Copy
My hope is that you use these emails to practice reflection.

My vision is a world where everyone can flourish. My mission is creating better conversations to spread understanding and compassion. Drop by https://constantine.name for my podcasts, writing and more.

~ Craig Constantine

True beauty

Moral beauty is the basis of all true beauty. This foundation is somewhat covered and veiled in Nautre. Art brings it out, and gives it more transparent forms.

~ Victor Cousin

 
 — original post, tagged Creativity, Quotes, Victor Cousin



Vignettes

I was chatting with my old friend Arthur over a continental breakfast at the Hotel Palomar.

~ Dave Pell from, https://nextdraft.com/2017/04/02/the-cell-phone-time-machine/

I’m deeply in lust for vignettes. I’ve quoted the opening of the short piece and I’m saying nothing further about it. Although, I’ll happily arrange a few more bytes about vignettes.

You see, I’m a sucker for cuts; Cuts in the sense where one visual transitions to another exactly in the way that the real world doesn’t. (With a hat tip to Douglas Adams if that last turn of phrase feels familiar.) Movies like Up, or Bicentennial Man—which I love, but most people seem to pan—or check out the “Epilogue” in the movie, Cherry, (on AppleTV. Get AppleTV for a month just to watch this movie.) I’m a sucker for Vignettes that give you just enough information for you to navigate… and leave to your own devices to pull up your own memories, and to yank on your own heart strings.

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Dave Pell, Film, Nostalgia, Robin Williams



The effort is real

If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; If you’re not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know that the effort is real.

~ James Baldwin

 
 — original post, tagged James Baldwin, On Writing, Quotes



Choose two

Life is about tradeoffs. When we know what to say no to, and we know why, we can say yes with comfort and confidence to the things that matter. To the things that last. Work, family, scene. You can have two if you say no to one. If you can’t, you’ll have none.

~ Ryan Holiday from, https://ryanholiday.net/work-family-scene/

The words “work”, “family”, and “scene” are of course maleable. I’d argue there’s a fourth—”self” or “health” would be the word I’d choose—and the admonition should be expanded to, “choose any three.” None the less, there something that feels to me very true about it being necessary, in the way the gravity is necessary to obey, about picking two of those three. There was a time when I chose work and scene. It was interesting, for a while. It wasn’t what it was cracked up to be. What’s your list, and which are you choosing?

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Life Balance, Perspective, Ryan Holiday



Well adjusted

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

 
 — original post, tagged Jiddu Krishnamurti, Perspective, Quotes, Society



This is not amusing

I grew up with maps showing how cities would be obliterated by a nuke. They’re back.

~ Clive Thompson from, https://clivethompson.medium.com/the-return-of-1980s-era-nuclear-strike-maps-a7aa292f7702

As did I. And, The Day After, for those who don’t know what that is, … well to be candid, I’m not sure how to describe it. Absolutely, scientifically and viscerally real. I know what it looks like when civilization collapses; and it’s not some kitschy zombie scenario. Disease disables, maims and kills. But nuclear war would return us to Medieval times. I would have been 12 or so when The Day After aired on TV, and I’m confident we watched it. I know I’ve also seen it several times on VHS, (and possibly on Beta as we had one of those for a while too.) There’s an interesting, unresolved question about why don’t we see signs of other intelligent beings… and one legit thought is that, quite possibly, all but vanishingly few races obliterate themselves in a sort of technology limiting event.

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Alien Life, Clive Thompson, War



Example of the mind

The idea of the painter and the sculptor is undoubtedly that perfect and excellent example of the mind, by imitation of which imagined form all things are represented which fall under human sight.

~ John Dryden

 
 — original post, tagged Creativity, John Dryden, Quotes



Expansive

Normally, we think of these difficulties and frustrations as something wrong with us, the other person, or the world. With this kind of view, every failure is another reason to feel bad about ourselves. Every frustration with someone else is a reason to shut down to them or lash out at them. Everything wrong with the world is another reason to feel discouraged.

~ Leo Babauta from, https://zenhabits.net/practiceground/

I recently read a discription of one’s mindset that used the term “expansive.” Having a “growth mindset,” or a “positive attitude,” are other turns of phrase in the same vein. Thinking expansively leads you to find opportunities. For 6+ years I’ve been tinkering on the Movers Mindset project, and a legitimate question comes up: What is the mindset of a mover?

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Leo Babauta, Mindset, Movers Mindset



Endurance

Something that irritates you. That’s the anguish of it. Do this book, or die. You have to go through that. Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: Discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.

