Sunday, January 29, 2017

Malene Rydahl

According to Professor Bjornskov, there are a number of basic universal factors that contribute to a nation's happiness: a democratic political system, a certain level of national prosperity, a functioning judicial system, and the absence of war. He estimates that thirty to forty countries meet these criteria. Once this foundation is in place, other factors influence the level of happiness, in particular trust in others and the freedom (or possibility) to choose one's own way in life.

--Happy as a Dane (2017)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dalai Lama XIV and Desmond Tutu

It helps no one if you sacrifice your joy because others are suffering. We people who care must be attractive, must be filled with joy, so that others recognize that caring, that helping and being generous are not a burden, they are a joy. Give the world your love, your service, your healing, but you can also give it your joy. This, too, is a gift.

--from The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama XIV and Desmond Tutu

Edith Wharton

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.

Rebecca Solnit

Joy doesn't betray but sustains activism. When you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated, and isolated, joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.

--from Hope in the Dark

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Joe Biden

"The president and I have concluded that there's no value in making that ad hominem argument," he told me of Obama. "It gets you nowhere."

 "Question a man's judgment, not his motives," Mansfield instructed.

"It's one thing to say: 'I think the proposal on the following is a serious mistake. I think it's gonna do the following damage.' It's another thing to say, 'The guy's a fucking idiot, and he is an egomaniac who's a whatever.' "

 "It's like a Rubik's cube trying to figure this guy out," Biden sighed. "We have no freakin' idea what he's gonna do."

"Family has been central for us — that's our baseline," Obama told me. "We both feel freer to do what we think is right because if it doesn't work out, our families will still love us."

He has little patience with Democrats who want to move either left or right. " 'We gotta move to the center,' 'We gotta move to those white guys,' 'We gotta move to those working-class people' or 'We gotta double down on the social agenda.' " It's a false choice, he said: "They are totally compatible. I have never said anything to the A.C.L.U. that I wouldn't say to the Chamber of Commerce."