Tag Archives: understanding

To trade places

“Today you will be tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t! Lots of people would love to trade places with you. Before you get down in the dumps over whatever is bothering you, read today’s obituaries to see how many people younger than you died yesterday, or visit the burn or stroke rehab center at …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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Not alone

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder The online world is full of contradictions, and none more obvious than its tendency to create feelings of isolation even as it facilitates digital connection. Still, the anonymity and freedom …

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Inverse correlation

“There are things money can’t buy. I don’t think standard of living equates with cost of living beyond a certain point. Good housing, good health, good food, good transport. There’s a point you start getting inverse correlation between wealth and quality of life… I have everything I need to have, and I don’t need any …

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But one has seen

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is …

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Knowing how to be

“…many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” ― bell hooks The photo above was taken in 1972, during one …

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Since I started

“I’m a writer by profession and it’s totally clear to me that since I started blogging, the amount I write has increased exponentially, my daily interactions with the views of others have never been so frequent, the diversity of voices I engage with is far higher than in the pre-Internet age—and all this has helped …

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Go beyond

“…novels go beyond simulating reality to give readers an experience unavailable off the page: the opportunity to enter fully into other people’s thoughts and feelings..Reading great literature, it has long been averred, enlarges and improves us as human beings. Brain science shows this claim is truer than we imagined” — Annie Murphy Paul Even if …

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Sometimes we do

Sometimes Sometimes things don’t go, after all, from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail, sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war; elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor. …

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Alchemy in sorrow (2017)

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck Dear readers, as always when I take even a short break, I find myself far behind on urgent tasks. In addition …

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How infinitely rich

“I think these difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes around worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” — Isak Dinesen Perhaps the understanding Dinesen describes is one of the greatest gifts to come …

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When we fully understand

“When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains…it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other.” — Clarence Darrow The photo above was made at Drew and Megan’s Atlanta home, just ten days before Jeff checked into Walter Reed Bethesda with breathing problems, never to return home …

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A friend knows

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.” — Donna Roberts In April, during the weeks Jeff was recovering from the surgery to remove his brain tumor, we were unable to travel to our York home. I started to worry about various things I needed to take …

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Just outside the gate

“A Trojan Horse sits just outside the gate of your heart. Its name is bitterness. It is a monument to every attack you have endured from your fellow human beings. It is a gift left by the people who have wronged you…It is rightfully yours. But to accept the gift is to invite ruin into …

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Too big to pass

“Trouble is a sieve through which we sift our acquaintances. Those too big to pass through are our friends.” — Arlene Francis There are all kinds of reasons why trouble tends to isolate us from others.  Many long to reach out to people in difficulty, but find it emotionally taxing to be present during the trials …

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Try to love

Some may come and some may go We will surely pass When the one that left us here Returns for us at last We are but a moment’s sunlight Fading in the grass Come on people now Smile on your brother Everybody get together Try to love one another Right now — lyrics from the …

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No matter how close

“No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog.” — Dean Koontz Those of us who have adopted an animal will immediately connect with what Koontz is saying here.  Our non-human family members are …

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Fuel for our journey

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa That sounds like a good idea to me.  However, it may be difficult to implement.  As fuels go, pain is an expensive one.  And it’s not particularly clean-burning, either. Still, there are times when we don’t have much choice.  It …

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The enemy of the people

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life…” — Anne Lamott “I make mistakes; I’ll be the second to admit it.” — Jean Kerr Because I’ve known so many world-class perfectionists, it took me longer than it should have to realize …

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No faster or firmer friendships

“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.” ― Irving Stone OK, think of how to describe the friend of your dreams.  The best friend you can imagine. First, and this is a big one – someone who lives close enough that you can get to …

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Living forward

“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” — Søren Kierkegaard We’ve talked often here about the importance of surrendering the idea of control, and learning to make the best of whatever comes.  Setting a course for the future is wise and even necessary, but any plans we make are based …

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Distance lends enchantment

‘Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, And robes the mountain in its azure hue. — Thomas Campbell Time and memory don’t always improve the way things seem to us, but often they do.  As with the old saying about the weather, if you are unhappy today, wait a while. Although it may be hard …

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The gift of crisis

“You have been offered the gift of crisis.  As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is “to sift,” as in to shake out the excesses and leave only what’s important.  That’s what crises do.  They shake things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most.” …

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Alchemy in sorrow

“Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness.” — Pearl S. Buck I believe that true optimism must include comprehension of the role sorrow plays in all our lives.  A positive outlook is not a form …

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