Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
— Willam Martin
“Absence of emotions neither causes nor promotes rationality. […] In order to respond reasonably one must first of all be ‘moved,’ and the opposite of emotional is not ‘rational,’ whatever that may mean…”
— Arendt, ‘On Violence’, in Crises of the Republic
Everyday speech is “instrumental” rather than “expressive”, intended to achieve a goal rather than simply to tell one’s own truth. When we speak instrumentally, we try to influence the listener by informing or affirming or rebuking or making common cause. But when we speak expressively, we speak to express the truth within us, honoring the inner teacher by letting it know that we are attending to its voice.
— Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness)
📜 There was a king and he once said to the court sages: “I have a ring with one of the finest diamonds in the world and I want to inscribe a message under the stone that can be useful in a situation of extreme despair. I will give this ring to my heirs and I want it to serve faithfully. Think of what kind of message will serve this purpose. It must be very short to fit in the ring.”
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
— Emily Dickinson (1868)