“It’s not even about making money for me, it’s about gaining respect. Seems that for kids around here, all the respect goes to the drug dealers, because they’re the ones with money. But you know what saved me? Family. Instead of hanging out with friends after school, I’d take the bus from the Bronx to work with my dad in the recycling yard. He’d drive me around in his truck while he was doing pick-ups, and he’d tell me stories. And every one of his stories started the same way. He’d say: ‘I wish that when I was your age, I knew the things that I know now.’ And he’d also ask me questions. He’d say: ‘When you get a car, are you going to lease it or buy it?’ He’d say: ‘What stocks do you think we should buy with the money we make today?’ He’d say: ‘Where do you think is the best place to buy a piece of property?’”
“I think my grandfather may have the correct approach to art. He’s had a long career, and in his retirement he’s been working on building a boat. I doubt he’ll ever finish it, but I don’t think that’s particularly important to him. He wakes up every morning, drinks his cup of coffee, then goes out to his workshop to sand a tiny portion of wood. He doesn’t need to finish that boat to pay the rent. He can afford to have some distance from it, so he gets to enjoy it. He looks at that boat tenderly, like he looks at his grandkids. He gets to have a dream without the necessity of achieving it.”
Long-term, if you’re really trying to get the most out of people, you got to build people up not tear them down. And I think that’s something that I learned about not just myself but other people. That you’re really trying to get inside someone’s heart and soul and bind them to what it is you together are trying to accomplish.
"I don’t have any good ideas"
That’s a common mantra among those that say that they want to leap, but haven’t, and aren’t, and won’t.
What they’re actually saying is, “I don’t have any ideas that are guaranteed to work, and not only that, are guaranteed to cause no criticism or moments when I’m sure the whole thing is going to fall apart.”
Seth Godin, wise as ever, tells it like it is.
To solve this paradox, he wrote a wonderful children’s book for grownups about vulnerability and the creative life.(via explore-blog)
The funny thing about the tale of Fan is that much of what happened to her happened to her… Every once in a while there are figures who draw such attention, even when they aren’t especially charismatic, or visionary, or subtly, cleverly aggressive in insinuating an agenda into the larger imagination. For some reason, we want to see them succeed. We want them to flourish, even if that flourishing is something we’ll never personally witness. They draw our energies so steadily and thoroughly that only toward the finish of events can we recognize the extent of our exertions, and how those exertions in sum might have taken the form of a movement.
Fan would have expected that one or two of the Girls would have long rebelled at spending a life in a room… but the funny thing about this existence is that once firmly settled we occupy it with less guard than we know. We watch ourselves routinely brushing our teeth, or coloring the wall, or blowing off the burn from a steaming yarn of soup noodles, and for every moment there is a companion moment that elides onto it, a secret span that deepens the original’s stamp. We feel ever obliged by everyday charges and tasks. They conscript us more and more. We find world enough in a frame. Until at last we take our places at the wheel, or wall, or line, having somewhere forgotten that we can look up.
Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness?
You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.
You’re grateful, thoughtful, pensive. You feel like a piece of you was just gained and lost. You’ve just experienced something deep, something intimate… Full from the experience, the connection, the richness that comes after digesting another soul.
It’s no surprise that readers are better people. Having experienced someone else’s life through abstract eyes, they’ve learned what it’s like to leave their bodies and see the world through other frames of reference. They have access to hundreds of souls, and the collected wisdom of all them.
Beautiful read on why readers are, “scientifically,” the best people to date.
Perhaps Kafka’s timeless contention that books are "the axe for the frozen sea inside us" applies equally to the frozen sea between us.(via explore-blog)
Prayer and Listening
Dan Rather, CBS anchor, once asked Mother Teresa what she said during her prayers.
She answered, “I listen.”
So Dan turned the question and asked, “Well then, what does God say?”
Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, “He listens.”
For an instant, Dan didn’t know what to say. “And if you don’t understand that,” Mother Teresa added, “I can’t explain it to you.”