognize the faiths of their brethren and their rights of conscience. Tolerance is the first principle of community; it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.
Helen Keller (The World I Live In and Optimism: A Collection of Essays (Books on Literature & Drama))
The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.
Tommy Wallach (We All Looked Up)
I cannot imagine a spiritual pain deeper than dying with the thought that during my sojourn on earth, I had rarely, if ever, shown up as my true self. And I cannot imagine a spiritual comfort deeper than dying with the knowledge that I had spent my brief time on this planet doing the best I could to be present as myself to my family, my friends, my community, and my world.
Parker J. Palmer (Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit)
As with all the best sci-fi writers, Kurt Vonnegut was really good at seeing into the future. Way back in 1974, he wrote, “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
Imagine a nonpatriarchal culture where counseling was available to all men to help them find the work that they are best suited to, that they can do with joy. Imagine work settings that offer timeouts where workers can take classes in relational recovery, where they might fellowship with other workers and build a community of solidarity that, at least if it could not change the arduous, depressing nature of labor itself, could make the workplace more bearable. Imagine a world where men who are unemployed for any reason could learn the way to self-actualization.
bell hooks (The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love)
Did you think that locking me up in the community was the best answer?” “We—” “Did you think you could stop me?” Power shot from me, smacking into the door behind Dawson, blowing it off the hinges and into the house. “I’ll burn the world down to save her.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Origin (Lux, #4))
Create your own community of liberation. From this moment on, direct your most concerted efforts, your best work, and your greatest feats of imagination toward creating the impossible community, and do so first of all precisely where you are, with those around you.
John P. Clark
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look at thousands of working people displaced from their jobs with reduced incomes as a result of automation while the profits of the employers remain intact, and say: “This is not just.” It will look across the oceans and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to schoolteachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy Book 2))
The natural man lives for himself; he is the unit, the whole, dependent only on himself and on his like. The citizen is but the numerator of a fraction, whose value depends on its denominator; his value depends upon the whole, that is, on the community. Good social institutions are those best fitted to make a man unnatural, to exchange his independence for dependence, to merge the unit in the group, so that he no longer regards himself as one, but as a part of the whole, and is only conscious of the common life.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile)
This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of wealth: To set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent on him; and, after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgement, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community--the man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee and agent for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience, and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves.
Andrew Carnegie
To Aristotle, eudaimonia is not a fleeting positive emotion. Rather, it is something you do. Leading a eudaimonic life, Aristotle argued, requires cultivating the best qualities within you both morally and intellectually and living up to your potential. It is an active life, a life in which you do your job and contribute to society, a life in which you are involved in your community, a life, above all, in which you realize your potential, rather than squander your talents.
Emily Esfahani Smith (The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness)
It's odd how we prioritize the things the things that matter to us. We choose a career or job; we choose a city or place to live. We make so many things important to us, but in all the things we factor in as we craft our futures, we make the people in our lives a commodity of, at best, secondary importance. We would take a job and give up our people rather than choose a tribe and give up the job.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life)
I had long recognized that faith helped people understand their relationship to their community. In the best cases it helped women in Danbury focus on what they had to give instead of what they wanted. And that was a good thing. So for all my scoffing at "holy rollers," was it such a bad thing if faith helped someone understand what others needed from them, rather than just thinking about themselves?
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
It is my deep belief that in talking about the past, in understanding the things that have happened to us we can heal and go forward. Some people believe that it is best to put the past behind you, to never speak about the events that have happened that have hurt or wounded us, and this is their way of coping —but coping is not healing. By confronting the past without shame we are free of its hold on us.
bell hooks (Teaching Community)
Soul has been demoted to a new-age spiritual fantasy or a missionary's booty, and nature has been treated , at best, as a postcard or a vacation backdrop or, more commonly, as a hardware store or refuse heap. Too many of us lack intimacy with the natural world and with our souls, and consequently we are doing untold damage to both.
Bill Plotkin (Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World)
I have suggested that the unity-within-diversity of the New Testament witnesses can best be grasped with the aid of three focal images: community, cross, and new creation. We can encapsulate the theological implications of these images for the church in a single complex narrative summary: the New Testament calls the covenant community of God’s people into participation in the cross of Christ in such a way that the death and resurrection of Jesus becomes a paradigm for their common life as harbingers of God’s new creation.
Richard B. Hays (The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics)
I don’t think there’s a less elitist thing on earth to do than to try and reach out and connect with another human being . . . And that’s what the best writing does, that’s what art does. It looks a reader in the eye, and it proceeds honestly with that reader, and nakedly. There is a compact there, a bond, a relationship, a union, a symbiosis . . . It’s not about you. Whether you’re a genius or an idiot savant. It’s about the work. The work is more important than you. So it’s not about back-claps and plaudits and “isn’t that author smart.” It’s about, “this book really connected with me. And even though you, my friend, are very different from me, I’m lending it to you, because I think it will connect with you as well.” Community. Across the eras. Between people who have never met, who will never meet, who are nonetheless bound in something together, in different ways.
Colin Fleming
Formation may be the best name for what happens in a circle of trust, because the word refers, historically, to soul work done in community. But a quick disclaimer is in order, since formation sometimes means a process quite contrary to the one described in this book----a process in which the pressure of orthodox doctrine, sacred text, and institutional authority is applied to the misshapen soul in order to conform it to the shape dictated by some theology. This approach is rooted in the idea that we are born with souls deformed by sin, and our situation is hopeless until the authorities "form" us properly. But all of that is turned upside down by the principles of a circle of trust: I applaud the theologian who said that "the idea of humans being born alienated from the Creator would seem an abominable concept." Here formation flows from the belief that we are born with souls in perfect form. As time goes on, we subject to powers of deformation, from within as well as without, that twist us into shapes alien to the shape of the soul. But the soul never loses its original form and never stops calling us back to our birhtright integrity.
Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life : Welcoming the soul and weaving community in a wounded world)
Scientific information about the universe does not displace God. Some have said that they searched the heavens and did not see God. The universe with its measureless spaces remains a vast mystery to us, and those who do not find God in their immediate presence, in their heart and conscience, in the Word and the Christian community, will not find him in the universe either, even though they are equipped with the best telescopes that money can buy.
Herman Bavinck (Reformed Dogmatics: Abridged in One Volume)
But God made us to life in community, to laugh and cry. To hurt and to celebrate with each other, no matter what were going through. And transformation is tough, and we dont always end up where we think we will. But we have to remember, that even when we struggle to believe in Him, He always believes in us. He fills our lives with purpose and passion, if we just let Him. And the best part of the journey, is that the God of the universe, sometimes allows us to play a part in changing the world.
Jim Britts (To Save a Life (To Save a Life, #1))
Doing your best, you are going to live your life intensely. You are going to be productive, you are going to be good to yourself, because you will be giving yourself to your family, to your community, to everything. But it is the action that is going to make you feel intensely happy. When you always do your best, you take action. Doing your best is taking the action because you love it, not because you’re expecting a reward. Most people do exactly the opposite: They only take action when they expect a reward, and they don’t enjoy the action. And that’s the reason why they don’t do their best.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
There are many forms of poverty: economic poverty, physical poverty, emotional poverty, mental poverty, and spiritual poverty. As long as we relate primarily to each other's wealth, health, stability, intelligence, and soul strength, we cannot develop true community. Community is not a talent show in which we dazzle the world with our combined gifts. Community is the place where our poverty is acknowledged and accepted, not as something we have to learn to cope with as best as we can but as a true source of new life. Living community in whatever form - family, parish, twelve-step program, or intentional community - challenges us to come together at the place of our poverty, believing that there we can reveal our richness.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Bread for the Journey)
Not so very long ago, however, such self-governing peoples were the majority of humankind. Today, they are seen from the valley kingdoms as “our living ancestors,” “what we were like before we discovered wet-rice cultivation, Buddhism and civilization.” on the contrary, I argue that hill peoples are best understood as runaway, fugitive, maroon communities who have, over the course of two millennia, been fleeing the oppressions of state-making projects in the valleys — slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labor, epidemics, and warfare.
James C. Scott (The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (Yale Agrarian Studies Series))
Like most people who decide to get sober, I was brought to Alcoholics Anonymous. While AA certainly works for others, its core propositions felt irreconcilable with my own experiences. I couldn't, for example, rectify the assertion that "alcoholism is a disease" with the facts of my own life. The idea that by simply attending an AA meeting, without any consultation, one is expected to take on a blanket diagnosis of "diseased addict" was to me, at best, patronizing. At worst, irresponsible. Irresponsible because it doesn't encourage people to turn toward and heal the actual underlying causes of their abuse of substances. I drank for thirteen years for REALLY good reasons. Among them were unprocessed grief, parental abandonment, isolation, violent trauma, anxiety and panic, social oppression, a general lack of safety, deep existential discord, and a tremendous diet and lifestyle imbalance. None of which constitute a disease, and all of which manifest as profound internal, mental, emotional and physical discomfort, which I sought to escape by taking external substances. It is only through one's own efforts to turn toward life on its own terms and to develop a wiser relationship to what's there through mindfulness and compassion that make freedom from addictive patterns possible. My sobriety has been sustained by facing life, processing grief, healing family relationships, accepting radically the fact of social oppression, working with my abandonment conditioning, coming into community, renegotiating trauma, making drastic diet and lifestyle changes, forgiving, and practicing mindfulness, to name just a few. Through these things, I began to relieve the very real pressure that compulsive behaviors are an attempt to resolve.
Noah Levine (Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
When a woman understands the uniqueness of the female brain—how to care for it, how to make the most of its strengths, how to overcome its challenges, how to fall in love with it, and ultimately, how to unleash its full power—there is no stopping her. In her personal development, at work, and in her relationships, she can bring the best of herself to her family, her community, and her planet. By contrast, a woman who is not caring optimally for her brain, who is not giving it the full range of nutrients, exercise, sleep, and emotional support that it needs, is squandering her most valuable resource. If you are not taking good care of your brain, you are at a significantly higher risk of brain fog, memory problems, low energy, distractibility, poor decisions, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Daniel G. Amen (Unleash the Power of the Female Brain: Supercharging Yours for Better Health, Energy, Mood, Focus, and Sex)
Unity consciousness is not simply a beautiful vision of possibility-it is our best and truest hope. Until each and every one of us rises into fullness, the collective cannot actualize its wholeness. Until we all rush to the side of someone in need, we are all fractured beings. Until we all recognize that each of us is a magnificent reflection of the Godself, we are collectively blind. Until everyone has what they need to flourish, we are all birds with one wing. The collective is only as healthy as its most challenged individual. Our community is humanity. We rise or fall in unison.
