For The Love Of Wisdom – Winston Churchill – The Unconventional Human

Winston Churchill (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame… The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Thich Nhat Hanh – The Self And Our Surroundings

Thich Nhat Hanh (October 11, 1926 - January 22, 2022) It’s funny how much our surroundings influence our emotions. Our joys and sorrows, likes and dislikes are colored by our environment so much that often we just let our surroundings dictate our course. We go along with “public” feelings until we no longer even know our …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Mario Vargas Llosa – Caudillo

Mario Vargas Llosa (March 28, 1936 -) A cross between a superhuman and a jester, the caudillo makes and unmakes things at his will, inspired by God or by an ideology in which socialism and fascism — two forms of statism and collectivism — are nearly always confused, and communicates directly with his people through …

Wise Poets – May Sarton – Moose In The Morning

May Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995) Oh wild and gentle beast,Immense antlered shape,This morning in the meadow!Like something ancient, lostAnd found now, promise kept,Emerging from the shadow,Emerging while I slept—Wilderness and escape!You set me free to shirkThe day's demanding workAnd cast my guilt away.You make a truant of meThis moose-enchanted dayWhen all …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Robert Burton – Learning

Robert Burton (February 8, 1577–January 25, 1640) Whosoever he is therefore that is overrun with solitariness, or carried away with pleasing melancholy and vain conceits, and for want of employment knows not how to spend his time, or crucified with worldly care, I can prescribe him no better remedy than this of study, to compose …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Justice Harry Blackmun – When Life Begins

From The Archives - Originally Published January 24, 2020 Justice Harry Blackmun (November 12, 1908 – March 4, 1999) We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Brent Staples – Blacks In The Newspapers

Brent Staples (1951 -) Newspapers that championed white supremacy throughout the pre-civil rights South paved the way for lynching by declaring African Americans nonpersons. They embraced the language once used at slave auctions by denying Black citizens the courtesy titles Mr. and Mrs. and referring to them in news stories as “the negro,” “the negress” …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Cass Robert Sunstein – Choices

Cass Robert Sunstein (September 21, 1954 -) People often make poor choices – and look back at them with bafflement! We do this because as human beings, we all are susceptible to a wide array of routine biases that can lead to an equally wide array of embarrassing blunders in education, personal finance, health care, …

For The Love Of Wisdom – George Dyson – Universal Mind

George Dyson (March 26, 1953 -) Living without telephone, computer, internet, or even electric light, I had time beyond measure to think. I found myself thinking about what, if anything, a tree might think. Not thinking the way we think, but the way a single neuron thinks, integrating information over time. It might take years …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Joseph Campbell – Fate

Joseph Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) Whatever my fate is, is what I need. If you bring love to that moment, not discouragement, you will find the strength. Any detour or disarray you can learn from is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!

For The Love Of Wisdom – Karel Čapek – Communism

Karel Čapek (January 09, 1890 – December 25, 1938) All of us have begun to feel that there is something odd and insoluble about the conflicts between world-views, generations, political principles, and whatever else divides us… Hatred, lack of knowledge, fundamental distrust, these are the psychic world of communism… I count myself among the idiots …

For The Love Of Wisdom – William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) – Writing

William Sidney Porter (O’Henry) (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910) I'll give you the sole secret of short-story writing, and here it is: Rule 1. Write stories that please yourself. There is no rule 2. The technical points you can get from Bliss Perry. If you can't write a story that pleases yourself, you …

For The Love Of Wisdom – John Coltrane – Creativity And Jazz

John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926–July 17, 1967) It is really easy for us [jazz musicians] to create. We are born with this feeling that just comes out no matter what conditions exist. Otherwise, how could our founding fathers have produced this music in the first place when they surely found themselves (as many of …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Hannah Arendt – Forgiveness

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 04, 1975) Forgiving, in other words, is the only reaction which does not merely re-act but acts anew and unexpectedly, unconditioned by the act which provoked it and therefore freeing from its consequences both the one who forgives and the one who is forgiven. The freedom contained in …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Aldous Huxley – Being Human

