Monday, May 31, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892), poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. He is best known for his poetry collection entitled Leaves of Grass (1855), which was occasionally banned, and and especially two of the poems in the collection: I Sing the Body Electric and Song of Myself.

"A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books." - Walt Whitman

"It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them. And perhaps it is the case that the greatest artists live and die, the world and themselves alike ignorant what they possess." - Walt Whitman

"After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." - Walt Whitman

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman

"Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune." - Walt Whitman

"Be curious, not judgmental." - Walt Whitman

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Alfred Austin (May 30, 1835 – June 2, 1913), critic, novelist, political journalist and poet. He was appointed Poet Laureate of England in 1896; however, he carries the reputation of having been the worst and least read English poet. His best work is The Garden That I Love.

"Tears are the summer showers to the soul." - Alfred Austin

"There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder." - Alfred Austin

"Exclusiveness in a garden is a mistake as great as it is in society." - Alfred Austin

"Public opinion is no more than this: what people think that other people think." - Alfred Austin

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are." - Alfred Austin

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul." - Alfred Austin

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874 – June 14, 1936), journalist, writer, and artist.

"There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great." - G. K. Chesterton

"Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." - G. K. Chesterton

"One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance." - G. K. Chesterton

"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." - G. K. Chesterton

"There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person." - G. K. Chesterton

"Fairy tales are more than true — not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." - G. K. Chesterton

"There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect." - G. K. Chesterton

"The center of every man's existence is a dream." - G. K. Chesterton

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Walker Percy (May 28, 1916 – May 10, 1990), author.

"Why is it that one can look at a lion or a planet or an owl or at someone’s finger as long as one pleases, but looking into the eyes of another person is, if prolonged past a second, a perilous affair?" - Walker Percy

"I had discovered that a person does not have to be this or be that or be anything, not even oneself. One is free." - Walker Percy

"I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to, no one, that is, who really wants to listen. When it does at last dawn on a man that you really want to hear about his business, the look that comes over his face is something to see." - Walker Percy

"You live in a deranged age, more deranged that usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing." - Walker Percy

"You can get all A's and still flunk life." - Walker Percy

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Silently meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964), marine biologist and nature writer. She is best known for her book Silent Spring which is often credited with helping launch the environmental movement.

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." - Rachel Carson

"One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, 'What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?" - Rachel Carson

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson

"In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference." - Rachel Carson

"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood." - Rachel Carson

"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility." - Rachel Carson

"The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery - not over nature but of ourselves." - Rachel Carson

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Meandering on the edge . . .

Today is the birthday of Robert William Chambers (May 26, 1865 – December 16, 1933), artist and writer.

Robert W. Chambers is best known for The King in Yellow a collection of short stories published in 1895. The short stories are connected by the theme of a terrible play (The King in Yellow) which drives those who read it insane.

"All the world may not love a lover but all the world watches him." - Robert W. Chambers

"Tis money makes the market go;
When money's high the market's low;
When money's low the market's right,
And speculators sleep at night.
But, dear, there is another mart,
Where ticks the ticker called my heart;
And there exhaustless funds await,
To back my bankrupt trust in Fate;
For you will find, as I have found,
The old, old logic yet is sound,
And love still makes the world go round."
- Robert W. Chambers

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meandering down the path . . .

Today is the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882), essayist, philosopher, and poet. He is best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.

"A great man is always willing to be little." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A man in debt is so far a slave." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A man is what he thinks about all day long." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Hitch your wagon to a star." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of David Viscott (May 24, 1938 - October 10, 1996), psychiatrist, author and media personality.

"If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed." - David Viscott

"In the end, the only people who fail are those who do not try." - David Viscott

"The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe that it is possible." - David Viscott

"The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized - and never knowing." - David Viscott

"Most people of action are inclined to fatalism and most of thought believe in providence." - David Viscott

"No one is so old as to think he cannot live one more year." - David Viscott

"You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be." - David Viscott

"To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." - David Viscott

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Mitchel David "Mitch" Albom (born May 23, 1958), author, journalist, screenwriter, dramatist, musician, radio and television broadcaster. His books have sold over 26 million copies worldwide.

