“Sometimes I forget to listen. I forget to let a friend be. To tell their whole story and paint their full heart into the air. I’m too eager to respond with a fix, a solution, a plan. I interrupt the art. I look for a pause to jump in and offer all sorts of articulate banter, when this isn’t what they want. They just want to speak until they’re out of breath, and then meet eyes and feel like they’re okay and understood and not alone. It’s a beautiful thing, and I want to let it happen. I want to let them finish painting in their own words. And then maybe I will understand.”
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.”
One of the most influential books that I’ve ever read was written by him. This quote, like many other excerpts from Night, helps shed light on so many important topics of experience and existence.
“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness”. Ask yourself “is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”
This quote could change someone’s life.
i. agree. with. every. word.(via avoidingtheinevitable)
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”
One of the things that I love most about music is how it can transcend the barriers that silence us. Previously unspoken words are communicated, emotions are felt and expressed, and evocative melodies bring about understanding.
This song and video speak loudly about the tragedy that happened at SPU a month ago. Bigger than that, it speaks to the ups and downs that accompany unexpected changes in life and the ways in which we deal with those changes. This video features Natalie, a girl that I met a few years ago while I was visiting one of my most cherished friends, Barrett, at SPU. She is the beautiful, free-spirited, passionate girl with blue hair.
I hope that after watching this, you read the article that follows this video. I am so grateful for this - for the people that agreed to be filmed during such honest, vulnerable, difficult moments. Their individual experiences are powerfully expressed and projected onto those who are seeing them - something that I think offers a connection between them and us. I wholeheartedly believe that our losses are collective and our human experiences are connected.
To read more about the story behind this video, click here
My favorite line from the song, Elysium:: Don’t let bitterness become you