Jeff Brown (Love It Forward)
Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us--simpatico dudes that we are--while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time--while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works--but it doesn't feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns. Rock-and-roll, on the other hand, presumes that the four of us--as damaged and anti-social as we are--might possibly get it to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can't. The song's too simple, and we're too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves, imperceptibly, against our formal expectations, whetehr we want it to or not. Just because we're breathing, man. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions. And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically "perfect" rock--like "free" jazz--sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is always on top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we're trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes. That's something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that's all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.
Dave Hickey (Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy)
Stripped of the kind of judgments that are at the very heart of the idea of "credit", shot through with bad faith, [the mortgage broker's] work is now predicated on irresponsibility, rooted in the absence of community. Whatever lingering fiduciary consciousness he may have has become a liability, given the general rush to irresponsibility by his competitors. The work cannot sustain him as a human being. Rather, it damages the best part of him, and it becomes imperative to partition work off from the rest of life.
Matthew B. Crawford (Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work)
What is the bedrock on which all of our diverse trans populations can build solidarity? The commitment to be the best fighters against each other's oppression. As our activist network grows into marches and rallies of hundreds of thousands, we will hammer out language that demonstrates the sum total of our movement as well as its component communities. Unity depends on respect for diversity, no matter what tools of language are ultimately used. This is a very early stage for trans peoples with such diverse histories and blends of cultures to form community. Perhaps we don't have to strive to be one community. In reality, there isn't one women's, or lesbian, gay, bi community. What is realistic is the goal to build a coalition between our many strong communities in order to form a movement capable of defending all our lives.
Leslie Feinberg (Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue)
Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 die from shootings at more than six times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined, thanks to a ten times higher rate of homicide committed by black teens. Until the black family is reconstituted, the best protection that the law-abiding residents of urban neighborhoods have is the police. They are the government agency most committed to the proposition that “black lives matter.” The relentless effort to demonize the police for enforcing the law can only leave poor communities more vulnerable to anarchy. 5
Heather Mac Donald (The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe)
At that first preview, it was disorienting to watch more than 200 strangers stream into the theater, hailing from God-knows-where. They didn’t know they were obstructing what had very recently been Andy’s path to the stage, or occupying the spot where Tommy liked to preside, arms crossed, a couple of fingers to his lips. But as Alexander Hamilton kept trying to tell us, even the best-ordered societies need infusions of new blood to thrive. Keep it in mind the next time you go to the theater: Some gifted men and women have built a community in that room, and the immigrant is you.
Jeremy McCarter (Hamilton: The Revolution)
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
Every man is bound to answer these questions to himself, according to the best of his conscience and understanding, and to act agreeably to the genuine and sober dictates of his judgment. This is a duty from which nothing can give him a dispensation. 'Tis one that he is called upon, nay, constrained by all the obligations that form the bands of society, to discharge sincerely and honestly. No partial motive, no particular interest, no pride of opinion, no temporary passion or prejudice, will justify to himself, to his country, or to his posterity, an improper election of the part he is to act. Let him beware of an obstinate adherence to party; let him reflect that the object upon which he is to decide is not a particular interest of the community, but the very existence of the nation ...
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
But one of the progressions I've made is from being a depressed teenager who saw how powerless she was to change all the ills around her to being a mostly cheerful fifty-something who realizes there are all kinds of ways of working towards positive change. I am not as active in doing so as my conscience would have me be, but I am not at all passive, or powerless. And that's because I'm not alone. I've learned I can trust that humans in general will strive to make things better for themselves and their communities. Not all of us. Not always in principled, loving, or respectful ways. Often the direst opposite, in fact. But we're all on the same spinning ball of dirt, trying to live as best we can.
Nalo Hopkinson (Falling in Love with Hominids)
Direct questions are the worst. Cops must know this--when someone asks you a question, it is really, really hard not to answer it. It's even harder when people dig up old tweets and put them side by side with new ones and you can't really explain the discrepancy. And then other people see the discrepancy and they start liking and retweeting and rephrasing. And they also see your silence, and your silence looks like an answer. It's an extremely effective interrogation tactic, and most people make either a tearful apology or an enraged counterattack. This is why Twitter callouts tend to end so badly. Apology is never enough (and probably shouldn't be), so you're basically being asked to willingly give up power for no clear end. The best people actually do that. But the real shitfucks go on the offense, and then their communities get an infusion of victimhood narratives straight into their veins.
Hank Green (A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls, #2))
Grace is more than being lucky to be on God’s side. Grace is God’s goodness showered on people who have failed. Grace is God’s love on those who think they are unlovable. Grace is God knowing what we are designed to be. Grace is God believing in us when we have given up. Grace is someone at the end of their rope finding new strength. But there’s more to grace. Grace is both a place and a power. Grace is God unleashing his transforming power. Grace realigns and reroutes a life and a community. Grace is when you turn your worst enemy into your best friend. Grace takes people as they are and makes them what they can be. Grace ennobles; grace empowers. Grace forgives; grace frees. Grace transcends, and grace transforms.