Aldous Huxley (July 26, 1894 – November 22, 1963) Human beings are immensely complicated creatures, living simultaneously in a half dozen different worlds. Each individual is unique and, in a number of respects, unlike all the other members of the species. None of our motives is unmixed, none of our actions can be traced back …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Eckhart Tolle – Spiritual Awakening

Eckhart Tolle (February 16, 1948 -) Most humans are still, almost literally, possessed by thought. They don’t think, but thinking happens to them. The beginning of spiritual awakening is the realization that you are not the voice in your head but the one who is aware of the voice. You are the awareness behind your …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Maria Popova – Reading And Love

Maria Popova (July 28, 1984 -) We read for countless reasons and books transform us in countless ways, reckoned and unreckoned. We read the way we love — with our whole selves, with the flickering constellation of values, longings, traumas, joys, hopes, despairs, formative experiences, and half-remembered impressions composing the self. We read with our …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Night

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (June 29, 1900–July 31, 1944) Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of the trees… I longed for night and for …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Rebecca Solnit – Climate Change

Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -) People are dying. Aquatic animals are baking in their shells. Fruit is being cooked on the tree. It’s time to act… Human beings crave clarity, immediacy, landmark events. We seek turning points, because our minds are good at recognizing the specific – this time, this place, this sudden event, …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Audre Lorde – Fear

Audre Lorde (February 18, 1934–November 17, 1992) As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.

For The Love Of Wisdom – Alain de Botton – Charity

Alain de Botton (December 20, 1969 -) At its most basic, charity means offering someone something they need but can’t get for themselves. This is normally and logically understood to mean something material. We overwhelmingly associate charity with giving money. But, in its widest sense, charity stretches far beyond financial donations. Charity involves offering someone …

For The Love Of Wisdom – John William Coltrane – Creativity

John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926–July 17, 1967) History shows that the innovator is more often than not met with some degree of condemnation; usually according to the degree of his departure from the prevailing modes of expression or what have you. Change is always so hard to accept… Innovators always seek to revitalize, extend …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Barbara Jean Lee – Militarism

Barbara Jean Lee (July 16, 1946 -) I was the sole member of Congress to vote against the war in Afghanistan. Congress has yet to stand up against endless militarism On 11 September 2001, the world witnessed a terrible attack against our nation that took thousands of lives and changed millions more lives forever. The …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz – Historical Writing

Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz (June 16, 1915 – December 5, 1990) Some people think that the professional historian's personal commitments — to his people, his country, his religion, his language — undermine his professional objectivity. Not so. Not so, as long as historians respect the integrity of their sources and adhere strictly to the principles of …

For The Love Of Wisdom – José Ortega y Gasset – Love

José Ortega y Gasset (May 9, 1883–October 18, 1955) “Falling in love” is a phenomenon of attention… Our spiritual and mental life is merely that which takes place in the zone of maximum illumination. The rest — the zone of conscious inattention and, beyond that, the subconscious — is only potential life, a preparation, an …

For The Love Of Wisdom – William Vogt – Interconnectedness

William Vogt (May 15, 1902–July 11, 1968) Drastic measures are inescapable. Above everything else, we must reorganize our thinking. If we are to escape the crash we must abandon all thought of living unto ourselves. We form an earth-company, and the lot of the Indiana farmer can no longer be isolated from that of the …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Alfred Russel Wallace – Wealth

Alfred Russel Wallace (January 08, 1823‐November 07, 1913) One of the most prominent features of our century has been the enormous and continuous growth of wealth, without any corresponding increase in the well-being of the whole people; while there is ample evidence to show that the number of the very poor — of those existing …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Maria Konnikova – Control And Chance

Maria Konnikova Over and over, people would overestimate the degree of control they had over events — smart people, people who excelled at many things, people who should have known better… The more they overestimated their own skill relative to luck, the less they learned from what the environment was trying to tell them, and …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Rebecca Solnit – Democracy And Authoritarianism

Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -) Democracy is a set of agreements to make decisions together and respect the outcome whether you like them or not. The kind of violence we saw on Capitol Hill (Jan 06, 2021) is authoritarian, a way to try to force other people to submit to the will of the …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Helen Fisher – Love As Addiction

