Rebecca Solnit (June 24, 1961 -)
What is onstage is a tragedy, the tragedy of the inequitable distribution of power and of the too-common silence of those who settle for being audience while paying the price of the drama. Traditionally, the audience is supposed to choose the actors, and the actors are quite literally supposed to speak for us. This is the idea behind representative democracy. In practice, various reasons keep many from participating in the choice, other forces — like money — subvert that choice, and onstage too many of the actors find other reasons — lobbyists, self-interest, conformity — to fail to represent their constituents.
Eric Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980)
Man can protect himself from the consequences of his own madness only by creating a sane society which conforms with the needs of man, needs which are rooted in the very conditions of his existence. A society in which man relates to man lovingly, in which he is rooted in bonds of brotherliness and solidarity, rather than in the ties of blood and soil; a society which gives him the possibility of transcending nature by creating rather than by destroying, in which everyone gains a sense of self by experiencing himself as the subject of his powers rather than by conformity, in which a system of orientation and devotion exists without man’s needing to distort reality and to worship idols.
Barack Obama (August 04, 1961 -)
You can be completely right, and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you. … So don’t try to shut folks out, don’t try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them. There’s been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view, or disrupt a politician’s rally. Don’t do that — no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths.
Derek Walcott (January 23, 1930 – March 17, 2017)
The time will come
when with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, Sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your Self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Listen to “Love After Love” read by Jong Hwi Yoo here.
John O’Donohue (January 1, 1956–January 4, 2008)
Taking experience seriously must make it equally necessary to take the destiny or future of experience seriously. This is a particularly poignant necessity, given that the future of each experience is its disappearance. The destiny of every experience is transience…Everything, no matter how painful, beautiful or sonorous, recedes into the silence of transience. Transience too is the maker of the final silence, the silence of death.
Is the silence which transience brings a vacant silence? Does everything vanish into emptiness? Like the patterns which bird flight makes in the air, is there nothing left? Where does the flame go when the candle is blown out? Is there a place where the past can gather? I believe there is. That place is memory. That which holds out against transience is memory.
Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908–April 14, 1986)
What astonishes me, just as it astonishes a child when he becomes aware of his own identity, is the fact of finding myself here, and at this moment, deep in this life and not in any other… Chance … has a distinct meaning for me. I do not know where I might have been led by the paths that, as I look back, I think I might have taken but that in fact I did not take. What is certain is that I am satisfied with my fate and that I should not want it changed in any way at all. So I look upon these factors that helped me to fulfill it as so many fortunate strokes of chance.
Sofia Valdivieso (October 12, 1982 -)
Home…home is so relative. Home can be so many places. Some places feel more home than others but I am a true believer that home can be anywhere you feel warm and secure. Even a person can be home, smell like home. Flavors can taste like home. Even friends sometime make you feel like home. We are citizens of the world and owners of souls craving for discovery.