~ James Baldwin

 
 — original post, tagged Endurance, James Baldwin, On Writing, Quotes



Magnanimity

Instead, Will redefined success for himself as winning in such a way that others are satisfied with his success. This implies not only excellence but also magnanimity. It’s like when opposing crowds would give Michael Jordan standing ovations. Or when fellow golfers would congratulate Tiger Woods on his shots. Or, you know, when conceding politicians used to say nice things about their opponents.

~ Mark Manson from, https://markmanson.net/3-life-lessons-from-will-smith

I’m reminded of zero-sum games, versus synergy. My definition of success precludes my participation in zero-sum games. I find that Mahatma Gandhi’s, “an eye-for-an-eye just leaves the whole world blind,” brings clarity when I’m uncertain. I often joke, “chaos? disorder?! …my work here is done.” Joking aside, and truth be told, I like to imagine leaving a wake of joy and improvement as I move through the world. I’m also reminded of…

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children […] to leave the world a bit better […] to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Mark Manson, Society, Will Smith



Actions

Only actions give life strength; Only moderation gives it a charm.

~ Richter

slip:4a881.

 
 — original post, tagged Moderation, Quotes, Richter



Equilibrium

After all, you had the amount of body fat and lean body mass that you had because they were the optimal amount to keep you at the optimal temperature given your environment. Then, without changing your environment, you forcefully overrode your body’s attempt to maintain these optimal levels in order to change the level of fat mass you have, and accidently your lean body mass.

~ Brad Pilon from, https://bradpilon.com/muscle-building/weight-training/will-you-lose-weight-and-keep-it-off-if-you-diet/

That first sentence is sublime. As far as I can recall, it’s the sentence which best describes everything I know—from both knowledge and experiene—about controlling one’s body composition. As I wrote previously in, Exercise, “I am the sort of person who…” has been the gateway each time I’ve been able to affect my body composition. Each time it’s been because I’ve changed my behavior or my environment (or both.)

At the beginning of this week, because I am the sort of person who looks ahead for the major goals and hurdles of the coming week, I realized I needed to get two runs in before Friday; I can’t count on running at the end of the week on Friday, Saturday, nor Sunday. (Monday is the first day of the week for me.) I planned to run Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesday night, because I am the sort of person who makes a plan for tomorrow as part of preparing to go to sleep, I realized it was going to be chilly, wet, and drizzling around 7am when I was thinking it would be nice to go for a run. Fortunately, because I am the sort of person who enjoys running in the chill and drizzle the weather forecast didn’t faze me. And Thursday—this morning—, because I am the sort of person who follows through on plans, we were out the door around 7.

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Brad Pilon, Diet and Exercise, Self-awareness



Moderation

Moderation resembles temperance. We are not so unwilling to eat more, as afraid of doing ourselves harm by it.

~ Rochefoucauld

slip:4a876.

 
 — original post, tagged Moderation, Quotes, Rouchefoucauld



Chesterton’s Fence

As simple as Chesterton’s Fence is as a principle, it teaches us an important lesson. Many of the problems we face in life occur when we intervene with systems without an awareness of what the consequences could be. We can easily forget that this applies to subtraction as much as to addition.

~ Shane Parrish from, https://fs.blog/2020/03/chestertons-fence/

I’m going to ‘fess up and say that I don’t recall ever hearing of “Chesterton’s Fence.” If you too just went, “who’s what?” then do check out that article.

That said, I’m nervously thinking everything about it—his fence, that article—seems obvious to me. Not simple, but obvious. Any time I find myself with such thinking, rather than stand on my megalomaniac soap box and yell at “those kids”, I instead begin searching for a clear reason for why I know, what I am claiming seems obvious.

In this case, the knowledge comes from learning systems thinking. Somewhere along my way I learned to think about everything as systems of things. I’m always trying to see how this thing is related to, dependent on, and causative of, some other things. Somewhere along my way I found Chesterton’s fence, (but the fence system didn’t include long-term planning for owner identification and so the fence I apparently found wasn’t labeled.)

ɕ

 
 — original post, tagged Mental bias, Shane Parrish, Systems




 
donating = loving
Since August of 2011, I have spent countless hours and thousands of dollars keeping my personal blog going. It has remained free and ad-free and alive thanks to patronage from readers like you. I have no staff, no interns, no assistant—it's just one maniac with a keyboard. If this labor of love makes your life more livable in any way, please consider aiding said maniac's sustenance. You can subscribe at $50/year, subscribe at $5/month, or make a one-time contribution of any amount you like.

just the quotes?
My collection of ~1,000 quotes, (and growing,) figures prominently in these weekly emails. You can also get a daily, random quote by email from my Little Box of Quotes.






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Craig's blog · 3440 Lehigh Street · PMB 249 · Allentown, Pa 18103 · USA