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." — Mitch Albom

"If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely." — Mitch Albom

"Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else." — Mitch Albom

"Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves." — Mitch Albom

"There are no random acts...We are all connected...You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind . . ." — Mitch Albom

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (May 22, 1859 – July 7, 1930), physician and writer. He is best known as the creator of the detective Sherlock Holmes.

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"I never remember feeling tired by work, though idleness exhausts me completely." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important." - Arthur Conan Doyle

"You see, but you do not observe." - Arthur Conan Doyle

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Meander with me . . .

Today is the birthday of Alexander Pope (May 21, 1688 – May 30, 1744), essayist, critic, satirist and poet.

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." - Alexander Pope

"A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." - Alexander Pope

"Fame, wealth, and honour! what are you to Love?" - Alexander Pope

"If a man's character is to be abused there's nobody like a relative to do the business." - Alexander Pope

"No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday." - Alexander Pope

"The greatest magnifying glasses in the world are a man's own eyes when they look upon his own person." - Alexander Pope

"Many men have been capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing." - Alexander Pope

"The proper study of Mankind is Man." - Alexander Pope

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of John Stuart Mill (May 20, 1806 – May 8, 1873), philosopher, economist, and political theorist.

"Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character had abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and courage which it contained." - John Stuart Mill

"Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think." - John Stuart Mill

"There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." - John Stuart Mill

"What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs." - John Stuart Mill

"No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought." - John Stuart Mill

"A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury." - John Stuart Mill

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meandering about . . .

Today is the birthday of Walter Russell (May 19, 1871 – May 19, 1963), polymath. He was considered by some to be a leading figure in physics and cosmogony; although, many mainstream academics consider his ideas to be pseudoscience.

"When it becomes a part of every man's thinking that a single thought can change the polarity of our entire body toward either life or death - and can likewise change its entire chemistry toward increasing alkalinity or acidity to strengthen it or weaken it - or can change the shape of every corpuscle of matter in the entire body in the direction of either growth or decay - then the medical profession will radically change both its principles and its practices with the ailment of bodies." - Walter Russell

"The keystone of the entire structure of the spiritual and physical universe is Rhythmic Balanced Interchange between all opposites." - Walter Russell

"If we think we are tired or ill, it is only because we have done something to unbalance the bodily conductivity of the universal electric current which motivates it." - Walter Russell

". . . he who seeks possessions for himself will never find them--until he begins to give of the abundance of possessions which he already has." - Walter Russell

"If you want it and believe you can have it, you will." - Walter Russell

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Bertrand Arthur William Russell (May 18, 1872 – February 2,1970), philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, socialist, pacifist, and social critic.

In 1950, Bertrand Russell received the Nobel Prize in Literature - in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.

"To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead." - Bertrand Russell

"I do not believe that I am now dreaming, but I cannot prove that I am not. I am, however, quite certain that I am having certain experiences, whether they be those of a dream or those of waking life." - Bertrand Russell

"All who are not lunatics are agreed about certain things. That it is better to be alive than dead, better to be adequately fed than starved, better to be free than a slave. Many people desire those things only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. These people can only be refuted by science: Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy." - Bertrand Russell

"A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it." - Bertrand Russell

"It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly." - Bertrand Russell

"We all have a tendency to think that the world must conform to our prejudices. The opposite view involves some effort of thought, and most people would die sooner than think — in fact they do so." - Bertrand Russell

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Just meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Alan Curtis Kay (born May 17, 1940), computer scientist. He is one of the originators of object-oriented programming.

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." - Alan Kay

"Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower." - Alan Kay

"Quite a few people have to believe something is normal before it becomes normal-- a sort of 'voting' situation. But once the threshold is reached, then everyone demands to do whatever it is." - Alan Kay

"The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to." - Alan Kay

"Open your eyes and see the things as they really are." - Alan Kay

"Perspective is worth 80 IQ points." - Alan Kay

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meandering to and fro . . .

Today is the birthday of Louis "Studs" Terkel (May 16, 1912 – October 31, 2008), author, historian, actor, and broadcaster.

"But once you become active in something, something happens to you. You get excited and suddenly you realize you count." - Studs Terkel

"I'm not up on the Internet, but I hear that is a democratic possibility. People can connect with each other. I think people are ready for something, but there is no leadership to offer it to them. People are ready to say, Yes, we are part of a world." - Studs Terkel

"You know, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely. Einstein said everything had changed since the atom was split, except the way we think. We have to think anew." - Studs Terkel

"I think it`s realistic to have hope. One can be a perverse idealist and say the easiest thing: `I despair. The world`s no good.` That`s a perverse idealist. It`s practical to hope, because the hope is for us to survive as a human species. That`s very real... " - Studs Terkel

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meandering on the yellow brick road . . .

