Monday, June 29, 2015

Sheldon Cooper

"I won't say that all senior citizens who can't master technology should be publicly flogged. But, if we made an example of one or two it might give the others incentive to try harder."

-Sheldon Cooper, character on The Big Bang Theory

John Wesley's Rule

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Atul Gawande

How we seek to spend our time may depend on how much time we perceive ourselves to have. . . . When horizons are measured in decades, most desire all that stuff at the top of Maslow's pyramid ─achievement, creativity, and other attributes of "self-actualization." But as your horizons contract ─when you see the future ahead of you as finite and uncertain─ your focus shifts to the here and now, to everyday pleasures and the people closest to you. (p 97)

The problem with medicine and the institutions it has spawned for the care of the sick and the old is not that they have had an incorrect view of what makes life significant. The problem is that they have had almost no view at all. Medicine's focus is narrow. Medical professionals concentrate on repair of health, not sustenance of the soul. Yet─and this is the painful paradox─we have decided that they should be the ones who largely define how we live in our waning days. For more than half a century now, we have treated the trials of sickness, aging, and mortality as medical concerns. It's been an experiment in social engineering, putting our fates in the hands of people valued more for their technical prowess than for their understanding of human needs.

That experiment has failed. If safety and protection were all we sought in life, perhaps we could conclude differently. But because we seek a life of worth and purpose, and yet are routinely denied the conditions that might make it possible, there is no other way to see what modern society has done. (p 128)

Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. New York: Metropolitan , Henry Holt, 2014. Print.

Friday, June 26, 2015

David Whyte

The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor the other: the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Richard Bach

It's like, at the end, there's this surprise quiz: Am I proud of me? I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth what I paid?

Edward Abbey

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards.