Pilgrimage, Poetry, and Qualities of Kindness
To the many folks who wrote over the past few weeks, my deepest gratitude for your edifying words and heartening encouragements for the year to come. Please keep writing us at email@example.com. And, with the paperback release of Becoming Wise on February 28, and live events in Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco, this spring’s schedule is turning out to be a full one!
Presuming a Reservoir of Goodness
Drawing on a line from President Obama’s farewell speech, our columnist ponders the danger of one’s own blindness in both presuming good and ill intent in our political figures:
“I wonder if what’s an even bigger risk than ‘presuming a reservoir of goodness in others’ is presuming a reservoir of malevolence. Because that’s where I’m at.”
In Search of Kindness
“I am grateful for any and every encounter — yes, even the ones that left me brokenhearted. Now I know that even the brokenness made me seek the healing. We cannot seek water without thirst. And when I come across people who carry their own pain and suffering — which is all of us, each and every single one — having had my own pain makes it so much more real, more personal, more immediate to sit with them and their pain. We are rarely more human than we are when we see the suffering in one another.”
Qualities of relationship in our romantic lives take on many expressions, morphing and evolving over time. Above all else, Omid writes, seek kindness in your partner — a quality one might nurture in oneself throughout time.
The Paths We Take Tumble Together
“…a constant movement through constant change.”
This phrase describes how many folks are feeling these days — unmoored and uncertain, like electrons jumping orbitals. But how might we navigate and respond “to these inevitable shifts”? Sharon looks to the tradition of pilgrimage as a means of reframing “the journey into the unknown.”
Things Could Have Been Otherwise
A poem from the late Jane Kenyon inspires Parker to have “gratitude for the ordinary”:
“I got out of bed / on two strong legs. / It might have been / otherwise…”
What Else We’re Reading
Philosophy Can Teach Children What Google Can’t
from The Guardian
Charlotte Blease, a cognitive scientist and cofounder of Philosophy Ireland, makes a compelling case for flexible thinking in a robotic world — not because teaching the subject will bring back lost jobs but because it equips future generations “to build immunity against careless judgments and unentitled certitude.” (Hat tip to Pádraig Ó Tuama for the heads-up.)
Signs You Need to Leave Your Startup
This essay shouldn’t just be limited to founders of organizations or CEOs; it provides useful points applicable to almost anybody who has worked a job. Al Doan, a tech entrepreneur and cofounder of the hugely successful Missouri Star Quilt Company who just relinquished his role, makes himself vulnerable and offers a list of indicators that just might help you become a better colleague at work, whether you’re an intern, a middle manager, or the leader of the free world.
The work we do introduces us to creative people and burgeoning scenes all over the world. Pratapaditya Deb, a 30-year-old musician from New Delhi, reached out to say thank you for our podcast. But we are the fortunate ones. Listen to his song about “the quietly devastating experience of being lost in the belly of the whale.” A really beautiful way to start out your day.
May the wind always be at your back!