Today is the birthday of Lyman Frank Baum (May 15,1856 - May 6, 1919), author, newspaper editor, actor, screenwriter and film producer.

He is best known as L. Frank Baum the author of the children's novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

"Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again." - L. Frank Baum

"I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization." - L. Frank Baum

"When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children. For aside from my evident inability to do anything great, I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and brings its own reward." - L. Frank Baum

"I think the world is like a great mirror, and reflects our lives just as we ourselves look upon it. Those who turn sad faces toward the world find only sadness reflected. But a smile is reflected in the same way, and cheers and brightens our hearts." - L. Frank Baum

"Never give up. No one knows what's going to happen next." - L. Frank Baum

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Meandering here and there . . .

Today is the birthday of Robert Owen (May 14, 1771 – November 17, 1858), social reformer. He is considered to be the father of the cooperative movement.

"There is but one mode by which man can possess in perpetuity all the happiness which his nature is capable of enjoying, — that is by the union and co-operation of all for the benefit of each." - Robert Owen

"Is it not the interest of the human race, that every one should be so taught and placed, that he would find his highest enjoyment to arise from the continued practice of doing all in his power to promote the well-being, and happiness, of every man, woman, and child, without regard to their class, sect, party, country or colour?" - Robert Owen

"It is therefore, the interest of all, that every one, from birth, should be well educated, physically and mentally, that society may be improved in its character, — that everyone should be beneficially employed, physically and mentally, that the greatest amount of wealth may be created, and knowledge attained, — that everyone should be placed in the midst of those external circumstances that will produce the greatest number of pleasurable sensations, through the longest life, that man may be made truly intelligent, moral and happy, and be thus prepared to enter upon the coming Millennium." - Robert Owen

"It is confidently expected that the period is at hand, when man, through ignorance, shall not much longer inflict unnecessary misery on man; because the mass of mankind will become enlightened, and will clearly discern that by so acting they will inevitably create misery to themselves." - Robert Owen

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995), writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels.

"There's no such thing as civilization. The word just means the art of living in cities." - Roger Zelazny

"I don't know that I ever wanted greatness, on its own. It seems rather like wanting to be an engineer, rather than wanting to design something--or wanting to be a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

"I like libraries. It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there issomething to hold back the shadows." - Roger Zelazny

"Don't wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects." - Roger Zelazny

"Life is full of doors that don't open when you knock, equally spaced amid those that open when you don't want them to." - Roger Zelazny

"No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words." - Roger Zelazny

"Love is a negative form of hatred." - Roger Zelazny

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of Jiddu Krishnamurti (May 12, 1895 – February 17, 1986), philosopher and writer.

"Truth is a pathless land." - J. Krishnamurti

"Thought is matter as much as the floor, the wall, the telephone, are matter. Energy functioning in a pattern becomes matter. That is all life is....Matter and energy are interrelated. The one cannot exist without the other, and the more harmony there is between the two, the more balance, the more active the brain cells are. Thought has set up this pattern of pleasure, pain, fear, and has been functioning inside it for thousands of years and cannot break the pattern because it has created it." - J. Krishnamurti

"Man has throughout the ages been seeking something beyond himself, beyond material welfare—something we call truth or God or reality, a timeless state—something that cannot be disturbed by circumstances, by thought or by human corruption. Man has always asked the question: what is it all about? Has life any meaning at all? He sees the enormous confusion of life, the brutalities, the revolt, the wars, the endless divisions of religion, ideology and nationality, and with a sense of deep abiding frustration he asks, what is one to do, what is this thing we call living, is there anything beyond it?" - J. Krishnamurti

"You cannot depend upon anybody. There is no guide, no teacher, no authority. There is only you—your relationship with others and with the world—there is nothing else. When you realize this, it either brings great despair, from which comes cynicism and bitterness, or, in facing the fact that you and nobody else is responsible for the world and for yourself, for what you think, what you feel, how you act, all self-pity goes. Normally we thrive on blaming others, which is a form of self-pity." - J. Krishnamurti

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meandering in theory . . .

Today is the birthday of Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988), physicist.

Richard Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there." - Richard P. Feynman

"It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man." - Richard P. Feynman

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman

"No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it." - Richard P. Feynman

"some people say, How can you live without knowing? I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know." - Richard P. Feynman

"There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them!" - Richard P. Feynman

"I'm smart enough to know that I'm dumb." - Richard P. Feynman

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Meandering about . . .

Today id the birthday of Wayne Walter Dyer (born May 10, 1940), self-help advocate, author, and lecturer.

"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into." - Wayne Dyer

"Conflict cannot survive without your participation." - Wayne Dyer

"A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe." - Wayne Dyer

"Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed." - Wayne Dyer

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." - Wayne Dyer

"The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about." - Wayne Dyer

"Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into." - Wayne Dyer

"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you." - Wayne Dyer

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Meandering in pixie dust . . .

Today is the birthday of James Matthew Barrie (May 9, 1860 – June 19, 1937), author and dramatist. He is best known for creating Peter Pan.

"Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?" - J. M. Barrie

"I'm not young enough to know everything." - J. M. Barrie

"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." - J. M. Barrie

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J. M. Barrie

"All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust." - J. M. Barrie

"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else." - J. M. Barrie

"The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does." - J. M. Barrie

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Meandering around and around . . .

Today is the birthday of Friedrich August von Hayek (May 8, 1899 – March 23, 1992), economist and philosopher. In 1974 he shared the Nobel Prize in Economics with Gunnar Myrdal.

"Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded." - Friedrich August von Hayek

"We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage." - Friedrich August von Hayek

"We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish." - Friedrich August von Hayek

"Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark." - Friedrich August von Hayek

"A society that does not recognise that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom." - Friedrich August von Hayek

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Meandering in the spheres . . .

Today is the birthday of Edwin Herbert Land (May 7, 1909 – March 1, 1991), scientist and inventor. He is best known as the co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation.

"We live in a world changing so rapidly that what we mean frequently by common sense is doing the thing that would have been right last year." - Edwin H. Land

"The world is a scene changing so rapidly that it takes every bit of intuitive ability you have, every brain cell each one of you has, to make the sensible decision about what to do next. You cannot rely upon what you have been taught. All you have learned from history is old ways of making mistakes. There is nothing that history can tell you about what we must do tomorrow. Only what we must not do." - Edwin H. Land

"Over the years, I have learned that every significant invention has several characteristics. By definition it must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention." - Edwin H. Land

"I believe that each young person is different from any other who has ever lived, as different as his fingerprints: that he could bring to the world a wonderful and special way of solving unsolved problems, that in his special way, he can be great. Now don't misunderstand me. I recognize that this merely great person, as distinguished from the genius, will not be able to bridge from field to field. He will not have the ideas that shorten the solution of problems by hundreds of years. He will not suddenly say that mass is energy, that is genius. But within his own field he will make things grow and flourish; he will grow happy helping other people in his field, and to that field he will add things that would not have been added, had he not come along. . .

I believe there are two opposing theories of history, and you have to make your choice. Either you believe that this kind of individual greatness does exist and can be nurtured and developed, that such great individuals can be part of a cooperative community while they continue to be their happy, flourishing, contributing selves — or else you believe that there is some mystical, cyclical, overriding, predetermined, cultural law — a historic determinism.

The great contribution of science is to say that this second theory is nonsense. The great contribution of science is to demonstrate that a person can regard the world as chaos, but can find in himself a method of perceiving, within that chaos, small arrangements of order, that out of himself, and out of the order that previous scientists have generated, he can make things that are exciting and thrilling to make, that are deeply spiritual contributions to himself and to his friends. The scientist comes to the world and says, "I do not understand the divine source, but I know, in a way that I don't understand, that out of chaos I can make order, out of loneliness I can make friendship, out of ugliness I can make beauty.

I believe that men are born this way — that all men are born this way. I know that each of the undergraduates with whom I talked shares this belief. Each of these men felt secretly — it was his very special secret and his deepest secret — that he could be great.

