Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This I Believe

Last August, I was in a bookstore (yes, I realize that this is how I often start out my posts, I spend a lot of time in bookstores) with some friends just looking through the shelves. This book caught my eye:

I opened it and found a collection of essays people had written about their core beliefs and values. Each essay is short, just a few hundred words or so. I sat on the floor and began to read furiously. I was so intrigued by it. A friend I was with surprised me with it for my birthday a few days later...and then it sat on my "I intend to read that" shelf until a few weeks ago. I finished it the night before last. Anyone out there reading this blog: READ THIS BOOK or at least check out their website.

I read most of this book with a pen in hand and felt distressed when I tried to read without one because there were so many beautiful things written that I wanted to mark.

I've written one of my own. Still not sure if I'll post it.

"Aim for truth without accusation, patriotism without political cant, and faith beyond religious dogma...Your beliefs are in jeopardy only when you don't know what they are."
- Jay Allison

"I believe that curiosity, wonder, and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways less intense emotions can never do." - Kay Jamison

"I believe in feeding monkeys."
- Harold Taw

"...true presence or "being with" another person carries with it a silent power-to bear witness to a passage, to help carry an emotional burden, or to begin a healing process." - Debbie Hall

"I believe in reading books because others dislike them or find them dangerous. I believe in choosing the hardest book imaginable."
- Rick Moody

"Only curiosity about the fate of others, the ability to put ourselves in their shoes...creates this shock of recognition. Without this empathy there can be no genuine dialogue, and we as individuals and nations will remain isolated, segregated, and fragmented."
- Azar Nafisi

"I believe in people. I feel, love, need, and respect people above all else, including the arts, natural scenery, organized piety, or nationalistic superstructures."
- Leonard Bernstein

"If I have one operating philosophy about life, it is this: Be cool to the pizza dude, it's good luck."
- Sarah Adams

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