Scot McKnight (A Fellowship of Differents: Showing the World God's Design for Life Together)
Hence, it's obvious to see why in AA the community is so important; we are powerless over ourselves. Since we don't have immediate awareness of the Higher Power and how it works, we need to be constantly reminded of our commitment to freedom and liberation. The old patterns are so seductive that as they go off, they set off the association of ideas and the desire to give in to our addiction with an enormous force that we can't handle. The renewal of defeat often leads to despair. At the same time, it's a source of hope for those who have a spiritual view of the process. Because it reminds us that we have to renew once again our total dependence on the Higher Power. This is not just a notional acknowledgment of our need. We feel it from the very depths of our being. Something in us causes our whole being to cry out, “Help!” That's when the steps begin to work. And that, I might add, is when the spiritual journey begins to work. A lot of activities that people in that category regard as spiritual are not communicating to them experientially their profound dependence on the grace of God to go anywhere with their spiritual practices or observances. That's why religious practice can be so ineffective. The real spiritual journey depends on our acknowledging the unmanageability of our lives. The love of God or the Higher Power is what heals us. Nobody becomes a full human being without love. It brings to life people who are most damaged. The steps are really an engagement in an ever-deepening relationship with God. Divine love picks us up when we sincerely believe nobody else will. We then begin to experience freedom, peace, calm, equanimity, and liberation from cravings for what we have come to know are damaging—cravings that cannot bring happiness, but at best only momentary relief that makes the real problem worse.
Thomas Keating (Divine Therapy and Addiction)
As much as we complain about other people, there is nothing worse for mental health than a social desert. A study of Swiss cities found that psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, are most common in neighborhoods with the thinnest social networks. Social isolation just may be the greatest environmental hazard of city living—worse than noise, pollution, or even crowding. The more connected we are with family and community, the less likely we are to experience colds, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and depression. Simple friendships with other people in one’s neighborhood are some of the best salves for stress during hard economic times—in fact, sociologists have found that when adults keep these friendships, their kids are better insulated from the effects of their parents’ stress. Connected people sleep better at night. They are more able to tackle adversity. They live longer. They consistently report being happier.
Charles Montgomery (Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design)
The ceremonial differentiation of the dietary is best seen in the use of intoxicating beverages and narcotics. If these articles of consumption are costly, they are felt to be noble and honorific. Therefore the base classes, primarily the women, practice an enforced continence with respect to these stimulants, except in countries where they are obtainable at a very low cost. From archaic times down through all the length of the patriarchal regime it has been the office of the women to prepare and administer these luxuries, and it has been the perquisite of the men of gentle birth and breeding to consume them. Drunkenness and the other pathological consequences of the free use of stimulants therefore tend in their turn to become honorific, as being a mark, at the second remove, of the superior status of those who are able to afford the indulgence. Infirmities induced by over-indulgence are among some peoples freely recognised as manly attributes. It has even happened that the name for certain diseased conditions of the body arising from such an origin has passed into everyday speech as a synonym for "noble" or "gentle". It is only at a relatively early stage of culture that the symptoms of expensive vice are conventionally accepted as marks of a superior status, and so tend to become virtues and command the deference of the community; but the reputability that attaches to certain expensive vices long retains so much of its force as to appreciably lesson the disapprobation visited upon the men of the wealthy or noble class for any excessive indulgence. The same invidious distinction adds force to the current disapproval of any indulgence of this kind on the part of women, minors, and inferiors. This invidious traditional distinction has not lost its force even among the more advanced peoples of today. Where the example set by the leisure class retains its imperative force in the regulation of the conventionalities, it is observable that the women still in great measure practise the same traditional continence with regard to stimulants.
Thorstein Veblen (The Theory of the Leisure Class)
Today, the lay midwife is a response to a growing home-birth movement. In my own community most physicians have decided to withhold prenatal care from the home-birther. This is judgmental and vindictive. These doctors have decided that home birth is not safe, and by withholding prenatal care they are doing their best to make sure it is unsafe. Often it is lay midwives who step forward to fill the void and help eliminate the unnecessary dangers of home birth. They are essential for screening out women who really should not have a home birth. For considerably less money than a physician charges, they spend many more hours with a pregnant woman before, during, and after the birth. and in most places they courageously face the opposition of the established medical community.
Susan McCutcheon (Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way)
One [project of Teddy Cruz's] is titled Living Rooms at the Border. it takes a piece of land with an unused church zoned for three units and carefully arrays on it twelve affordable housing units, a community center (the converted church), offices for Casa in the church's attic, and a garden that can accommodate street markets and kiosks. 'In a place where current regulation allows only one use,' [Cruz} crows, ' we propose five different uses that support each other. This suggests a model of social sustainability for San Diego, one that conveys density not as bulk but as social choreography.' For both architect and patron, it's an exciting opportunity to prove that breaking the zoning codes can be for the best. Another one of Cruz's core beliefs is that if architects are going to achieve anything of social distinction, they will have to become developers' collaborators or developers themselves, rather than hirelings brought in after a project's parameters are laid out.
Rebecca Solnit (Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics)
It’s about protecting your wife, son. Your every decision should be about what’s best for her. You give a woman loyalty, and she’ll give you every piece of her. She’ll trust you, even when you’re leading her astray. She’ll follow you, even when you’re lost. But she’s got to be your partner, son. She’s got to know that you’re taking her to a place where no one else has been. Now if you got this one, that one, and Susie up the street all following behind you, she’s going to feel like a fool. You can’t be community property. Your wife is supposed to be exclusive. That bond is irreplaceable. If it’s you and her making sense out of this crazy world together, nobody else has to understand. It’s hard. You will argue and there will be days when you don’t like one another, but you will always love one another. She is your first priority. You don’t let the weight of the world even touch her shoulders. You carry it for her.
