A story is often the most effective way to create personal connections between very different people. Reading a novel allows us to see the world through someone else’s eyes, remove the context we are used to and replace it with something new. We are more prepared to accept things beyond our own experiences because we know we are reading a ‘‘story,’’ and yet we also actively search for similarities between our own lives and the lives of the characters. A novel can begin to open students’ minds and shape their hearts, without doing battle against their sense of self.
From Allowing In the Light, Teaching Tolerance Issue 57, Fall 2017
When you really love what you’re doing—when you really care about what you’re doing—you don’t even have to exert confidence, it’s just who you are. It’s just being. But when you’re not sure of who you are and where you belong and what your path is, sometimes you impose confidence on yourself which becomes very artificial and I see it in people and it’s not confidence, but arrogance.
I think when you’re really truly at ease with yourself, there’s a lot of comfort and humility and compassion for others who may not be as comfortable as you are.
Kalyanee Mam, documentary film maker, as interviewed on She Does podcast, 9/9/2015.
I wake up in the morning and I look at Hans and think, I love you. I choose you above any other person. I chose you 21 years ago and I choose you today. I believe you to be a constant in my life, and I, a constant in yours. Loving you is the closest thing I have to faith.
“Unfortunately, when these natural disasters threaten and you’re locked indoors, all of a sudden you get an appetite,” said Izquierdo, 56, as he ordered bread, meat pastelitos and cheese-filled tequenos at Karla Bakery in the Flagami neighborhood in Miami. “I don’t know what it is about the combination of water and flour, but it hits the spot.”
It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.
-from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (p118)
My goal was fixed: I would walk to Compostela ─no matter what. And with my goal fixed, without self-doubt and the minute-by-minute attention to frustrations and disappointments, I discovered something. Underneath the surface actions, events, and partying of the path was silence. Even when it was noisy, that silence was underneath activity. That quiet was solid and always accessible. I could depend on it; I could return to it at any time, in any emergency. It was the quiet of pilgrimage, and it was worth the meseta.*
. . . .
Except for us, the cathedral was empty. The monk took us through another side door into the dark cloister. A charcoal brazier was on the stones, and the monk gestured for us to sit down around it. Then he handed out black cards and told us they would symbolize the sins we wanted to get rid of. Is worry a sin? I asked myself. I sure would like to get rid of it. I decided that it was. Worry about the future seemed uncharitable somehow, toward God, after everything I'd experienced on the pilgrimage─so many days I'd worried would be bad had turned out so well! And so many days when my good anticipations had turned out so bad! I didn't know whether worry was a sin, but I threw it in the brazier.