Helen Fisher (May 31, 1945 -) If the love object breaks off the relationship, the lover experiences signs of drug withdrawal, including protest, crying spells, lethargy, anxiety, insomnia or hyper-somnia, loss of appetite or binge eating, irritability, and loneliness. Lovers, like addicts, also often go to extremes, sometimes doing degrading or physically dangerous things to …

For The Love Of Wisdom – William Strunk Jr – Writing

William Strunk Jr. (July 1, 1869 – September 26, 1946) Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Cliff Joseph – The Power Of Art

Cliff Joseph (June 23, 1922 - November 08, 2020) Those who are at the head of the oppressive system know well the power of art and fear it in the hands of the people. That is why power structures throughout man’s history have sought to suppress and control the creative artist. Mr. Joseph’s “Ancestral Affirmation” …

For The Love Of Wisdom – John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi – White Privilege

John Uzoma Ekwugha Amaechi (November 26, 1970) White privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t worked hard or you don’t deserve the success you’ve had. It doesn’t mean that your life isn’t hard or that you’ve never suffered. It simply means that your skin colour has not been the cause of your hardship or suffering… I’m 50 …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Adyashanti – The Known And Unknown

Adyashanti (October 26, 1962 -) Our human capacity to know and understand gives us an incredible ability to create all manner of things and fathom the workings of the physical universe. And yet, this same capacity has its shadow side that is not so obvious.The ability to know and create can also be an incredibly …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Huston Cummings Smith – Religion

Huston Cummings Smith (May 31, 1919 – December 30, 2016) The fact that all the enduring traditions make the same claim on this point, and the claim being that everything proceeds from an absolute perfection. Now, let me pause on that. You know, the Taoists, the Tao -there is a being, wondrous, perfect, how quiet …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Leonard Michaels – Cats And Loneliness

Leonard Michaels (January 2, 1933–May 10, 2003) When it comes to loneliness, a cat is excellent company. It is a lonely animal. It understands what you feel. A dog also understands, but it makes such a big deal of being there for you, bumping against you, flopping about your feet, licking your face. It keeps …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Gabriel García Márquez – Journalism

Gabriel García Márquez (March 06, 1927 – April 17, 2014) I learned a lot from James Joyce and Erskine Caldwell and of course from Hemingway ... [but the] tricks you need to transform something which appears fantastic, unbelievable into something plausible, credible, those I learned from journalism. The key is to tell it straight. It …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Oswald Spengler – Freedom

Oswald Spengler (May 29, 1880 – May 08, 1936) The press to-day is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Louise Glück – Writing

Louise Glück (April 22, 1943 -) The fantasy exists that once certain hurdles have been gotten through, this art turns much simpler, that inspiration never falters, and public opinion is always affirmative, and there's no struggle, there's no torment, there's no sense that the thing you've embarked on is a catastrophe.

For The Love Of Wisdom – Keith Allen Haring – Fear And Loving

Keith Allen Haring(May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) I guess it’s because I’m afraid. Afraid I’m wrong. And I guess I’m afraid I’m wrong, because I constantly relate myself to other people, other experiences, other ideas. I should be looking at both in perspective, not comparing. I relate my life to an idea or …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Raymond Thornton Chandler – Writing

 Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Mirabai Starr – Taking Refuge

Mirabai Starr The essential insight at the heart of the concept of taking refuge in the Buddha is that the man known as Siddhartha Gautama showed us what true awakening looks like, right? As it turns out, to awaken mostly means to live with compassion and wisdom, resting in our interconnectedness with all beings, recognizing …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Wilson Bentley – Snowflakes

Wilson Bentley (February 9, 1865–December 23, 1931) Every snowflake has an infinite beauty which is enhanced by knowledge that the investigator will, in all probability, never find another exactly like it. Consequently, photographing these transient forms of Nature gives to the worker something of the spirit of a discoverer. Besides combining her greatest skill and …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche – Endurance

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900)To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Iris Murdoch – The Good

Iris Murdoch (July 15, 1919 – February 08, 1999) The concept of Good… is a concept which is not easy to understand partly because it has so many false doubles, jumped-up intermediaries invented by human selfishness to make the difficult task of virtue look easier and more attractive: History, God, Lucifer, Ideas of power, freedom, …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Cheryl Strayed – People Watching