Ashley Antoinette (The Prada Plan 5)
It’s one of the best working examples I know of C. S. Lewis’s principle of sneaking past “watchful dragons.” Lewis wrote in an essay called “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What’s to be Said,” I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday School associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
Most of the successful innovators and entrepreneurs in this book had one thing in common: they were product people. They cared about, and deeply understood, the engineering and design. They were not primarily marketers or salesmen or financial types; when such folks took over companies, it was often to the detriment of sustained innovation. “When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off,” Jobs said. Larry Page felt the same: “The best leaders are those with the deepest understanding of the engineering and product design.”34 Another lesson of the digital age is as old as Aristotle: “Man is a social animal.” What else could explain CB and ham radios or their successors, such as WhatsApp and Twitter? Almost every digital tool, whether designed for it or not, was commandeered by humans for a social purpose: to create communities, facilitate communication, collaborate on projects, and enable social networking. Even the personal computer, which was originally embraced as a tool for individual creativity, inevitably led to the rise of modems, online services, and eventually Facebook, Flickr, and Foursquare. Machines, by contrast, are not social animals. They don’t join Facebook of their own volition nor seek companionship for its own sake. When Alan Turing asserted that machines would someday behave like humans, his critics countered that they would never be able to show affection or crave intimacy. To indulge Turing, perhaps we could program a machine to feign affection and pretend to seek intimacy, just as humans sometimes do. But Turing, more than almost anyone, would probably know the difference. According to the second part of Aristotle’s quote, the nonsocial nature of computers suggests that they are “either a beast or a god.” Actually, they are neither. Despite all of the proclamations of artificial intelligence engineers and Internet sociologists, digital tools have no personalities, intentions, or desires. They are what we make of them.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
It's common to think of people in the military as conformists. But that's far from the truth in our community. Some pretty capable and colorful types join the SEAL teams, looking for bigger challenges than their high-flying careers or other interesting backgrounds can offer. Whether doctors, lawyers, longshoreman, college dropout, engineer or NCAA Division I superathlete, they were more than just good special operators. They were a cohesive team whose strength came from their widely diverse talents, educational backgrounds, upbringings, perspectives, and capabilities. They're all-American and patriotic, with a combination of practical intelligence and willpower that you don't want to get crossways with. Streetwise, innovative, adaptable, and often highly intellectual--these are all words that apply to the community. And the majority are so nice that it can be hard to envision their capacity for violent mayhem. BUD/S filters out four of five aspirants, leaving behind only the hardest and most determined--the best. I was so proud and humbled to be part of the brotherhood.
Marcus Luttrell (Service: A Navy SEAL at War)
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
They suspected that children learned best through undirected free play—and that a child’s psyche was sensitive and fragile. During the 1980s and 1990s, American parents and teachers had been bombarded by claims that children’s self-esteem needed to be protected from competition (and reality) in order for them to succeed. Despite a lack of evidence, the self-esteem movement took hold in the United States in a way that it did not in most of the world. So, it was understandable that PTA parents focused their energies on the nonacademic side of their children’s school. They dutifully sold cupcakes at the bake sales and helped coach the soccer teams. They doled out praise and trophies at a rate unmatched in other countries. They were their kids’ boosters, their number-one fans. These were the parents that Kim’s principal in Oklahoma praised as highly involved. And PTA parents certainly contributed to the school’s culture, budget, and sense of community. However, there was not much evidence that PTA parents helped their children become critical thinkers. In most of the countries where parents took the PISA survey, parents who participated in a PTA had teenagers who performed worse in reading. Korean parenting, by contrast, were coaches. Coach parents cared deeply about their children, too. Yet they spent less time attending school events and more time training their children at home: reading to them, quizzing them on their multiplication tables while they were cooking dinner, and pushing them to try harder. They saw education as one of their jobs.
Amanda Ripley (The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way)
People always talk about the health benefits of Japanese food,’ he said, ‘but I’m fascinated by other aspects of the Japanese dining experience. Like the whole system of serving food at a counter like this, with the customers all facing the same direction, instead of each other. It’s strange when you think about it. At a sushi bar, for example, everyone’s facing the itamae-san, and you discuss the things you’re eating – what type of squid this is, and where they’re caught, and how this is the season for them but they’ll only be at their best for another couple of weeks, and so on. Discussing the food with the chef even as you eat it – that’s a peculiar system.’ ‘I suppose it is, isn’t it? I don’t go to sushi restaurants very often – they’re so expensive – and I could probably count the number of times I’ve sat at the counter, but I know what you mean. There’s something about that atmosphere.’ ‘At its worst, it’s almost an atmosphere of collusion.’ ‘Collusion?’ ‘Everyone at the counter becomes a member of the group. In some sushi bars, all the customers are regulars and they all know each other. As an outsider, you need courage to walk into a place like that and take a seat. It’s a tight-knit little community, and harmony is of the utmost importance. Nobody’s confronting anyone else individually. The conversation all proceeds through the chef, who’s like a moderator or a master of ceremonies. You couldn’t spend some quiet time with a lover, for example, in a place like that, because you’d be isolating yourselves from the others and spoiling the atmosphere for everyone.
