“So long as we find anything beautiful, we feel that we have not yet exhausted what [life] has to offer […] That forward-looking element is … inseparable from the judgment of beauty.”
— Alexander Nehamas, Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art, via The Beauty-Happiness Connection - The Atlantic

This was the 2012 performance of the year for NPR’s “Snap Judgment.” If you try to find Noah St. John on the Innerwebz, you will see that there’s some motivational speaker guy with that name. That is NOT this guy. Try Googling Noah Silverman St. John instead. You’re welcome.

[via This Kid Thought His Parents Were Breaking Up After 20 Years, But He Was So Wrong]

Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life. …

If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother.

You never feel a hundred percent okay. You never get your sea legs — you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost, something is always missing.

—Shonda Rhimes ‘91 Delivers Dartmouth’s Commencement Speech (by Dartmouth) [via Shonda Rhimes on Dreaming vs. Doing, the Tradeoffs of Success, and the Blinders of Entitlement | Brain Pickings]


Comedian and journalist Stella Young is tired of people telling her she’s an “inspiration” just for getting up in the morning. In a hilarious, hard-hitting, and thought-provoking talk at TEDxSydney, she explains why.   

Watch the full talk here»

(via hanniballecktor)

Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much | Talk Video | TED.com)

Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society’s habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”

“Ordinarily, poetry does seem to be the opposite of show business, and we probably just prefer our poets not to be celebrities in that particular way, … It doesn’t sit well with us, and it’s very hard to explain that. Money is felt to be contaminating and to be antithetical to the values that we expect from poetry and literature and art.”
— Don Share, Chicago-based editor of Poetry magazine and poet, in: BBC News - Is it possible to be a millionaire poet? by William Kremer

Luigi Di Cicco was the son of a mafia boss, and most people expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps. He could easily have fallen into a life of money, crime, violence, jail - but he broke free.

“Time is the one thing you can give yourself in abundance. It is often the one resource the young own. Ironically, if you exploit your gift of time as you travel, you’ll gain more than any billionaire can. Without exaggeration, you’ll earn experiences that no amount of money can buy. Seriously. Although it tries, money cannot buy what time delivers.”
— Kevin Kelly in Ronda, Spain, More time is better than more money. — A Hi Moment
“Why make yourself miserable saying things like, “Why do we have such bad luck? What has God done to us? What have we done to deserve this?”—all of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life.”
Richard P Feynman, in: 'What Do You Care What Other People Think?': Further Adventures of a Curious Character (2007), Penguin UK.

How Meditation Can Help Inmates - Paul Rosenfeld - The Atlantic:

In this short film from Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee we go inside the Rhode Island correctional facility, where we are introduced to Fleet Maull and the inmates who enroll in his Prison Mindfulness Institute. The film makes the case for prison serving the function of reformation and not simply incarceration.

It’s extraordinary how this structure has resonated deeply with people. I think people want to get back into the forest.

— Tye Farrow, senior partner at Farrow Partnership Architects.

Via Adele Peters, These Amazing Hanging Hotel Rooms Let Guests Camp In Trees | Co.Exist | ideas impact

“It’s like Schopenhauer said, people tend to believe that adversity is this extraordinary thing in humanity; adversity is the norm. It is extraordinary when you don’t experience adversity. Adversity shapes who you are and how you deal with life.”
“There is a deep desire that the writer’s life story be as exciting as the books themselves. I don’t know whether this comes out of a lack of imagination on the part of readers, our out of a yearning for the novels’ spell to continue past the final page. Probably some measure of both.”
“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stonewritten. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Charles Bukowski, The Meaning of Life: The Big Picture, Life Magazine, December 1988.
“If we’re lucky and our society is relatively stable, our fear of change can still lead us astray. If we get divorced, get married, get ill, if we’re in a recession, if we lose our job, if we believe “our way of life” is changing outwith our control, maybe our alarm won’t be harnessed by opportunist politicians. Instead, we may simply embrace magical thinking, an old, failed strategy, to wish change away.”