But not many undergraduates come through our present educational system retaining this hope. Our young people, for the most part — unless they are geniuses — after a very short time in college give up any hope of being individually great. They plan, instead, to be good. They plan to be effective, They plan to do their job. They plan to take their healthy place in the community. We might say that today it takes a genius to come out great, and a great man, a merely great man, cannot survive. It has become our habit, therefore, to think that the age of greatness has passed, that the age of the great man is gone, that this is the day of group research, that this is the day of community progress. Yet the very essence of democracy is the absolute faith that while people must cooperate, the first function of democracy, its peculiar gift, is to develop each individual into everything that he might be. But I submit to you that when in each man the dream of personal greatness dies, democracy loses the real source of its future strength." - Edwin H. Land

"You always start with a fantasy." - Edwin H. Land

Land image source (1)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just meandering . . .

Today is the birthday of Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6,1856 – September 23, 1939), neurologist and psychiatrist. He best known as Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis.

Sigmund Freud is another writer whose works were burned and/or banned.

"Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise." - Sigmund Freud

"One might compare the relation of the ego to the id with that between a rider and his horse. The horse provides the locomotor energy, and the rider has the prerogative of determining the goal and of guiding the movements of his powerful mount towards it. But all too often in the relations between the ego and the id we find a picture of the less ideal situation in which the rider is obliged to guide his horse in the direction in which it itself wants to go." - Sigmund Freud

"The ego is not master in its own house." - Sigmund Freud

"Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility." - Sigmund Freud

"Time spent with cats is never wasted." - Sigmund Freud

"Where id was, there ego shall be." - Sigmund Freud

Freud image source (1)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meandering in thought . . .

Today is the birthday of Søren Åbye Kierkegård (May 5, 1813 – November 11, 1855), philosopher, theologian, and psychologist. He is oft referred to as the Father of Existentialism.

"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom." - Søren Kierkegaard

"Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are." - Søren Kierkegaard

"One sticks one’s finger into the soil to tell by the smell in what land one is: I stick my finger in existence — it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs instead of throwing me into the ranks, as if I had been bought by a kidnapper, a dealer in souls? How did I obtain an interest in this big enterprise they call reality? Why should I have an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I should like to make a remark to him. Is there no director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?" - Søren Kierkegaard

"Boredom is the root of all evil - the despairing refusal to be oneself." - Søren Kierkegaard

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." - Søren Kierkegaard

"Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living." - Søren Kierkegaard

"I must find a truth that is true for me." - Søren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard image source (1)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meandering around . . .

Today is the birthday of Audrey Hepburn (May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993), actress and humanitarian.

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." - Audrey Hepburn

"I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it." - Audrey Hepburn

"People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone." - Audrey Hepburn

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others." - Audrey Hepburn

"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future." - Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn image source (1)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meandering in the past . . .

Today is the birthday of Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 – June 21, 1527), diplomat, political philosopher, musician, and a playwright. He is best known for a short political treatise, The Prince.

"The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it." - Niccolo Machiavelli

"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage." - Niccolo Machiavelli

Trivia bit: His surname yielded the modern political word Machiavellianism — the use of cunning and deceitful tactics in politics.

Machiavelli image source (1)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Meandering while we wander . . .

Today is the birthday of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), an author and philosopher. He is best known by the pseudonym, Novalis, and sometimes referred to as the prophet of Romanticism.

"We are near waking when we dream that we dream." - Novalis

"We dream of a journey through the universe. But is the universe then not in us? We do not know the depths of our spirit. Inward goes the secret path. Eternity with its worlds, the past and the future, is in us or nowhere." - Novalis

"The first step is to look within, the discriminating contemplation of the self. He who remains at this point only half develops. The second step must be a telling look without, independent, sustained contemplation of the external world." - Novalis

"The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap." - Novalis

"A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer." - Novalis

Novalis image source (1)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meandering in the stacks . . .

Today is the birthday of Joseph Addison (May 1, 1672 – June 17, 1719), essayist, poet, playwright and politician.

"Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body." - Joseph Addison

"I have somewhere met with the epitaph on a charitable man which has pleased me very much. I cannot recollect the words, but here is the sense of it: What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me." - Joseph Addison

"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." - Joseph Addison

"A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world." - Joseph Addison

"A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants." - Joseph Addison

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs." - Joseph Addison

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." - Joseph Addison

"Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness; he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly be corrupt." - Joseph Addison

"The utmost extent of man's knowledge, is to know that he knows nothing." - Joseph Addison

Addison image source (1)