Ryū Murakami (Audition)
Dear New Orleans, What a big, beautiful mess you are. A giant flashing yellow light—proceed with caution, but proceed. Not overly ambitious, you have a strong identity, and don’t look outside yourself for intrigue, evolution, or monikers of progress. Proud of who you are, you know your flavor, it’s your very own, and if people want to come taste it, you welcome them without solicitation. Your hours trickle by, Tuesdays and Saturdays more similar than anywhere else. Your seasons slide into one another. You’re the Big Easy…home of the shortest hangover on the planet, where a libation greets you on a Monday morning with the same smile as it did on Saturday night. Home of the front porch, not the back. This engineering feat provides so much of your sense of community and fellowship as you relax facing the street and your neighbors across it. Rather than retreating into the seclusion of the backyard, you engage with the goings-on of the world around you, on your front porch. Private properties hospitably trespass on each other and lend across borders where a 9:00 A.M. alarm clock is church bells, sirens, and a slow-moving eight-buck-an-hour carpenter nailing a windowpane two doors down. You don’t sweat details or misdemeanors, and since everybody’s getting away with something anyway, the rest just wanna be on the winning side. And if you can swing the swindle, good for you, because you love to gamble and rules are made to be broken, so don’t preach about them, abide. Peddlin worship and litigation, where else do the dead rest eye to eye with the livin? You’re a right-brain city. Don’t show up wearing your morals on your sleeve ’less you wanna get your arm burned. The humidity suppresses most reason so if you’re crossing a one-way street, it’s best to look both ways. Mother Nature rules, the natural law capital “Q” Queen reigns supreme, a science to the animals, an overbearing and inconsiderate bitch to us bipeds. But you forgive her, and quickly, cus you know any disdain with her wrath will reap more: bad luck, voodoo, karma. So you roll with it, meander rather, slowly forward, takin it all in stride, never sweating the details. Your art is in your overgrowth. Mother Nature wears the crown around here, her royalty rules, and unlike in England, she has both influence and power. You don’t use vacuum cleaners, no, you use brooms and rakes to manicure. Where it falls is where it lays, the swerve around the pothole, the duck beneath the branch, the poverty and the murder rate, all of it, just how it is and how it turned out. Like a gumbo, your medley’s in the mix. —June 7, 2013, New Orleans, La.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
Just as negative self-paradigms can put limitations on us, positive self-paradigms can bring out the best in us, as the following story about the son of King Louis XVI of France illustrates: King Louis had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who dethroned the king. They thought that inasmuch as the king’s son was heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would never realize the great and grand destiny that life had bestowed upon him. They took him to a community far away, and there they exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing that life could offer. They exposed him to foods the richness of which would quickly make him a slave to appetite. They used vile language around him constantly. They exposed him to lewd and lusting women. They exposed him to dishonor and distrust. He was surrounded twenty-four hours a day by everything that could drag the soul of a man as low as one could slip. For over six months he had this treatment—but not once did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after intensive temptation, they questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things— why had he not partaken? These things would provide pleasure, satisfy his lusts, and were desirable; they were all his. The boy said, “I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be a king.
Sean Covey (The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens)
Girls aside, the other thing I found in the last few years of being at school, was a quiet, but strong Christian faith – and this touched me profoundly, setting up a relationship or faith that has followed me ever since. I am so grateful for this. It has provided me with a real anchor to my life and has been the secret strength to so many great adventures since. But it came to me very simply one day at school, aged only sixteen. As a young kid, I had always found that a faith in God was so natural. It was a simple comfort to me: unquestioning and personal. But once I went to school and was forced to sit through somewhere in the region of nine hundred dry, Latin-liturgical, chapel services, listening to stereotypical churchy people droning on, I just thought that I had got the whole faith deal wrong. Maybe God wasn’t intimate and personal but was much more like chapel was … tedious, judgemental, boring and irrelevant. The irony was that if chapel was all of those things, a real faith is the opposite. But somehow, and without much thought, I had thrown the beautiful out with the boring. If church stinks, then faith must do, too. The precious, natural, instinctive faith I had known when I was younger was tossed out with this newly found delusion that because I was growing up, it was time to ‘believe’ like a grown-up. I mean, what does a child know about faith? It took a low point at school, when my godfather, Stephen, died, to shake me into searching a bit harder to re-find this faith I had once known. Life is like that. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us sit and remember who and what we are really about. Stephen had been my father’s best friend in the world. And he was like a second father to me. He came on all our family holidays, and spent almost every weekend down with us in the Isle of Wight in the summer, sailing with Dad and me. He died very suddenly and without warning, of a heart attack in Johannesburg. I was devastated. I remember sitting up a tree one night at school on my own, and praying the simplest, most heartfelt prayer of my life. ‘Please, God, comfort me.’ Blow me down … He did. My journey ever since has been trying to make sure I don’t let life or vicars or church over-complicate that simple faith I had found. And the more of the Christian faith I discover, the more I realize that, at heart, it is simple. (What a relief it has been in later life to find that there are some great church communities out there, with honest, loving friendships that help me with all of this stuff.) To me, my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved – yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies. This is no one’s fault, it is just life. Our job is to stay open and gentle, so we can hear the knocking on the door of our heart when it comes. The irony is that I never meet anyone who doesn’t want to be loved or held or forgiven. Yet I meet a lot of folk who hate religion. And I so sympathize. But so did Jesus. In fact, He didn’t just sympathize, He went much further. It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and to bring life. This really is the heart of what I found as a young teenager: Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being. Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree. I had found a calling for my life.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
But Israel’s God was different. He was definite, and his character was immutably fixed. And they were to love him for it with everything they had. They were to love him with all their heart. In the seat of their deepest dreams and desires, in the place where they wrestled with their sorrows and clung to flickering hopes, they were to love him. They were to love him with all their soul. In the place that made each individual unique, in the inner court of the mind where decisions were made, in the forming of the bonds between friends and lovers, as well as in the coming together of a community, they were to love him. They were to love him with all their might. In the outward expressions of the passions and decisions of the heart and soul, in the places where men’s thoughts turned to action and resolve turned to progress, they were to love him. In their creativity and in their learning, in their working and in their resting, in their building up and in their tearing down, they were to love him. They were to love him as whole people, in all their weakness and in all their strength. On their best days and on their worst, in the darkest hours of their loneliest nights, and at the tables of their most abundant feasts, they were to love him. This was the heart of Israel’s religion: love. Only divine love made sense of the world. This love went beyond a mere feeling. This love was doctrine. Israel’s story was a story of being kept, and the only reasonable response was to love the Keeper.
