On Helping

Help
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It’s a common platitude: help others.

In fact, it’s common enough that it also gets dismissed out of hand.

Don’t dismiss it.

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On Friends

Friends
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Perhaps this doesn’t apply to everyone. Perhaps the extroverts, or some other personality types “get” this natively, but it’s something I wished I’d pay more attention to.

Treasure your friends.

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On Answers

Questions? Answers?
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This thought relates to the previous one on easy answers. So many want easy yes/no answers to complex problems. It ain’t gonna happen.

But it gets worse.

There are things that are unanswerable, easy or otherwise.

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On Easy Answers

Easy Button
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We’re lazy.

It makes sense when you think about it from an evolutionary perspective. Conservation of energy is incredibly important when food sources — sources of energy — were in short supply, or their availability wasn’t guaranteed.

Better to do less, to need less, just in case you had less.

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On Making

Tools
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I wish more people would make things.

By “make things” I mean pretty much anything. Writing, crafting, constructing, welding, coding … whatever.

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On Opinions

Megaphone
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Particularly with the rise of social media, it seems to have become our job to have an opinion about absolutely everything.

From the latest celebrity gossip to political scandals to neighborhood complaints, we’re all encouraged to “Like” or comment and otherwise share how we feel about the situation.

It’s almost a requirement. If you don’t have an opinion, apparently you’re not paying attention! How awful!

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On Writing (II)

Writing
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I’ve mentioned writing and particularly speaking English and doing it well in multiple places over the years.

The idea is simple: people judge you by your spoken and written word. The better a speaker or writer you are, the better you’ll be perceived.

But there’s more to it than that. Set aside the quality issue for a moment.

Just … write.

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On Writing

Writing
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I find it fascinating that I’ve transitioned over the course of my life from being someone who absolutely hated writing, with a passion, to someone who now primarily writes for a living.

I’ve written (ha!) about it before, but it’s true: if I had to do it all over again, I’d have invested more of my education in writing, English,and communications classes, at the expense of classes that, to this day, have not added a single thing to my life. (I’m looking at you, Chemistry 140.)

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On Prayer

Prayer? Or meditation?
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Meditation, at its simplest, is thought of as a focus on a “thing” — commonly your breath — with the goal of recognizing stray thoughts and returning focus to that thing.

That’s it. Really.

Many people practice meditation where the “thing” is a mantra — a single word — or a phrase, or even a short piece of prose (a “gatha” if I understand correctly). Same idea: focus on repeating the prose in your mind, and return focus to it whenever you are inevitably distracted.

Remind you of anything?

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On Meditation

Sunset
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Meditation is like noticing the world around you, except you’re noticing the world within you.

The traditional view of meditation is that it’s sitting cross-legged, emptying your mind, and possibly chanting a mantra for an uncomfortable length of time.

Nope.

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On Noticing

Noticing
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It’s easy to make our way through life without paying much attention to the world around us. We have our focus, our priorities, our passions, and they’re important. But they often prevent us from looking around and noticing more of what’s going on.

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On “Someday”

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Someday never comes.

This might be one of the most hackneyed quotes / thoughts / aphorisms the old share with the young.

The problem is, it’s true.

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On Self-Awareness

Mirror Bird
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Many people believe they understand themselves.

Some might be right, or close to it. However, many are quite mistaken.

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On Shame

Shame
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Shame is so much more pervasive than I’d ever realized. It’s everywhere.

When we think of shame, we think first of behaviours others have done that they “should” be ashamed of. Choices they’ve made, actions they’ve taken, that at the time were obviously “bad” (for some definition of “bad”).

It’s not always the case that they were obviously bad at the time, but certainly in hindsight it’s clear, and from that hindsight, we see shame.

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On Making the World a Little Better

Hands
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It’s one of the simplest rules of thumb when deciding … well, just about anything.

Will this make the world a better place?

Even if it’s by a tiny amount, it’s worthy of thought.

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On Love Being Love

Rainbow
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I struggle with homophobes.

I have a difficult time understanding their problem. Two people love each other and they happen to have the same genitalia.

So what?

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On Sleep

Sleep
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Sleep is underrated.

Sleep is also very frustrating.

Years ago, I regularly felt frustrated because sleeping seemed like such a waste of time. Eight hours doing nothing? REALLY? There’s so much to see and do and accomplish. Why do we have to waste time sleeping?

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On Acknowledging the Good in Others

I Appreciate You
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Most people we meet are significantly less secure and less self-confident than we imagine.

👉🏻👉🏻 Significantly. 👈🏻👈🏻

It’s both surprising and sad how often I run into people with unwarranted low self-esteem, or just an inordinately negative picture of themselves or their abilities.

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On Finding Fault in Others

Fault
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Fault finding is so easy.

I’ll even say society encourages it.

Mass media looks for any opportunity to call out a politician, celebrity, or other person of note for their mistakes and hypocrisy. It’s become almost a game. It’s definitely a key component of every political campaign.

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On Hubris

Hubris
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Hubris:
Excessive pride, presumption or arrogance (originally toward the gods).

“It now appears that the world is filled with people who believe that everyone should be interested in everything they have to say about anything – people who tweet, you might call them. I find this so astonishing, my own hubris pales in comparison.”
– Alice McDermott.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room, shall we?

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