“Then they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists
and I did not speak out –
because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out –
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me –
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.”
— Martin Niemöller (1892 – 1984)
The above quote, of course, applies to people with labels. It could also be applied to other things, such as health care, the environment, education, and the First Amendment.
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” – Thomas Jefferson
While the past is what brought us to the present, we are not beholden to it. The past does not dictate what we could become and what is possible. Indeed, the dreams offered by the future are worth striving for. The possibilities of what’s ahead are worth reaching for. What would you rather have? Accepting the definitions of the past? Or, the blank page of the future on which we could write on right now in the present?
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert A. Simon
Coming from Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon, a true polymath in an age of increasing specialization, this quote is a reminder for myself to fiercely guard my attention. There is endless stimuli coming at us incessantly. There is no possible way to absorb it all. There is simply not enough time, which is the world’s most valuable resource. However, the great thing about having little time is that you devote what do you have to the most important things in your life.
The power of books helped President Obama survive his presidency. Read more! Support your local bookstores. Own books that inspire, give you joy, entertain, allow for escape, motivate, delight and tickle you!
And if you have ideas, write them down. You never know how or when you could make someone smile.
If our choice of partner is a reflection of ourself, then we should endeavor to be the best version of us in order to be worthy of our partner.
“A man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions…. He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer–because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.” — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
What I’m reading: Stories of You and Others by Ted Chiang. Arrival, based on one of the short stories in this collection, is one of my favorite movies of last year. It just resonated with me. I told everyone I know about this film and encouraged everybody to see it. The other short stories in the book are equally compelling. The writing is top-notch. The best sci-fi writings reveal a something insightful about human nature. Chiang has tapped into that window.
What I’m watching: Sherlock is back. Benedict Cumberbatch is a fine actor, but his introduction to me and likely to most people was as Sherlock Holmes. The series has lost a bit of the magic from the beginning. Still, it is entertaining and better than most of what’s currently on TV.
Where I’m going: Westlake Village. Weekend getaways are great for getting out of the city. Only a stone’s throw from home, Westlake is just outside of LA enough to qualify for a quick getaway to decompress, recalibrate and get back to the center. More out-of-town trips will be in the cards this year. No excuses.
What I’m trying out: Not working everyday, which leads to…
What I’m pondering: “Fit your work around your lifestyle, not your lifestyle around work.” I saw this graphic on Twitter. It wasn’t attributed to anyone (I might even be re-quoting it wrong). It’s a good reminder to assess our priorities and decide for ourselves what’s important, not what’s important to someone else. You are solely responsible for your own happiness. Don’t delegate that job to another person.
This is hauntingly, achingly beautiful. The gravity of life compels profound expressions. We need more artists in the world, for they are the conduits for understanding life.
As a friend and mentor recently said to me, “The universe is wise.”
Listen to it. Conflict arises when you resist what is offered. Your heart already knows what you should do.
It’s a little late, but I’m counting this anyway. I’m trying out a weekly feature that I’m calling “Flash Friday.” It’s a list of what I’m enjoying or contemplating. Here goes…
What I’m reading: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
This book was a holiday gift from a friend of mine. I’m only a few chapters in, but it has legitimately changed my life. The approach it gives to viewing the world and processing our experiences is both simple and profound. I’m discovering tools I didn’t have and didn’t know I needed to understand myself first and then secondarily the world. I recommend it to anyone who wants inner peace and true contentment.
What I’m watching: Travelers
This is a Netflix show about a group of time travelers from the future who have developed the technology to send their consciousness back in the past to inhabit the bodies of people who according to future historical records were going to die. Their mission is to alter the timeline to avoid a disastrous future fate of humanity. Entertaining so far. I’m somewhat of a sucker for time themed movies and shows.
Where I’m going: The Huntington Library
Technically I’m going tomorrow (Saturday). I’ve been planning this little trip for a few days now. It’s a special place. I will be reading, journaling and meditate within the gorgeous landscape and among the art of this priceless institution. I’ve been meaning to visit for a long time now. No better time than the first Saturday of the year.
What I’m trying out: Running
Ever since I developed plantar fasciitis on both my feet, I had to stop running. I had to contend with chronic sore feet the past few years. Then my right ankle started hurting and it wouldn’t heal for months. I finally visited a podiatrist who diagnosed a collapsing arch as the source of all my problems. Fortunately there was a remedy: orthotics. The fasciitis and ankle pain went away within a week. It was miraculous. So now I’m trying to get back to running again.
What I’m pondering:
“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your own path.” This quote may or may not have been correctly attributed to the Buddha. There is sufficient evidence that it was not. However, the sentiment of the message is wonderful no matter who the speaker was.