Cheryl Strayed (September 17, 1968 -) As long as I live I'll never tire of people-watching. On city buses and park benches. In small-town cafes and crowded elevators. At concerts and swimming pools. To people-watch is to glimpse the mysterious and the banal, the public face and the private gesture, the strangest other and the …

Martin L King – Injustice

Martin L King (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality… Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

For The Love Of Wisdom – Charles M Blow – Mass Shootings

Charles M Blow (August 11, 1970 -) Mass shootings have become part of the American motif. Republicans and the gun lobby have resisted efforts to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country, so the carnage has become an ambient terror in our society. The mass shootings have not only increased in frequency, they …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Anaïs Nin – Maturity

Anaïs Nin (February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) If you intensify and complete your subjective emotions, visions, you see their relation to others’ emotions. It is not a question of choosing between them, one at the cost of another, but a matter of completion, of inclusion, an encompassing, unifying, and integrating which makes maturity.

For The Love Of Wisdom – Elif Shafak – Women Writers

Elif Shafak (October 25, 1971 -) I’d definitely say read more women. Read women writers, women journalists, women poets, women academics. And when I say women, I mean women of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds: Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Jewish, Greek. Turkey is a country of collective amnesia. Read those writers who bear witness to the …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Jyoti Donovan – Enlightenment And God

Jyoti Donovan Enlightenment is all there is. It's already here, and it's always here. It's you and me and all of this totality. It's the only thing going on, eternally. It's recognizing that all is God—not God as an all-knowing deity separate from the world, answering prayers or delivering judgments, but God as the source …

For The Love Of Wisdom – David Frederick Attenborough – Climate Change

David Frederick Attenborough (May 08 1926 -) This is an urgent problem that has to be solved and, what's more, we know how to do it - that's the paradoxical thing, that we're refusing to take steps that we know have to be taken... Every year that passes makes those steps more and more difficult …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Martin L King – Freedom And Oppression

Martin L King (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) History is the long and tragic story of the fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and give up their unjust posture; but … groups are more immoral than individuals. We know through painful experience that …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Ed Simon – The Collapse Of Democracy

Ed Simon Today democracy is imperiled not by civil war but by a citizenry torn apart by warring ideologies, in part because of the compelling, if nihilistic, story that authoritarians have told about nationality. An authoritarian promises a shallow union with others who look like you; the true democrat ensures that such a union is …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Robert Penn Warren – Poetry

Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905–September 15, 1989) For the basic fact about poetry is that it demands participation, from the secret physical echo in muscle and nerve that identifies us with the medium, to the imaginative enactment that stirs the deepest recesses where life-will and values reside. Beyond that, it nourishes our life-will in …

For The Love Of Wisdom – Spike Lee – Patriotism

Shelton Jackson “Spike” Lee March 20, 1957 -)We (Black Americans) have always believed in the promise of what this country could be; we’re very patriotic. But I think that patriotism is when you speak truth to power. It’s patriotic to speak out about the injustices in this country. That is being an American patriot.

For The Love Of Wisdom – Megan O’Grady – Art And The Reflected Life

Megan O’Grady In any reflected life, there will be clarifying moments in which you travel to the edge of the shore. Art, at its best, does this mimetically, challenging us to see things differently by offering a set of open questions, rather than a verdict delivered from on high: a field of view that speaks …

For The Love OF Wisdom – Sherwin Bernard Nuland – Understanding

Sherwin Bernard Nuland (December 8, 1930 – March 3, 2014) If someone truly feels that you understand them, an awful lot of neurotic behavior just disappears – disappears on your part, disappears on their part. So if you're talking about what motivates this world to continue existing as a community, you've got to talk about …

For The Love OF Wisdom – William Godwin – Multiple Languages

William Godwin (March 3, 1756–April 7, 1836) He that is acquainted with only one language, will probably always remain in some degree the slave of language… But the man who is competent to and exercised in the comparison of languages, has attained to his proper elevation. Language is not his master, but he is the …