Compassion

https://www.raptitude.com/2009/08/should-we-have-compassion-for-killers/

All of these desperate and depraved acts we see ‘bad people’ do, we are all ultimately capable of them too. Under different circumstances, with a different upbringing and different experiences, every one of us could be a killer. But if you got lucky, and that’s not the way it turned out, you might be inclined to put yourself on a distinctly higher plane.

~ David Cain

I’ve learned to use venom and outrage as indicators. When I taste venom… when I feel outraged… that’s when I redouble my efforts to use my brain and be rational.

I’m not convinced (one way or the other) as to wether it’s even possible to never feel outraged–or if that’s even a good end-goal.

But I am certain that–without exception–if ever I let my outrage direct my actions, I regret it later.

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Living virtuously

Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do.
Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you.
Sanity means tying it to your own actions.

~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

What’s wrong with the world?

http://zenhabits.net/2008/08/whats-wrong-with-the-world-not-a-damn-thing/

This type of view of the world — and like I said, I think it’s the prevailing view — stems from an ideal that many people have in their heads of what the world should be like. They might not realize they have that ideal, but it’s there. And the world will never reach this Platonic ideal, because it’s just this image of perfection that does not match reality. Reality and this ideal are incompatible.

~ Leo Babauta

This ties in with yesterday’s comments about the Beatles’ Let It Be. There’s certainly a peculier passion associated with youth. But there’s a much nicer circumspection of age. When things are going badly, relax for they will not last. Whent things are going well, relax for they will not last. The error is in not relaxing, not in the circumstances being observed.

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Letting years go by

https://www.raptitude.com/2009/03/protect-your-dreams-from-contamination/

In fact, I’ve let years of my life go by this way. I could be working on something I truly love, and then I’d hit a snag. I’d get frustrated, then avoid it for the rest of the day. I just wouldn’t want to be frustrated anymore, so I wouldn’t touch it. There’s always later. Perhaps if a better mood came along I’d be willing to tackle it.

~ David Cain

I’m not sure I agree with how easy it sounds the way he puts it. But he’s dead on with the point.

Here’s another spin on it, the late, great, Jack Vance as Curly.

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Time management

http://www.asianefficiency.com/productivity/coveys-time-management-quadrant/

The caveat is that this quadrant can be mistaken as something that shouldn’t be part of life, but that is not true. It is really important to have a balanced life between work and your personal life. You need downtime to not get burnt out and that is where quadrant four comes into the picture. The challenge is you allocate most of your time to quadrant two, with just enough of time spent in quadrant four to get by.

~ Thanh Pham

I disagree.

Everything in the UN-important half (the lower half in the diagrams) of the quadrant is the Bad Lands to be avoided. There’s no such thing as “work life balance.” I spent decades trying to fiddle with that balance. There is only life. I strive to do only important things. I strive to only do NON-urgent things by paying attention to what I should be doing. I strive for a wide variety of activities which are all necessary, important and not urgent. One might even say: “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

I have control over only two things: My thoughts and my actions.

The great teacher

http://yudkowsky.net/rational/virtues/

How can you improve your conception of rationality? Not by saying to yourself, “It is my duty to be rational.” By this you only enshrine your mistaken conception. Perhaps your conception of rationality is that it is rational to believe the words of the Great Teacher, and the Great Teacher says, “The sky is green,” and you look up at the sky and see blue. If you think: “It may look like the sky is blue, but rationality is to believe the words of the Great Teacher,” you lose a chance to discover your mistake. Do not ask whether it is “the Way” to do this or that. Ask whether the sky is blue or green. If you speak overmuch of the Way you will not attain it.

If you don’t think intentionally… If your ideas and beliefs don’t produce a working model of reality… well…

When an honest person discovers they are wrong, they stop being wrong or they stop being honest. It’s your choice.

The Second World War

http://www.leesandlin.com/articles/LosingTheWar.htm

~ Lee Sandlin

“Where’s the pull-quote?” I don’t know how to choose one.

“What’s the take-away?” I don’t know how this could be made more succinct.

“Why should I read it?” I have no idea how to place the thing which is “The Second World War” into context. (…nor into the context of my life, and certainly not into the context of your life.)

Obviously, I don’t remember the second world war.

Obviously, I don’t understand the second world war.

But I do know that this shook me to my core. This brought a tear to my eye. I read it twice — the first time in one sitting; straight through. Somehow, it seems to grab at all the frayed, loose ends of all the things I know about the War and– well, just grabbed them all into one place.

Begin the morning

Begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. … I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him.

~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, II.1

Once more, louder, for those in the back

https://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/05/12/what-good-shall-i-do-this-day/

Society has any number of pressing needs that are crying out to be tackled. But there’s a need that everyone can start addressing immediately — no experience or Kickstarter campaign required: regularly showing more human kindness.

~ Brett McKay

Many years ago, my mother bought me a little metal rectangular paper weight which says, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” The type is laid in lines, and the, “no matter how small” is teeny-tiny so each time I read it, I have to look closely.

It also helps me remember to look a little more closely throughout my day.