Russ Ramsey (Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative)
[A] people needs to understand what freedom is. We Americans are fortunate that the Founders and their generation possessed that understanding. They knew that freedom, per se, is not enough. They knew that freedom must be limited to be preserved. This paradox is difficult for many students to grasp. Young people generally think freedom means authority figures leaving them alone so they can "do their own thing." That's part of what it means to be free, but true freedom involves much, much more. As understood by our Founders and by the best minds of the young republic, true freedom is always conditioned by morality. John Adams wrote, "I would define liberty as a power to do as we would be done by." In other words, freedom is not the power to do what one can, but what one ought. Duty always accompanies liberty. Tocqueville similarly observed, "No free communities ever existed without morals." The best minds concur: there must be borders: freedom must be limited to be preserved. What kinds of limits are we talking about? * The moral limits of right and wrong, which we did not invent but owe largely to our Judeo-Christian heritage. * Intellectual limits imposed by sound reasoning. Again, we did not invent these but are in debt largely to Greco-Roman civilization, from the pre-Socratic philosophers forward. * Political limits such as the rule of law, inalienable rights, and representative institutions, which we inherited primarily from the British. * Legal limits of the natural and common law, which we also owe to our Western heritage. * Certain social limits, which are extremely important to the survival of freedom. These are the habits of our hearts--good manners, kindness, decency, and willingness to put others first, among other things--which are learned in our homes and places of worship, at school and in team sports, and in other social settings. All these limits complement each other and make a good society possible. But they cannot be taken for granted. It takes intellectual and moral leadership to make the case that such limits are important. Our Founders did that. To an exceptional degree, their words tutored succeeding generations in the ways of liberty. It is to America's everlasting credit that our Founders got freedom right.
Russell Kirk (The American Cause)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People’s History of the United States: 1492 - Present)
Pathways toward a New Shabbat Do 1. Stay at home. Spend quality time with family and real friends. 2. Celebrate with others: at the table, in the synagogue, with friends or community. 3. Study or read something that will edify, challenge, or make you grow. 4. Be alone. Take some time for yourself. Check in with yourself. Review your week. Ask yourself where you are in your life. 5. Mark the beginning and end of this sacred time by lighting candles and making kiddush on Friday night and saying havdalah on Saturday night. Don’t 6. Don’t do anything you have to do for your work life. This includes obligatory reading, homework for kids (even without writing!), unwanted social obligations, and preparing for work as well as doing your job itself. 7. Don’t spend money. Separate completely from the commercial culture that surrounds us so much. This includes doing business of all sorts. No calls to the broker, no following up on ads, no paying of bills. It can all wait. 8. Don’t use the computer. Turn off the iPhone or smartphone or whatever device has replaced it by the time you read this. Live and breathe for a day without checking messages. Declare your freedom from this new master of our minds and our time. Find the time for face-to-face conversations with people around you, without Facebook. 9. Don’t travel. Avoid especially commercial travel and places like airports, hotel check-ins, and similar depersonalizing encounters. Stay free of situations in which people are likely to tell you to “have a nice day” (Shabbat already is a nice day, thank you). 10. Don’t rely on commercial or canned video entertainment, including the TV as well as the computer screen. Discover what there is to do in life when you are not being entertained.
Arthur Green (Judaism’s Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers)
On the contrary, I’m too weak for it. I mean, everyone is, but I am especially susceptible to its false rewards, you know? It’s designed to addict you, to prey on your insecurities and use them to make you stay. It exploits everybody’s loneliness and promises us community, approval, friendship. Honestly, in that sense, social media is a lot like the Church of Scientology. Or QAnon. Or Charles Manson. And then on top of that—weaponizing a person’s isolation—it convinces every user that she is a minor celebrity, forcing her to curate some sparkly and artificial sampling of her best experiences, demanding a nonstop social performance that has little in common with her inner life, intensifying her narcissism, multiplying her anxieties, narrowing her worldview. All while commodifying her, harvesting her data, and selling it to nefarious corporations so that they can peddle more shit that promises to make her prettier, smarter, more productive, more successful, more beloved. And throughout all this, you have to act stupefied by your own good luck. Everybody’s like, Words cannot express how fortunate I feel to have met this amazing group of people, blah blah blah. It makes me sick. Everybody influencing, everybody under the influence, everybody staring at their own godforsaken profile, searching for proof that they’re lovable. And then, once you’re nice and distracted by the hard work of tallying up your failures and comparing them to other people’s triumphs, that’s when the algorithmic predators of late capitalism can pounce, enticing you to partake in consumeristic, financially irresponsible forms of so-called self-care, which is really just advanced selfishness. Facials! Pedicures! Smoothie packs delivered to your door! And like, this is just the surface stuff. The stuff that oxidizes you, personally. But a thousand little obliterations add up, you know? The macro damage that results is even scarier. The hacking, the politically nefarious robots, opinion echo chambers, fearmongering, erosion of truth, etcetera, etcetera. And don’t get me started on the destruction of public discourse. I mean, that’s just my view. Obviously to each her own. But personally, I don’t need it. Any of it.” Blandine cracks her neck. “I’m corrupt enough.
