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How I Live Now

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BC: You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. -Tyler Durden in Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club

FC: How I Live Now | Geena Dyer

1: What fools call "wasting time" is often the best investment. -Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrusts

2: When Considering the future, remember that all situations unfold as they do regardless of how we feel about them. Our hopes and fears sway us, not events themselves. Undisciplined people, driven by their personal antipathies and sympathies, are forever on the lookout for signs that build up or reinforce their unexamined views and opinions... Instead of personalizing an event... and drawing withering conclusions about yourself or human nature, watch for how you can put certain aspects of the event to good use. -Epictetus, The Art of Living

3: Never depend on the admiration of others. There is no strength in it. Personal merit cannot be derived from an external source. It is not to be found in your personal associations, nor can it be found in the regard of other people. It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms. Grow up! Who cares what other people think about you! Create your own merit. -Epictetus, The Art of Living

4: Personal Don't take it personal, they said; but I did, I took it all quite personal— the breeze and the river and the color of the fields; the price of grapefruit and stamps, the wet hair of women in the rain— And I cursed what hurt me and I praised what gave me joy, the most simple-minded of possible responses. The government reminded me of my father, with its deafness and its laws, and the weather reminded me of my mom, with her tropical squalls. Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness Think first, they said of Talk Get over it, they said at the School of Broken Hearts but I couldn't and I didn't and I don't believe in the clean break;

5: I believe in the compound fracture served with a sauce of dirty regret, I believe in saying it all and taking it all back and saying it again for good measure while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries like wheeling birds and the trees look seasick in the wind. Oh life! Can you blame me for making a scene? You were that yellow caboose, the moon disappearing over a ridge of cloud. I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard; barking and barking: trying to convince everything else to take it personal too. -Tony Hoagland, Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty

6: The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister, is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I to them. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

7: In the woods we return to reason and faith. There i feel that nothing can befall me in life, -no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground,-my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

8: Of all things that wisdom provides for living one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship. -Epicurus, Principal Doctrines

9: The forms of friendship... are three equal in number to the things that are lovable... Those who love each other on account of utility... do not love each other in themselves, but only insofar as they have something good from the other. Similar too is the case of those who love on account of pleasure... those who love on account of utility feel affection for the sake of their own good, just as those who love on account of pleasure feel affection for the sake of their own pleasure. - Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

10: The ability to be small. - One has still to be as close to the flowers, the grass and the butterflies as is a child, who is not so very much bigger than they are. We adults, on the other hand, have grown up high above them and have to condescend to them; I believe the grass hates us when we confess our love for it. - He who want to partake of all good things must know how to be small at times. -Frederich Nietzche, The Wanderer and His Shadow, section 51

11: Verify I say unto you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven, -Matthew 18:3

12: I want to learn more how to see what is necessary in things as what is beautiful in them- thus I will be one of those who make things beautiful. -Friedrich Nietzche, The Gay Science, section 276

13: The world is brimming with beautiful things, but nevertheless poor, very poor in beautiful moments, and in the unveilings of those things. But perhaps this is the strongest magic of life: it is covered by a veil of beautiful possibilities, woven with threads of gold- promising, resisting, bashful, mocking, compassionate, and seductive. -Friedrich Nietzche, The Gay Science, section 339

14: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greates enjoyment is-build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! -Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

16: You are not an isolated entity, but a unique, irreplaceable part of the cosmos. Don't forget this. You are an essential piece of the puzzle of humanity. Each of us is part of a vast, intricate, and perfectly ordered human community. But where do you fit into this web of humanity. To whom are you beholden? Look for and come to understand your connections to other people. We properly locate ourselves within the cosmic scheme by recognizing our natural relations to one another and thereby identifying our duties. Our duties naturally emerge from such fundamental relations as our families, neighborhoods, workplaces, our state or nation. Make it your regular habit to consider your roles- parent, child, neighbor, citizen, leader, and the natural duties that arise from them. Once you know who you are and to whom your are linked, you will know what to do. -Epictetus, The Art of Living

17: Think things through and fully commit! Otherwise, you will be like a child who sometimes pretends he or she is a wrestler, sometimes a soldier, sometimes a musician, sometimes an actor in a tragedy... unless we fully give ourselves over to our endeavors, we are hollow, superficial people and we never develop our natural gifts. We've all known people who, like monkeys, mimic whatever seems novel and flashy at the moment. But then their enthusiasm and efforts wane; they drop their projects as soon as they become too familiar and demanding. A half-hearted spirit has no power. Tentative efforts lead to tentative outcomes. -Epictetus, The Art of Living

18: Other people's views and troubles can be contagious. Don't sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes through your associations with others. If you encounter a downhearted friend, a grieving parent, or a colleague who has suffered a sudden reversal of fortune, be careful not to be overcome yourself... It is not a demonstration of kindness or friendship to the people we care about to join them in indulging in wrongheaded, negative feelings. We do a better service to ourselves and others by remaining detached and avoiding melodramatic reactions. Still, if you find yourself in conversation with someone who is depressed, hurt, or frustrated, show them kindness and give them a sympathetic ear; just don't allow yourself to be pulled down too. -Epictetus, The Art of Living

19: Human beings are the giraffes of altruism. We're one-of-a-kind freaks of nature who occasionally-even if rarely- can be as selfless and team-spirited as bees. If your moral idea is the person who devotes her life to helping strangers, well then, OK-such people are so rare that we send film crews out to record them for the evening news. But if you focus, as Darwin did, on behavior in groups of people who know each other and share goals and values, then our ability to work together, divide labor, help each other, and function as a team is all so pervasive that we don't even notice it. You'll never see the headline "Forty-five Unrelated College Students Work Together Cooperatively, and for No Pay, to Prepare for Opening Night of Romeo and Juliet. | -Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012)

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  • Title: How I Live Now
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