“Don’t give up on books. They feel so good — their friendly heft. The sweet reluctance of their pages when you turn them with your sensitive fingertips. A large part of our brains is devoted to deciding whether what our hands are touching is good or bad for us. Any brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us.”—If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?
“He gave the impression that very many cities had rubbed him smooth.” -Graham Greene
The pool at the Grand Hotel del Paraguay is, best as I can tell, unused. Maybe it’s the heat—and the humidity—which are considerable and relentless. Or the lack of a bar, or towels, or staff. But nobody else…
"You know, Thorstein Veblen and "The Theory of the Leisure Class," way back in 1899, when he started writing about leisure, he also wrote about something that I think is very true in other fields, as well.
He talked about how, you know, we look to the people, you know, one socioeconomic, you know, rung of the ladder ahead of us, and we try to emulate what they’re doing, because that’s where you get status in our society. And so this intensive parenting may have started in the, you know, middle and upper-middle class, but it has since filtered through different layers of society, where I talked to people who had just gotten off of welfare, who were also feeling if they couldn’t do that kind of hyper-parenting, they were feeling really guilty about it….
We’ve ratcheted up the standards for what you need to do as a parent. And what that does, then, is it completely pollutes your time so that you may be in a moment that could look like leisure from the outside, but on the inside, you are just crashing around, thinking of, like, oh, man, what have I got for dinner, and I forgot the carpool, you know, to drive tomorrow, and did I ever send this note, and I better get this memo to somebody at work.
And so you’re never really fully present in the moment, you know, and as new-agey as that sounds, there has been really great, you know, work by psychologists who say that’s really peak human experience, when you’re able to lose yourself in the moment.”
“The time has come to extend to every person on the planet the fundamental principle that we hold so dear: that all human beings are created equal. Rather than seeing the world as divided among different civilizations or classes, our collective future rests upon embracing a vision of a single world in which we are all connected. Indeed, maybe this notion of human connection is the most important and complex challenge of our time… But where to start? Like so many young people with skills today, my desire to contribute to changing the world a quarter of a century ago wasn’t matched with a proper game plan. I had no idea how to do it. I was a middle class kid who paid my way through university. Pursuing a nonprofit life seemed like an enormous challenge at the start and I didn’t know anyone at the time who did the kind of work I craved. Almost all of my role models where characters in books or dead. So, I did what I now tell young people to do. I started where I could, where I was given a chance.”—A favorite passage from a favorite book and a constant source of inspiration: Jacqueline Novogratz
“Someone once told me a story about long term relationships. To think of them as a continent to explore. I could spend a lifetime backpacking through Africa, and I would still never know all there is to know about that continent. To stay the course, to stay intentional, to stay curious and connected – that’s the heart of it. But it’s so easy to lose track of the trail, to get tired, to want to give up, or to want a new adventure. It can be so easy to lose sight of the goodness and mystery within the person sitting right in front of you.”—Joy Williams (via awelltraveledwoman)
“We are facing one of the biggest struggles of our times: the challenge for institutions is to treat their stakeholders (e.g users, employees, consumers, audience) as humans, not as data points.”—Tricia Wang “The Conceit of Oracles” (via peterspear)