Tess Gunty (The Rabbit Hutch)
In agricultural communities, male leadership in the hunt ceased to be of much importance. As the discipline of the hunting band decayed, the political institutions of the earliest village settlements perhaps approximated the anarchism which has remained ever since the ideal of peaceful peasantries all round the earth. Probably religious functionaries, mediators between helpless mankind and the uncertain fertility of the earth, provided an important form of social leadership. The strong hunter and man of prowess, his occupation gone or relegated to the margins of social life, lost the umambiguous primacy which had once been his; while the comparatively tight personal subordination to a leader necessary to the success of a hunting party could be relaxed in proportion as grain fields became the center around which life revolved. Among predominantly pastoral peoples, however, religious-political institutions took a quite different turn. To protect the flocks from animal predators required the same courage and social discipline which hunters had always needed. Among pastoralists, likewise, the principal economic activity- focused, as among the earliest hunters, on a parasitic relation to animals- continued to be the special preserve of menfolk. Hence a system of patrilineal families, united into kinship groups under the authority of a chieftain responsible for daily decisions as to where to seek pasture, best fitted the conditions of pastoral life. In addition, pastoralists were likely to accord importance to the practices and discipline of war. After all, violent seizure of someone else’s animals or pasture grounds was the easiest and speediest way to wealth and might be the only means of survival in a year of scant vegetation. Such warlikeness was entirely alien to communities tilling the soil. Archeological remains from early Neolithic villages suggest remarkably peaceful societies. As long as cultivable land was plentiful, and as long as the labor of a single household could not produce a significant surplus, there can have been little incentive to war. Traditions of violence and hunting-party organization presumably withered in such societies, to be revived only when pastoral conquest superimposed upon peaceable villagers the elements of warlike organization from which civilized political institutions without exception descend.
William H. McNeill
1. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. 2. Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling and, when possible, try to keep your phone off when you’re together with your spouse. 3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a consistent date night. Time is the currency of relationships, so consistently invest time in your marriage. 4. Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage, and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character. 5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage. Share moments of joy, and even in the hard times find reasons to laugh. 6. In every argument, remember that there won’t be a winner and a loser. You are partners in everything, so you’ll either win together or lose together. Work together to find a solution. 7. Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak. 8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It takes more than sex to build a strong marriage, but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong marriage without it. 9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50–50; divorce is 50–50. Marriage has to be 100–100. It’s not splitting everything in half but both partners giving everything they’ve got. 10. Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else. 11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique. 12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids, or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage. 13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy is the enemy of intimacy. 14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust, and trust is the foundation of a strong marriage. 15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” 16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly, which will promote healing and create the opportunity for trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.” 17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is always more important than your schedule. 18. Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives. 19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away your spouse’s tears, not the one who causes them. 20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places. 21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind you that you’re always connected to your spouse, and it will remind the rest of the world that you’re off limits. 22. Connect with a community of faith. A good church can make a world of difference in your marriage and family. 23. Pray together. Every marriage is stronger with God in the middle of it. 24. When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time. 25. Never consider divorce as an option. Remember that a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other. FINAL
Dave Willis (The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships)
Have you ever been in a place where history becomes tangible? Where you stand motionless, feeling time and importance press around you, press into you? That was how I felt the first time I stood in the astronaut garden at OCA PNW. Is it still there? Do you know it? Every OCA campus had – has, please let it be has – one: a circular enclave, walled by smooth white stone that towered up and up until it abruptly cut off, definitive as the end of an atmosphere, making room for the sky above. Stretching up from the ground, standing in neat rows and with an equally neat carpet of microclover in between, were trees, one for every person who’d taken a trip off Earth on an OCA rocket. It didn’t matter where you from, where you trained, where your spacecraft launched. When someone went up, every OCA campus planted a sapling. The trees are an awesome sight, but bear in mind: the forest above is not the garden’s entry point. You enter from underground. I remember walking through a short tunnel and into a low-lit domed chamber that possessed nothing but a spiral staircase leading upward. The walls were made of thick glass, and behind it was the dense network you find below every forest. Roots interlocking like fingers, with gossamer fungus sprawled symbiotically between, allowing for the peaceful exchange of carbon and nutrients. Worms traversed roads of their own making. Pockets of water and pebbles decorated the scene. This is what a forest is, after all. Don’t believe the lie of individual trees, each a monument to its own self-made success. A forest is an interdependent community. Resources are shared, and life in isolation is a death sentence. As I stood contemplating the roots, a hidden timer triggered, and the lights faded out. My breath went with it. The glass was etched with some kind of luminescent colourant, invisible when the lights were on, but glowing boldly in the dark. I moved closer, and I saw names – thousands upon thousands of names, printed as small as possible. I understood what I was seeing without being told. The idea behind Open Cluster Astronautics was simple: citizen-funded spaceflight. Exploration for exploration’s sake. Apolitical, international, non-profit. Donations accepted from anyone, with no kickbacks or concessions or promises of anything beyond a fervent attempt to bring astronauts back from extinction. It began in a post thread kicked off in 2052, a literal moonshot by a collective of frustrated friends from all corners – former thinkers for big names gone bankrupt, starry-eyed academics who wanted to do more than teach the past, government bureau members whose governments no longer existed. If you want to do good science with clean money and clean hands, they argued, if you want to keep the fire burning even as flags and logos came down, if you understand that space exploration is best when it’s done in the name of the people, then the people are the ones who have to make it happen.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)