Saturday, July 30, 2016
Careful readers of this blog will note that nothing has been posted this week (life has intervened), and yet.........according to the statistics-keeper, 9,749 computers in Russia have visited the blog this week; 2,745 in the past twenty-four hours alone. Trust me when I tell you that is not typical. Unless someone has a better idea, I'm going to assume the statistics-keeper thing is just confused and move on with my day.
Monday, July 25, 2016
In my youth, we had a small farm. I am convinced that the time I spent there had much to do with my firm resolve never to farm again. Work seemed to spring eternal, like the weeds that consumed so much of our time and efforts. One of the messages constantly conveyed in those days was our obligation to take care of the land and to use it to produce food for ourselves and others. If there was to be independence, self-sufficiency, or freedom, then we first had to understand, accept, and discharge our responsibilities. The latter were the necessary (but not always sufficient) antecedents or precursors of the former. The only guarantee was that if you did not discharge your responsibilities, there could be no independence, no self-sufficiency, and no freedom.
-Clarence Thomas, as excerpted from his 2016 Hillsdale College Commencement Address
"As previously reported on this website, the world is falling apart. It has done so before, however, so we should not be unduly alarmed."
-David Warren, as excerpted from here. Do read it.
Adams traveled up to Boston in the first days of September . His father had now reached the age of ninety. "His sight is so dim that he can neither write nor read," Adams found. Mentally, however, this remarkable old man was unimpaired. "His memory yet remains strong, his judgment is sound, and his interest in conversation considerable." John Adams continued to dictate letters, especially to his grandchildren. The two men rode around the neighborhood, visiting the modest homes, across the street from one another, in which each had been born, a setting that evoked for both of them an eighteenth-century world purer and more noble that the one in which they now lived.
-James Traub, John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit
The bottom line is that you are not your job. I remember attending a leadership conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and walking into the bathroom, only to receive a profound teaching on this topic. Written on the bathroom stall were the words, "This is your life and it is ending second by second." Sure I thought, life is impermanent.
Then I noticed that right below that scrawl were these words, "This is not your life. This is a bathroom stall. If you think this is your life you should be concerned." Brilliant! In the same way, your job is not your life. If you thing your life is your job, you should be concerned. Your life is what you make of it and what qualities you want to cultivate during your time here on earth.
-Lodro Rinzler, The Buddha Walks Into The Office: A Guide to Livelihood for a New Generation
I had always loved sunrise: was always renewed in spirit. For all my life I'd felt cheated if I'd slept through dawn. The primeval winter solstice on bitter Salisbury Plain had raised my childhood's goose bumps long before I understood why; and it had long seemed to me that dawn-worship was the most logical of primitive beliefs.
-Dick Francis, Wild Horses
Sunday, July 24, 2016
.............someone, it might as well be Woodrow Wilson:
"The thin-skinned, self-righteous college-professor president, who thought himself enlightened far beyond the citizenry, dismissed the Declaration of Independence’s inalienable rights as so much outmoded “nonsense,” and he rejected the Founders’ clunky constitutional machinery as obsolete."
-full story here
"Portion control via vessel size is a secret to success and happiness."
-Seth Godin, as excerpted from here
Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.
-Karl Popper, as excerpted from here
9. Take a break; re-activate your higher brain where your best work is done
Full on, sustained work is admirable. However, the body being organic maintains this relentless pace by slowly switching to reptile brain. Reptile brain is about survival. It will get the job done until you literally drop. But take a break and you keep higher brain in flow. Higher brain is where the creative breakthroughs occur, so many of which are the amazing productivity breakthroughs.
-Nicholas Bate, Paradoxical Productivity 35